You may have heard that US Dollar (USD) is most traded currency in the world, hence, it is highest currency. Well, it’s not that true. However, dollar is most traded currency yet there are other counties whose money has better exchange rates than that of USD.
Note: The list was updated in January 2018.
In this post we will go through 10 highest currency in the world based on 2018 January 2018 exchange rates. The value of currencies in this post is based on their exchange rates against US dollar.
But, why to compare with US dollar only?
Because, it is Global currency. A global currency is one that can be used for all kinds of trade transactions throughout the world.
US dollar is famous, because 64percent foreign exchange transaction are made in USD, followed by euro that is only 19.7percent.
That’s why, it’s quite reasonable to base this list by setting US Dollar as standard unit for measuring value of currencies.
Note: All values are based on 2018 exchange rates, may fluctuates in the near future. Obsolete currencies like, Lativan lats, are not included in the ranking.
Let’s dive into the heap of money and find out 10 highest currencies of 2018.
12) Canada: Canadian Dollar (1 CAD = 0.80 USD)
Symbol: $, Can$, C$ | Currency Code: CAD | Coinage denomination: 5, 10, 25, 50 cents; 1, 2 dollars | Banknotes denomination: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollars | Issuance: Bank of Canada
Canadian dollar is second North American country to fall in 10 highest currency. It is because of its value in foreign exchange market. Canadian dollar was introduced 1858. The currency is divided into 100 cents per dollar. Canadian dollar sometimes referred to loonie, because the image of Loon – a bird – portrayed on the currency.
11) United States of America: US Dollar
Symbol: $ | Currency Code: USD | Coinage denomination: 1, 5, 10, cents; 0.25 dollar | Banknotes denomination: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollars | Issuance: Federal Reserve System
US dollar is officially used by United States of America since 1785. Additionally, US dollar is also officially used by 11 countries, while 43 countries used it unofficially. It is consider as most traded currency in the world because of 64percent transactions performed in foreign exchange market are in dollars.
Note: Bahamian dollar is also equivalent to $1 as of 2018. Hence both lies in 11th position in the terms of highest currency.
10) Switzerland: Swiss Franc (1 CHF = 1.03 USD)
Symbol: Fr. | Currency Code: CHF | Coinage denomination: 5, 10 & 20 rappen, 0.5, 1, 2 & 5 francs | Banknotes denomination: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 & 1,000 francs | Issuance: Swiss National Bank and Swissmint
Franc is official currency and legal tender in Switzerland. While, the official users are Liechtenstein and Campione d’Italia (Italy) and unofficially used by Germany. The smaller denomination of franc is rappen, one franc equals to 100 rappens. The largest denomination legal tender is 1,000 francs while 5 rappen is smaller one. Additionally, franc is also used as a reserve currency around the world currently it ranks 6th valuable reserve currency.
9) Cayman Islands: Caymanian Dollar (1 KYD = 1.21 USD)
Symbol: $ or CI$ | Currency Code: KYD | Coinage denomination: 1, 5, 10, 25 cents | Banknotes denomination: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 100 dollars | Issuance: Cayman Islands Monetary Authority
Cayman Islands, comprise of three islands, is British Overseas Territory. Cayman Islands dollar was issued in 1972 by replacing Jamaican dollar, however, both currencies remained legal tender for few months. Currently, US dollar freely circulates in Cayman Islands. Since, it is an overseas territory of British, yet British Pound doesn’t circulates within the islands. Speaking about banknote features, all of its notes feature Queen Elizabeth II portrait.
8) European Union: Euro (1 EUR = 1.22 USD)
Symbol: € | Currency Code: EUR | Coinage denomination: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, cents; 1, 2 euros | Banknotes denomination: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 euros | Issuance: Central Bank of Europe
Euro is the currency of Eurozone nations, which is used by 18 out of 24 EU countries. Almost 338.6 million people in Eurozone use Euro for daily transactions. While 227 million people worldwide use currencies pegged to the euro. Additionally, euro is second most traded and reserve currency in the world behind US dollar. Initially euro was adopted by Spain in 1995 and after 4 years it was introduced in world financial markets.
7) Gibraltar: Gibraltar Pound (1 GIP = 1.37 USD)
Symbol: £ | Currency Code: GIP | Coinage denomination: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, pence; £1, £2, £5 euros | Banknotes denomination: £5, £10, £20, £50, £100 euros | Issuance: Government of Gibraltar
Gibraltar is one of the 14 British Overseas Territories. It has total area of 6.7km2 and home of 30,000 Gibraltarians. Despite having small economy – 1.887 billion – Gibraltar manages to such valuable currency. Pound is official currency of the country, while British pound can also be used at par value. However, Gibraltar pound is unlikely to use or exchange in British.
6) British: British Pound (1 GBP = 1.37 USD)
Symbol: £ | Currency Code: GBP | Coinage denomination: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, pence; £1 and £2 pounds | Banknotes denomination: £5, £10, £20 and £50 pounds | Issuance: Bank of England
British pound or pound sterling is official currency of United Kingdom along with its 9 territories. British pound, commonly referred to pound sterling or pound, is world’s oldest currency still in use. It is also 4th most traded currency behind US dollar, euro, and yen. Demand/supply factor affects pound in foreign exchange markets therefore value fluctuates. Once pound’s exchange rate was $5, since then it has been decreasing over the time and now the exchange rate is $1.31. However, it still consider one of the most stable currency.
5) Falkland Islands: Falkland Pound (1 FKP = 1.37 USD)
Symbol: £ | Currency Code: FKP | Coinage denomination: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, pence; £1 and £2 pounds | Banknotes denomination: £5, £10, £20 and £50 pounds | Issuance: Government of the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands are two Islands located in South Atlantic Ocean, 300 miles away from South America. It is a British overseas territory with population of only 3,400 people. Pound as a currency was introduced by British in 1833 and image of Queen Elizabeth II is also featured in bank notes of Falkland. Falkland pounds always pegged to Britain at par. The largest and least legal tender denomination is same as Britain’s.
4) Jordan: Jordanian Dinar (1 JOD = 1.41 USD)
Currency Code: JOD | Coinage denomination: 0.5, 1 qirsh, 2.5, 5, 10 piastres, 0.25, 0.5, 1 dinar | Banknotes denomination: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 dinars | Issuance: Central Bank of Jordan
Jordan is a Middle Eastern country, bordering with 5 countries and 2 seas. Dinar became Jordan’s official currency in 1950 by terminating Palestine pound. From now onwards, we are starting a stream of highly valuable currencies from Gulf of Arabia. Dinar has officially pegged to the IMF in 1995 and became a fixed currency since then.
3) Oman: Omani Rial (1 OMR = 2.6 USD)
Currency Code: OMR | Coinage denomination: 5, 10, 25, 50 baisa | Banknotes denomination: 100, 200 baisas, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 rials | Issuance: Central Bank of Oman
Oman is situated in the mouth of the Persian Gulf, sharing borders with, United Arab Emirates, Yeman, and Saudi Arab. Oman is famously known for strategically importance in the gulf. Rial is the currency of Oman, divided into 1000 baisa. Omani rial is a fixed currency introduced in 1970, when it is called rial saidi. Later in 1973, after regime change, rial saidi was replaced to rial omani. Indeed, a highest currency from the Arabian gulf.
2) Bahrain: Bahraini Dinar (1 BHD = 2.65 USD)
Currency Code: BHD | Coinage denomination: 0.5, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, dinars | Banknotes denomination: 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 20 dinars | Issuance: Central Bank of Bahrain
Bahrain is a small island nation having 1.2 million population and an area of 765 km2. It is 3rd smallest nation in Asia after Singapore and Maldives. Bahrain has Kuwait as a neighbor and both has almost identical currencies – Dinar with 1000 fils. Dinar’s fixed exchange status is major reason for its high value. In 1890, the dinar was official pegged with IMF. Which resultantly, fixed its price at $1 = 0.376BD. Additionally, Bahrain allows its citizens to perform transaction with Saudi riyals as well with in the country.
1) Kuwait: Kuwaiti Dinar (1 KWD = 3.31 USD)
Currency Code: KWD | Coinage denomination: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 fils | Banknotes denomination: 0.25, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 20 dinars | Issuance: Central Bank of Kuwait
Yes it is an Arab state that rules 10 highest currency list – Kuwait. The dinar, that separates Kuwait from its gulf neighbors in the terms of value, was first introduced in 1960. So, why dinar is so valuable? It is because. First, it is a fixed currency, cannot be directly affected by market’s supply or demand, Second, Kuwait has world’s 10% oil reserves. And third, it central bank decided to peg the dinar to the US dollar. As a result of these 3 reasons, Kuwaiti dinar becomes highest-valued currency unit in the world.
It is a myth that a highest currency shows country’s economic strength. And then the question arises, why do some big economies fail in terms of currency in front of small economies? The simplest explanation is, nominal value of country’s currency has no relation with its economic. Even developing country like Jordan possess highest-valued currency. Small economic countries manage valuable currency by affixing it to given amount of US dollar. Hence, a powerful and strong currency is one who has international market demand, which in the case US dollar, euro, and yen has.
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Credits: Some images that are used in article and featured image are taken from Freepik.com.