Hong Kong Dollar

Name of currency: Hong Kong Dollar

Country / countries used: Hong Kong, Macau

Symbol: $

Brief history:

The Hong Kong dollar is the currency in Hong Kong, and is sometimes unofficially used in Macau. It is abbreviated as ‘HK$’ at times to differentiate from other dollars used around the world. The code for this currency is ‘HKD.’ Recently, this dollar was deemed the eighth most traded currency in the world.

Hong Kong was first developed as a trading port in 1841, without any common currency being used. Instead, traders used Indian rupees, Spanish and Mexican reales and Chinese cash. The British government had the intention to introduce sterling silver coinage to all of the colonies, but the locals preferred the Spanish dollar system, therefore making the sterling silver coins unnecessary. Instead, a local mint made Hong Kong silver dollars that were similar to the Mexican coins used previously.

Even though this new currency was similar to what was used previously, the new dollars were not received well and the area found itself in debt. In 1873, the silver crises made silver coins less valuable than those that were gold based, affecting the foreign exchange rate for the Hong Kong dollar. By the year 1935, China and Hong Kong were the only countries that continued to use the silver dollar. Soon, Hong Kong followed China’s lead and began using sterling as an alternative.

The exchange rate for the Hong Kong dollar is mostly compared with Japanese yen. This Hong Kong currency is issued by the government and by three local banks. All notes are printed at Hong Kong Note Printing Limited. Coins come in amounts of 10 cents, 20c, 50c, $1, $2, $5, and $10. Notes come in $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000. $10 banknotes are no longer produced, but are still circulating and accepted.

In 2007, a new polymer note was produced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong returning to China, but in 2010 and 2011 a new series of notes was introduced. Hong Kong has a linked exchange rate system, which speaks strongly about the official reserves of Hong Kong.

Best Exchange Rates UK specializes in information on foreign exchange rates for many currencies, the Hong Kong dollar included.