What Is the Netherlands Antilles Guilder (ANG)?

The Netherlands Antilles guilder (ANG), also known as the Dutch guilder, is the national currency of the islands of Curaçao and Sint Maarten. These islands were formerly part of the Netherland Antilles, but today form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Key Takeaways

  • The ANG is the national currency of Curaçao and Sint Maarten.
  • These island nations were formerly part of the Netherland Antilles.
  • Today, Curaçao and Sint Maarten are considering replacing the ANG with a new currency, the Caribbean guilder (CMg). The U.S. dollar (USD) and the euro (EUR) are also being considered.

Understanding the ANG

First introduced in 1700, the ANG served as the national currency of the Netherland Antilles until the dissolution of that country in 2010. 

Prior to its dissolution, the Netherland Antilles was comprised of several Caribbean islands. These islands gained growing autonomy through a series of constitutional reforms, until they entered into an equal partnership with the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1954.

The dissolution of the Netherland Antilles began with the secession of the island of Aruba in 1986. Throughout the 2000s, five additional island nations held votes on the level of autonomy they wished to hold over their political affairs. The results saw the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba remain as special municipalities within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while Curaçao and Sint Maarten opted for greater self-governance.

In the years since these reforms, three of these island nations—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba—have opted to adopt the U.S. dollar (USD) as their national currency. However, Curaçao and Sint Maarten continue to use the ANG.

Real World Example of the ANG

The Netherlands Antilles guilder is also sometimes called the Antillean guilder. The ANG uses a decimal system-based currency subdivided into 100 cents; coins are circulated in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents. Banknotes are in denominations of five, 10, 25, 50 and 100 guilders, all of which feature a unique bird of the region on one side of the bill. Its symbol, ƒ, is often used interchangeably with the Antillean guilder abbreviated as NAƒ.

In recent years, Curaçao and Sint Maarten have explored replacing the ANG with a new currency known as the Carribean guilder (CMg) whose value would be pegged to the USD. However, the adoption of this currency has been delayed owing to political negotiations concerning the location and governance of the new central bank.

This has led to a difficult situation on the islands, as their central bank had ceased printing new ANGs in anticipation of the new currency rollout. Because of this, the islands are now expected to run out of physical ANG coins and bills within the next few years. Consequently, Curaçao and Sint Maarten may need to adopt an alternative currency, such as the USD or the euro.