Fiji’s currency represents the country’s richness in natural beauty, as well as its sometime tumultuous politics. The favourable exchange rate, and picturesque landscape of Fiji make it a great tourist destination for Canadians and Americans.
FAST FACTS: Fijian Dollar
- Symbol: FJ$
- Currency Code: FJD
- Subunits: cent (1/100)
- Coins: ¢5, ¢10, ¢25, ¢50, $1, $2
- Banknotes: $5, $10, $20, $50, $100
- Central Bank: Reserve Bank of Fiji
The Fijian dollar was the currency of Fiji from 1867 to 1873, when it was replaced by the Fijian pound, which lasted until 1969 when it was replaced by the Second Fijian dollar at a rate of 1 pound = 2 dollars. Even after replacing the pound the Fijian dollar continued to depict the Queen until 2013 when the newest series finally opted for local flora and fauna instead. The Queen was removed from the latest series of banknotes released in 2012 after Fiji was expelled from the Commonwealth. Fiji has since been readmitted to the organisation, but the Queen’s position on the currency was not reinstated.
The choice of the name ‘dollar’ stems from the fact that when the currency changed to the decimal system (i.e. 100 cents in a dollar), it was also devalued by about 50%, putting it closer in value to the USD than the pound.
Notes and Coins
The original coins were minted in 1969 and 1975. They were the same size and style as those of (relatively) nearby Australia. New coins were minted in 1995, and then a later batch was minted by the Royal Canadian mint in 2009.
|5 cent||Foxface rabbitfish||Drum||Nickel-clad steel|
|10 cent||Flying fox||Throwing club||Nickel-clad steel|
|20 cent||Kadavu shining parrot||Whale’s tooth||Nickel-clad steel|
|50 cent||Humphead wrasse||Outrigger canoe||Nickel-clad steel|
|1 dollar||Banded iguana||Drinking vessel||Nickel-clad brass|
|2 dollars||Peregrine falcon||Kava bowl||Nickel-clad brass|
King Seru Epensisa Cakobau, a Fijian warlord who united many of the fractious tribes to create a united Fijian Kingdom, released a series of banknotes between 1871 and 1873. The latest series was released in 2012.
|$5||Canoe masthead as a registration device, parrot, and the Fijian coat of arms||Crested iguana, Balaka palm, Masiratu, Mount Valili||Green|
|$10||Canoe masthead as a registration device, Beli fish and the Fijian coat of arms||Joske’s Thumb, Grand Pacific Hotel||Purple|
|$20||Canoe masthead as a registration device, Macgillivray storm bird, and the Fijian coat of arms||Fish processing, cutting lumber, mining, train, Mount Nabukelevu||Blue|
|$50||Canoe masthead as a registration device, Tagimoucia flower, and the Fijian coat of arms||Ceremonial presentation of Tabua and Yaqona||Red|
|$100||Canoe masthead as a registration device, Nanai, and the Fijian coat of arms||Map of Fiji, Tourism||Yellow|
The Fijian dollar typically has fluctuated between around 2.18 and 2.03 to 1 USD over the last year.
Fiji’s economy is one of the highest developed in the region, but it is still considered a developing country. Agriculture employs about 70% of the labourforce, and accounts for 18% of GDP. Sugar cane is responsible for as much as ⅓ of all industry in Fiji.
Emigration resulting from political uncertainty and underdevelopment has been a long standing issue for the economy, although remittances now account for as much as FJ$200 million per year. Much of the island is also communally owned, creating a complex system of property law for prospective investors. The country also has a large trade deficit as a result of the need to import many goods. Tourism is a major source of income for Fiji.
The bottom line
Fiji’s economy is on track for success as long as political stability takes root. Fiji has amazing natural sights, and a favourable exchange rate for Canadian and American tourists.
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