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.
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.
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:
Other denominations were later introduced as follows:
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.
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...
|YEAR||JMD For 1 USD|
|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!
Per Scotiabank Jamaica, a leading commercial bank in Jamaica today, the following was the exchange rate in Jamaica for its our 10 trading partners.
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.
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 :-)
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