What is 'JMD (Jamaican Dollar)'

JMD is the currency abbreviation for the Jamaican dollar, the currency for Jamaica. The dollar is made up of 100 cents and is often presented with the symbol J$ or JA$. The Jamaican dollar was also formerly used in the Cayman Islands. In the currency market, the most popular Jamaican dollar exchange is the USD to JMD rate.

BREAKING DOWN 'JMD (Jamaican Dollar)'

JMD (Jamaican dollar) banknotes are bills that currently come in denominations of $50, $100, $500, $1000 and $5000. The front side of banknotes have special symbols or numerals in large print to help the visually impaired. Each banknote has the portrait of an important Jamaican figure on the front, mainly either those considered Jamaican heroes or former prime ministers. The back side of dollar bills feature scenes of Jamaican locations or popular landmarks.

Many places in Jamaica that are frequented by tourists also accept U.S. dollars, but businesses located away from the main tourist hubs are more likely to only take Jamaican currency. However, merchants can establish their own exchange rate so customers using foreign currency may encounter unfavorable exchange rates depending on the specific merchant’s policy.

The JMD and the history of Jamaican currency

Throughout its history, Jamaica has used a variety of coins and banknotes from various countries. The region’s original inhabitants saw no real need for monetary currency, since they mainly conducted transaction via barter. After the Spanish colonized Jamaica in the 16th century, Spanish currency was gradually introduced as a way to buy and sell goods. Two centuries later, when Jamaica was a British colony, Jamaicans primarily used British currency, or a slightly customized version of it. At one point, it was the only British territory in the West Indies to use special pound sterling coins.

The Bank of Jamaica received exclusive rights to mint coins and banknotes produced in Jamaica in 1960, although De La Rue Currency Ltd. in England has printed bank notes used in Jamaica since 1920. The country adopted a decimal-based currency system in 1968. The Jamaican dollar first replaced the Jamaican pound in 1969. At the time, both coins and notes were issued, but some bills have since been replaced by coins. A $1000 note began circulating in 2000, and a $5000 note debuted in 2009. Regulations established by the Bank of Jamaica set limitations for the amount of coins that can be used in one transaction to purchase good and services, and also details the limits for specific denominations of coins allowed within those transactions.

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