What Is the Guyanese Dollar?

GYD - Guyanese dollar is the official currency of Guyana. The Guyanese dollar is made up of 100 cents and is often represented with the symbol G$. However, one-cent coins are no longer used in Guyana due to inflation.

The modern banknotes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 100, 500 and 1,000 dollars. Coins are now issued in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and 1, 5 and 10 dollars.

As of mid- 2018, a Guyanese dollar equated to a little less than half a U.S. cent. Therefore, it took about 200 Guyanese dollars to equal a U.S. dollar. The currency hasn’t moved relative to the dollar for several years, as it is pegged to movements in the U.S. dollar.

Understanding the Guyanese Dollar (GYD)

GYD- Guyanese dollar debuted in 1839 as a transitional currency from Dutch guilders to British pound sterling. It first appeared in its present form in 1966, when the country gained its independence from Great Britain.

GYD trades in very little volume on world global exchange markets, as Guyana is among the poorest countries in South America. As of 2018, gross domestic product per capita was less than $10,000 U.S. Therefore, it historically has been of little interest to currency traders, and remains very low on the list of top currency pairings. Even regionally, the Guyanese dollar is far from a powerhouse.

However, the country made its first offshore oil discovery in 2015 - about 3.2 billion barrels in potential reserves. The first production is expected in 2020, which could greatly strengthen the country’s balance sheet, improve the economy and potentially increase the trading volume of its currency. The International Monetary Fund is working to help Guyana improve its fiscal system, as well as its regulations related to oil discovery.

Hard currency is heavily circulated within the country, however, as credit cards and electronic banking remains very limited, as does the retail banking system, in general. U.S. dollars also are widely accepted in several parts of the country.

History of GYD

Guyana has a population of about 775,000, or a little more than half that of Hawaii. Along the North Atlantic coast of South America, the country is known for its rainforests, and traditionally, for its trading in sugar and other commodities. More recently, the country exports included gold and bauxite, the latter of which is used in aluminum production.

For many years, Guyana and other territories of the British West Indies used pound sterling. This largely was the case, until the country gained its independence from the U.K. on May 26, 1966, at which time federal bank notes began to circulate.

Due to continued inflation, the government introduced a 1,000 bill in the late 1990s and issued new currency with increased security features in 2005.