The Jamaica Currency
Contributed by Stacey Ann Gayle
Denoted by the code JMD, our local currency comes in the form of notes and coins, or dollars and cents.
The first monies that were used here were pesos, reales and coins (gold and silver) used by the Spaniards, and pounds, shilling and pence use by the British.
In the 1960’s the Bank of Jamaica was given sole responsibility by the Jamaican parliament for providing coins and notes to be officially used for our currency.
The front of these moneys (then) bore a portrait of Queen Elizabeth 11, the Jamaican coat of arms, and the signature of the first governor of the bank, Stanley w. Payton. On the back appeared different images of Jamaican life.
Our money today can be identified either by a former national hero (or heroine), or a past leader of the country.
Growing up we would have these moneys in notes ranging from 50¢; $2.00; $5; $10 and $20 and could be used to purchase a lot of items at the local shop or supermarket.
Nowadays you will find them in coins of various shapes and sizes; sadly though, they cannot be used to purchase much - if anything at all!
The notes that are currently used today are the $50; $100; $500, $1000 and $5,000. All Jamaican notes have the same size and shape. The coins that are currently in use are in $1; $5; $10 and $20 denominations.
The exchange rate varies daily, but as of November 6, 2019, the Jamaica currency rate (to the USD), according to the Bank Of Jamaica, was $139.39 Jamaican dollars to the US dollar. Remember this is the buying price, meaning the rate that banks will buy it from you at.
If they are selling (giving) it to you for Jamaican dollars, it is usually at at higher rate. At the above date, it was $141 JMD for 1 USD.
Note that twenty (20) other currencies are listed with rates relative to the Jamaican Dollar, these are the...
Remember you can always get the most updated Jamaica exchange rate at the Bank Of Jamaica's website. Click this link to hop over and see for yourself.
By the way, if you are coming here with USD, do note that most business places and institutions in Jamaica, especially those that do business in the tourist industry, does accept the use of the United States dollar so you and our visitors will have no problem when you get here.
You can exchange the US dollar or any other currency in Jamaica at any bank, Cambio or foreign exchange (fx) trader.
Electronic instruments are also widely accepted in Jamaica today.
Read more about how much money to bring to Jamaica here.
I just recently published a video on YouTube on how much money to bring to Jamaica. The link is below. Simply click the PLAY button and listen :-)
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