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The Jamaica Exchange Rate Today | PLUS A Historical Perpective

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jamaica_exchange_rate_1000_denominations.jpgJamaican Money in $1,000 denominations (Jamaica Exchange Rate)

You'll often hear that here in Jamaica, the US dollar is accepted at all hotels or resorts, restaurants and just about anywhere. 

Also, you can always convert to local currency when you get here as well. 

But what of the Jamaican Dollar? How valuable is it?  How much will you get when you convert? Let’s take a deeper look at the Jamaican currency and its exchange rate.

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The Fleeing Jamaican Dollar

Did you know that dollars could fly, run and slide? Well, it happens right here in Jamaica, if not everyday, ever too often :-)

Yep, that our local association of inflation and fluctuation of the exchange rate in relation to the Jamaican dollar.

You 'bet your bottom dollar', pun intended, that the money you have today, may be worth squat tomorrow if you do not invest wisely!

To get some insight, let’s go back in history and take a look at the introduction of the Jamaican currency.

The Introduction of the Jamaican Currency

I heard my grandparents speak about the days of the pound, shilling and pence, and the vast amount of things they could buy. 

They also spoke of quatties, pennies and half pennies -all legacies of British Colonial rule.

Those were the currencies used back in the day, before our independence in 1962 and also a few years after. 

Read more on the history of Jamaica here.

But in 1960, The (BOJ) Bank of Jamaica, was given the job of producing bank notes as well as to mint coins. 

They released the notes of 5 shillings, 10 shillings, 1 pound & 5 pound in May of 1961,

These notes remained in circulation for another seven years until 1968 when there was a vote by the House of Representatives to convert the currency to a decimal with the introduction of the dollar.

1969 became a historic year for Jamaica, as this was when the first truly Jamaican currencies were introduced, on September 8th with these notes and coins:

  • 10 dollar -  This was equivalent to 5 pounds - Bank note
  • 2 dollar -  This was equivalent to 1 pound  -  Bank note
  • 1 dollar -  This was equivalent to 10 shillings - Bank note replacing the Jamaican pound
  • 50 cents -   This was equivalent to 5 shillings – Bank note

  • 25 cents -   This was equivalent to 2 shillings and 6 pence
  • 20 cents -   This was equivalent to 2 shillings
  • 10 cents -   This was equivalent to 1 shillings
  •   5 cents -   This was equivalent to 6 pence &
  •   1 cent  -    This was equivalent to 1.2 pence

Other denominations were later introduced as follows:

  • 5 dollar  - On October 20, 1970
  • 20 dollar – In June 1976
  • 50 cent coin, to replace its banknote -  June 1976
  • 100 dollar note -  On December 2, 1986
  • 50 dollar note -  On July 27, 1988
  • 500 dollar note -  In 1994
  • 1000 dollar note -   2000, and the most recent,
  • The 5000 dollar note -  September 24, 2009

Some of these notes were however converted to coins later.

At the time of writing here, the lowest note that currently exist is the $50 note and the highest note being the $5000 note.

Jamaica Exchange Rate (At Today's Date)

As of Friday, November 29, 2019, the Jamaica exchange rate to the bench mark US dollar stood at J$136.28 to US$1.  The get the very latest rate today, click here or the link below.

You will be amazed to know that the Jamaica dollar was actually stronger than the US dollar in value between December 31, 1971 and January 13, 1978, valuing between J$0.77  and J$0.91 to  the USD.

As the years progress  you will see the gradual decline from the comparison table below...

Jamaican Exchange Rate (Year On Year)

1971 Average 0.77
1972 Average 0.77
1973 Average 0.90
1974 Average 0.91
1975 Average 0.91
1976 Average 0.91
1977 Average 0.91
1978 Average 1.41
1979 Average 1.76
1980 Average 1.78
1981 Average 1.78
1982 Average 1.78
1983 Average 1.92
1984 Average 3.94
1985 Average 5.58
1986 Average 5.50
1987 Average 5.51
1988 Average 5.51
1989 Average 5.77
1990 Average 7.24
1991 Average 12.22
1992 Average 22.99
1993 Average 25.11
1994 Average 33.29
1995 Average 35.35
1996 Average 37.25
1997 Average 35.51
1998 Average 36.65
1999 Average 39.20
2000 Average 43.08
2001 Average 46.08
2002 Average 48.54
2003 Average 57.93
2004 Average 61.34
2005 Average 62.50
2006 Average 65.88
2007 Average 69.06
2008 Average 72.92
2009 Average 88.49
2010 Average 87.38
2011 Average 86.08
2012 Average 88.99
2013 Average 100.77
2014 Average 111.22
2015 Average 117.62
2016 Average 125.48
2017 Average 128.46
2018 Average 129.62
2019 Average To Date 134.24

As you can see, after 1991, when the exchange rate got into double figures of 12.22 (average), the dollar really took a nose dive!

Jamaica Exchange Rate For Other Currencies

Per Scotiabank Jamaica, a leading commercial bank in Jamaica today,  the following was the exchange rate in Jamaica for its our 10 trading partners.

jamaica_exchange_rate__scotia_bankJamaica Exchage Rate Today

Bear in mind that this changes on the fly though, remember I warned you before?

To get the very latest and more accurate rates, now and anytime in the future, visit the Bank Of Jamaica currency exchange rate page using the link below.

What's Next For The Jamaican Dollar?

The current exchange rate regine of a flexible exchange rate is still considered by many as the best option, all things been equal, but clearly there are the missing elements in the equation to remove the unpredictability in the system.

This was so, according to Michael Lee Chin, chair of the EGC, The Economic Growth Council in 2016. He (and indeed the majority of Jamaicans) has a an issue with the fact that flexibility appears to go in one direction for us.

We may not be able to get back to JMD$0.77 to 1USD,  as in the early 1970's, though that's my wish, but much more needs to be done to stem this and further slides, wouldn't you agree?

Can I say 'over to the political leadership'?

Oh actually, I just did :-)

New! Visited Jamaica Before?

Where have you been? What did you too? I'd love to hear!
Please tell us about it here.

You might like these as well


  • "Counter Rates",
  • "Historical Rates",
  • "The Jamaican Dollar",
  • "Jamaican Exchange Rate Regime NOT Credible; EGC",

Other Pages Related To The Jamaica Exchange Rate

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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