Fijian pound

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Fijian pound
Central bank Reserve Bank of Fiji
 Website www.reservebank.gov.fj
User(s) Fiji
Subunit
 1/20 shilling
 1/240 penny
Symbol £
shilling s
penny d
Coins ½d, 1d, 3d, 6d, 1 shilling, 1 florin
Banknotes
 Freq. used 5/-, 10/-, £1, £5, £10 and £20
 Rarely used 1d, 1 and 2 shillings,
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

The pound was the currency of Fiji between 1873 and 1969. It was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.

History[edit]

From its earliest days as a British colony, British sterling coinage circulated in Fiji, supplemented by locally produced paper money. During the great depression of the 1930s, the Australian and New Zealand banks devalued their currencies in order to bolster exports to the UK. These banks also controlled the exchange rate for Fiji, and in 1933 the Fiji pound was devalued to £1.11 Fijian = £1 Sterling in order to bring it into line with the devalued New Zealand pound, even though the New Zealand pound would very shortly devalue further to bring it into line with the devalued Australian pound. In 1934, as a result of the break in parity with sterling, Fiji began to issue its own coins. When the pound sterling was devalued on 20 November 1967, Fiji immediately followed suit. However, over the next week, Fiji considered the adverse effects that this devaluation would have on imports to Fiji while keeping an eye on how Australia and New Zealand were going to respond to the situation. On 28 November 1967, Fiji decided to partially revalue its pound, hence resulting in a sterling exchange rate of £104.10.0 Fijian = £100 Sterling.[1] This had the effect of bringing the Fijian pound closer to its original relationship to the Australian and New Zealand units as existed prior to the upheavals which took place in the exchange rates at the time of the great depression in the 1930s. In 1969, the Fijian pound was replaced by the Fijian dollar at a rate of 1 Fijian pound = 2 Fijian dollars such that the new Fijian dollar was approximately equal to the new dollars in Australia and New Zealand.

For a more general view of history in the wider region, see The Pound Sterling in Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania.

Coins[edit]

In 1934, coins were introduced in denominations of ½, 1 and 6 pence, 1 shilling and 1 florin (2 shillings). A notable absence from this list is the 3 pence denomination which existed in all other territories which used sterling coinage. The absence of a 3 pence coin was a matter of considerable controversy. The larger denomination Fiji coins were the same size as the corresponding British coins, whereas the ½ and 1 penny cupro-nickel coins were smaller and had holes in them. In 1942 and 1943, coins were produced for Fiji at the San Francisco mint, resulting in brass ½ and 1 penny coins and 90% silver 6 pence, shilling and florin coins. In 1947, a nickel-brass dodecagonal 3 pence coin of identical size and shape to the corresponding sterling coin was finally introduced. Cupro-nickel replaced silver between 1953 and 1957.

Banknotes[edit]

In 1871, 1 pound notes were issued at Levuka on the island of Ovalau. These were followed in 1873 by notes of the Fiji Banking and Commercial Company in denominations of 5 and 10 shillings and 1 and 5 pounds. The Bank of New Zealand introduced notes in 1876 in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 20 pounds, followed by 10 shillings notes in 1918. The Bank of New South Wales issued 1 pound notes in 1901.

In 1917, as a wartime emergency measure, the government introduced 1 pound notes, followed by 5 and 10 shillings in 1920, 10 pounds in 1925, 5 pounds in 1926 and 20 pounds in 1934. Emergency issues were also made during World War II for 1 penny, 1 and 2 shillings.

References[edit]