The Official
Currency Of Jamaica

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The Jamaican Dollar (JMD) is the official currency of Jamaica. It is divided into 100 cents.

Picture Jamaican Money- Bank Notes + $20, $10 and $5 coins

According to GoCurrency, "The first money in Jamaica was Spanish copper coins called Maravedis. Later, other silver coins were implemented, as the British began to rely on Jamaica to a large extent."

Spanish pesos, reales, and British pounds, were all at one time circulating in Jamaica.

In 1839, Parliament passed a law that disallowed all currencies, except for British coinage, as legal tender. From 1904, the first government distributed and authorized banknotes were introduced. In 1960, the Bank of Jamaica was given the sole responsibility of producing coins and banknotes."

On January 30, 1968, the Jamaican House of Representatives voted to decimalize the currency by introducing the dollar, worth 10 shillings, to replace the pound. Coins and banknotes went into circulation on September 8, 1969.

Although the Jamaican Dollar is the legal tender of Jamaica, the US dollar is widely accepted. It is unofficially OK to use the $US anywhere, although it is recommended that you convert your foreign currency into local dollars before transacting business.

You can exchange money and traveller’s cheques at a number of hotels and in banks. Many establishments accept US traveler’s cheques. Cash withdrawals are possible from automated teller machines linked to the Cirrus system (see the back of your bankcard).

Most of the larger establishments in addition to hotels accept credit cards.

As of September 2009, the coins in circulation were:

  • 1 cent
  • 10 cent
  • 25 cent
  • $1
  • $5
  • $10 &
  • $20 &Banknotes were: [see picture above]
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $1000 & the new...
  • $5000.

Today the value of the currency - relative to its international trading partners, continues to decline.

You can get the latest rates on the BOJ's Website. [opens in a new window]. Look for weighted average rate.

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