Jamaica Currency
...a little background!

Jamaica Currency - contributed by Stacey Ann Gayle

Denoted by the code JMD, our 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. Also some national symbol would be on it too, for example the ackee- the national fruit, or the National Coat of Arms.

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 shop or supermarket. Nowadays you will find them in coins of various shapes and sizes; however, they cannot be used to purchase much- if at all!

The notes that are currently used today are the $50; $100; $500 and $1,000, the $1,000 which is the largest amount in a note bill. All Jamaican notes have the same size and shape. And the coins that are currently in use are in $1; $5; $10 and $20 denominations.

The exchange rate varies daily, but as of July 2008 the rate was $71.60 Jamaican dollars to the US dollar.

By the way, most business places and institutions in Jamaica do accept the use of the United States dollar so our visitors have no problem when they 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.

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