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17 most expensive currencies in the world

July 31, 2013 08:19 IST

17 most expensive currencies in the world

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Dollar appreciation affected many countries in the emerging markets. Indian rupee and Turkish lira hit an all-time low. Brazilian real, too, was down 6.7 per cent in that period.

There are, however, countries that have currencies that are stronger than the US dollar. In other words, you have to pay more than a dollar to buy one unit of these currencies.

A word of caution: a stronger currency neither means that it is a better investment option nor does it represent a better economic health of a nation.

Source: Wikipedia

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Image: An employee shows three newly-designed banknotes.
Photographs: Reuters

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Kuwait

Currency: Dinar

Value of 1 dinar against dollar: $3.51

Value of 1 dinar against rupee: Rs 209.91

Highest banknote: 20

Introduced in 1961 to replace Gulf rupee, it was equivalent of one pound sterling initially.

The currency has seen it’s ups and downs. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, they replaced Kuwaiti dinar with Iraqi dinar. After liberation, the Kuwaiti dinar was restored.

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Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Bahrain

Currency: Dinar

Value of 1 dinar against dollar: $2.65

Value of 1 dinar against rupee: Rs 158.49

Highest banknote: 20

Bahrain introduced dinar in 1965 to replace the Gulf rupee. Initially one dinar was equivalent to 10 rupees.

Before Malta adopted the euro, Bahrain’s dinar was the third highest-valued currency and is now the second.

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Image: A Central Bank of Bahrain official shows new Bahraini Dinar notes on the first day of its release in Bahraini capital of Manama.
Photographs: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

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Oman

Currency: Rial

Value of 1 rial against dollar: $2.60

Value of 1 rial against rupee: Rs 155.20

Highest banknote: 50

There was a time when India rupee was the main currency, along with Maria Theresa Thaler, circulating in Muscat and Oman. In 1940, however, the rial Saidi was made the currency of Oman.

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Photographs: Passportguy/Wikimedia Commons

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Latvia

Currency: Lats

Value of 1 lats against dollar: $1.89

Value of 1 lats against rupee: Rs 112.76

Highest banknote: 500

First introduced in 1922, lats were replaced with Soviet ruble when USSR occupied the country. After the country regained independence, the currency was reintroduced in 1993.

In June 2013, European Union asses the Latvia and gave it the green light to introduce euro. Lats will no long be the country’s currency from January 1, 2014, once euro is introduced.

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Image: Latvia's lats and euro banknotes are seen in this illustration picture.
Photographs: Ints Kalnins/Reuters

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United Kingdom

Currency: Pound

Value of 1 pound against dollar: $1.53

Value of 1 pound against rupee: Rs 91.64

Highest banknote: 100 (in Scotland and Northern Ireland) and 50 (in England and Wales)

The pound sterling is the world's oldest currency still in use and it is the fourth most traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen.

Sterling is also the third most held reserve currency in global reserves (about 4 per cent).

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Photographs: Catherine Benson/Reuters

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Falkland Islands

Currency: Pound

Value of 1 pound against dollar: $1.53

Value of 1 pound against rupee: Rs 91.64

Highest banknote: 50

The British introduced the pound following the reassertion of sovereignty in the Falklands Islands in 1833.

Falklands' banknotes feature the same images, differing only in their respective denominations and corresponding colours. According to Wikipedia, all notes contain a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the Falklands' coat of arms, a small map of the islands, and images of two of the islands' main animals: penguins and sea lions, on the front side.

On the back, notes feature pictures of Christ Church Cathedral in Stanley and Government House, the official residence of the Governor of the Falkland Islands.

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Photographs: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

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Gibraltar

Currency: Pound

Value of 1 pound against dollar: $1.53

Value of 1 pound against rupee: Rs 91.64

Highest banknote: 50

The official currency in the country has seen many changes through the history. In the late nineteenth century, British and Spanish currencies were in circulation along with Gibraltarian coins.

The Spanish-American War at the beginning of twentieth century made the Spanish peseta drop alarmingly. And few years later pound became the official currency.

Since 1927, the country has been issuing its own banknotes and coins and a currency act in 1934 denominated the Gibraltar currency to pounds.

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Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Currency: Pound

Value of 1 pound against dollar: $1.53

Value of 1 pound against rupee: Rs 91.64

Highest banknote: 50

The islands are part of British overseas territory. The territory has had a very long history of its own currencies, which have come and gone when the economy boomed and slowed down.

Prior to 1961, British pound and South African pound were accepted on the island but when South African rand was introduced, the island continued denominating its currency to British pound.

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Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Jordan

Currency: Dinar

Value of 1 dinar against dollar: $1.41

Value of 1 dinar against rupee: Rs 84.51

Highest banknote: 50

From 1927 to 1950, the Palestine Currency Board issued Palestine pound as the official currency in both Palestine and the Trans-Jordan Emirate, according to Wikipedia.

When Jordan became independent in 1946, the country wanted its own currency and Jordanian dinar became the kingdom’s official currency.

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Image: An employee counts Jordanian dinars at the Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank.
Photographs: Ali Jarekji/Reuters

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Countries in European Union

Currency: Euro

Value of 1 euro against dollar: $1.33

Value of 1 euro against rupee: Rs 79.22

Highest banknote: 500

The currency is the official currency of eurozone that comprises of 17 countries. Some these include Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.

The currency is the second largest reserve currency as also the second most traded in the world.

The currency was introduced to world financial markets as an accounting currency in 1995.

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Image: A bank employee counts Euro notes at Kasikornbank in Bangkok.
Photographs: Sukree Sukplang/Reuters

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Azerbaijan

Currency: Manat

Value of 1 manat against dollar: 1.27

Value of 1 manat against rupee: 75.74

Highest banknote: 100

Since 1919 there have been three manat currencies issued. The most recent one was issued in 2006.

The manta have similarities with euro as both are designed by the Austrian designer Robert Kalina.

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Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Cayman Islands

Currency: Dollar

Value of 1 dollar against dollar: $1.22

Value of 1 dollar against rupee: Rs 72.99

Highest banknote: 100

The earlier currency used in Cayman Islands was Jamaican dollar, which was replaced in 1972. On the islands, the US dollar is accepted as legal currency.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Cayman Island Monetary Authority

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Switzerland

Currency: Franc

Value of 1 franc against dollar: $1.07

Value of 1 franc against rupee: Rs 64.16

Highest banknote: 1,000

Historically, the Swiss franc has been considered as a safe-haven currency with virtually zero inflation and a legal requirement that a minimum of 40 per cent be backed by gold reserved.

The currency saw a sudden appreciation in 2011 as investors sought safety when Greek-sovereign debt crisis occurred. It further appreciated when European crisis continued and US, too, was witness economic turmoil.

As the currency appreciation was looked as a threat to domestic business, Switzerland’s central bank intervened. At present, the bank has set a highest target for the currency and does not let it appreciate beyond that.

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Image: Swiss Franc banknotes of several values lie on a table before being sorted in a money counter in a Bank in Zurich.
Photographs: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

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Bahamas

Currency: Dollar

Value of 1 dollar against dollar: $1

Value of 1 dollar against rupee: Rs 59.75

Highest banknote: 100

The dollar replaced at the legal currency of Bahamas in 1966. Prior to that, the currency was pound.

Bahamas dollar is is pegged to the US dollar one-to-one basis.

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Photographs: Courtesy, The Central Bank of The Bahamas

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Bermuda

Currency: Dollar

Value of 1 dollar against dollar: $1

Value of 1 dollar against rupee: Rs 59.75

Highest banknote: 100

The Bermudian dollar is not normally traded outside the country, and is pegged to the United States dollar at a one-to-one ratio.

As it was part of British colony, the official currency for a long time was British pound. The currency was changed to dollar in 1970.

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Panama

Currency: Balboa

Value of 1 balboa against dollar: $1

Value of 1 balboa against rupee: Rs 59.75

Highest banknote: 100

The currency is name in the honour of the Spanish explorer conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa.

The balboa replaced the Colombian peso in 1904 following the country's independence. The balboa has been tied to the United States dollar (which is legal tender in Panama) at an exchange rate of 1:1 since its introduction and has always circulated alongside dollars, according to Wikipedia.

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Cuba

Currency: Convertible peso

Value of 1 convertible peso against dollar: $1

Value of 1 convertible peso against rupee: Rs 59.75

Highest banknote: 100

The convertible peso, also called as chavito, is one of two official currencies of Cuba. The other one is the peso.

Convertible peso has been in limited use since 1994, when it was treated as equivalent to the US dollar.

Since 2004, the US dollar ceased to be accepted in Cuban retail outlets leaving the convertible peso as the only currency in circulation in many Cuban businesses.


Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
Tags: Cuba , US

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