What Is the Cayman Islands Dollar - KYD?

KYD is the currency abbreviation or currency symbol for the Cayman Islands dollar (KYD), the currency for the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory that includes Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac.

The Cayman Islands are a well-established offshore financial center. The Cayman Islands dollar comes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 dollars as well as coins. The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority manages the currency.

The Basics of the Cayman Islands Dollar

The Cayman Islands dollar was first seen in 1972, replacing the Jamaican dollar on a one-to-one basis. Both Jamaican and Cayman Island currency was used until 1972 when the Jamaican currency was discontinued. 

KYD is the abbreviation of the Cayman Islands Dollar, which is the currency that replaced the former island currency of the Jamaican dollars in 1972. The KYD is made up of coins, which were minted by World Coin Corporation, in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, and 25 cents. The banknote, or paper currency, was originally minted by Thomas De La Rue and Company, in denominations of $1, $5, $10 and $25. KYD has two recognized symbols, $ and CI$. The British Royal Mint was responsible for minting the currency in $40, $50 and $100 denominations.

In 1974, the 1971 Currency Law was updated to reflect the parity between the KYD and the US Dollar, which is KYD $1 = US $1.2. This law is called the 1974 Currency Law and it still stands today. Since 1997, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has been responsible for the issuing of all currency within the Cayman Islands.

Key Takeaways

  • KYD is the currency abbreviation or currency symbol for the Cayman Islands dollar (KYD), the currency for the Cayman Islands. 
  • The currency relies on a fixed exchange rate pegged to the U.S. dollar at KYD $1 = USD $1.2
  • KYD has two recognized symbols, $ and CI$.

The Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are a group of island territories belonging to the United Kingdom. Located in the Caribbean Sea, the islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman make up the island chain. Christopher Columbus initially named the island chain Las Tortugas, due to the number of turtles in the region. The islands are mainly known for their tourist attractions and international financial services, thanks to picturesque beaches and very little regulatory oversight in the banking sector.

The Cayman Islands wrote their constitution into law in 2009, which states that an appointed governor is the head of the state acting on behalf of the monarch. The islands are still represented by the British monarchy.

The capital of the islands is George Town where the Cayman Islands National Museum can be found. There, visitors can learn all about the islands and their histories.

Schooling on the islands is both free and mandatory at a primary level. The islands have three colleges available to residents looking to pursue higher education.

The islands were hit hard by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and a national disaster was declared. With an economy that relies so heavily on tourism, the resulting damages limited their desirability as a tourist attraction. After a strong effort by the government to repair the damages, the island has regained most of its lost revenues over the ensuing years.

Real World Example of KYD

The KYD is pegged to the U.S. dollar whereby one Cayman dollar is equal to 1.20 U.S. dollars. For example, let's say you were sending a wire transfer to the Cayman Islands and wanted to convert $1,000 to KYD. The exchange would result in 833.60 in Cayman dollars ($1,000/1.20).