What is 'JMD (Jamaican Dollar)'

JMD is the currency abbreviation for the Jamaican dollar, the currency for the island nation of Jamaica. The dollar is made up of 100 cents, and the symbol J$ or JA$ represents the money. The Cayman Islands also used the Jamaican dollar at one time. In the foreign currency market, the most common Jamaican dollar exchange is the USD/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 has special symbols or numerals in large print to help the visually impaired. Each note has the portrait of an eminent 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 famous 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 only to take Jamaican currency. However, merchants can establish their exchange rate so customers using foreign currency may encounter unfavorable exchange rates depending on the specific merchant’s policy.

According to World Bank data, Jamaica the country of Jamaica experiences a 7.0% annual inflation rate and has a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of a 4.6%, as of 2017, which is the most current year of available data.

The History of the Jamaican Dollar

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 the transaction via barter. After the Spanish colonized Jamaica in the 16th century, the gradual introduction of Spanish money became used for buying and selling 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 distinctive 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 circulated, but coins have since replaced some bills. A $1000 note began circulation in 2000, and a $5000 note debuted in 2009. Regulations established by the Bank of Jamaica set limitations for the number 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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