Rhodesian dollar

The dollar (R$) was the currency of Rhodesia between 1970 and 1980. It was subdivided into 100 cents.

Rhodesian dollar
1 dollar note
ISO 4217
Banknotes1, 2, 5, 10 dollars
Coins12, 1, ​2 12, 5, 10, 20, 25 cents
User(s) Rhodesia
Central bankReserve Bank of Rhodesia
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.


The dollar was introduced on 17 February 1970, less than a month before the declaration of a republic on 2 March 1970. It replaced the pound at a rate of 2 dollars to 1 pound. The dollar proved to be a strong currency, at parity with the pound sterling right up to the very end of Rhodesia in 1980, when it was replaced by the Zimbabwean dollar at par. However, the Rhodesian dollar was never a fully convertible currency and its exchange rate was therefore not an indication of the underlying economics.

Half pound

In adopting the Rhodesian dollar, Rhodesia followed the pattern of South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand in that when it adopted the decimal system, it decided to use the half pound unit as opposed to the pound unit of account. The choice of the name dollar was favoured by the then Minister of Finance, John Wrathall, who regarded it as having international substance.[1]


On 17 February 1970 the Rhodesian dollar was introduced and was par to the Pound; the currency was factured as follows - bronze ​12 and 1 cent and cupro-nickel ​2 12 cent coins were introduced, which circulated alongside the earlier coins of the Rhodesian pound for 5, 10, 20 and 25 cents, which were also denominated in shillings and pence. New 5 cent coins were introduced in 1973, followed by 10, 20 and 25 cents in 1975. Coins were issued until 1977.


On 17 February 1970, the Reserve bank of Rhodesia introduced notes in denominations of 1, 2 and 10 dollars.[2] 5 dollar notes were added in 1972.

Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Denomination
Rhodesia1 Rhodesia1a 1 dollar Unknown Blue
Rhodesia2 Rhodesia2a 2 dollars Unknown Red
Rhodesia5 Rhodesia5a 5 dollars Unknown Orange(brown background)
Rhodesia10 Rhodesia10a 10 dollars Unknown Grey

Exchange rate history

This table shows the historical value of one Rhodesian dollar.

Date Official Rate Free / Parallel Rate notes
1970 (Feb) USD 1.40 - Parallel market starts 1970 (July)
1971 (Aug) ZAR 1.00 (- 30%) ZAR 0.769 Pegged to the ZA Rand
1971 (Dec) USD 1.52 (- 30% to 40%) USD 1.09 to USD 1.17 US dollar devalued
1972 (July) floated (- 20% to 30%) Floated at same time GBP was floated
1972 (Oct) USD 1.52; ZAR 1.19 - -
1973 (Feb) USD 1.69 - USD devalued
1973 (Jun) USD 1.773; ZAR 1.19 - ZA Rand and R$ revalued against USD
1975 (Sep) USD 1.60; ZAR 1.34 - R$ devalued against USD and ZAR
1977 (Oct) USD 1.50; ZAR 1.30 (- 69%) USD 0.46; ZAR 0.40 R$ devalued against USD and ZAR
1980 (Mar) - - Pegged to flexible basket (FRF, DEM, ZAR, CHF, GBP, USD)
1980 (Apr) - - Replacement by the Zimbabwean dollar Z$1 = R$1
1981 - - Rhodesian dollar demonetised under Statutory Instrument 378 of the Government of Zimbabwe


  1. ^ Unpopular Sovereignty: Rhodesian Independence and African Decolonization, Luise White, University of Chicago Press, 2015, page 124
  2. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Rhodesia". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com.

External links

Preceded by:
Rhodesian pound
Reason: decimalization
Ratio: 2 dollars = 1 pound
Currency of Rhodesia
(Zimbabwe since 1980)

1970 – 1980
Succeeded by:
Zimbabwean dollar
Reason: independence recognized
Ratio: at par
1970 in Rhodesia

The following lists events that happened during 1970 in the self-declared Republic of Rhodesia.

Antigua dollar

Antigua and Barbuda are actually two separate islands which operate as one country. Along with many other countries of the Caribbean, they use the East Caribbean dollar as their official currency, which was first brought into circulation in 1965 to replace the British West Indies dollar.

Banknotes of Zimbabwe

The paper money of Zimbabwe were physical forms of Zimbabwe's four incarnations of the dollar ($ or Z$) from 1980 to 2009. The banknotes of the first dollar replaced those of the Rhodesian dollar at par in 1980 following the proclamation of independence. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued most of the banknotes and other types of currency notes in its history, including the Bearer cheques and Agro cheques ("Agro" being short for Agricultural) that circulated between 15 September 2003 and 31 December 2008: the Standard Chartered Bank also issued their own emergency cheques from 2003 to 2004.

The Chiremba Balancing Rocks in Epworth, Harare is the main illustration on the obverse of regular banknotes of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe: for its emergency Bearer and Agro cheques, the rocks became part of the Reserve Bank's emblem that also appeared on the obverse. The reverse of dollar notes often illustrate the culture or landmarks of Zimbabwe.

The second dollar (ZWN) was replaced on 1 August 2008 by the third dollar (ZWR), which was then phased out by the fourth dollar (ZWL) with short notice on 2 February 2009 because it rapidly lost value. The economic and trade sanctions imposed against the Zimbabwean government and the Reserve Bank made it difficult to incorporate modern security features on most banknotes issued since September 2008.

The Reserve Bank originally planned to demonetise banknotes of the third dollar on 30 June 2009 but the Zimbabwean dollar as a whole has been suspended since 12 April 2009, implying that banknotes of both the third and fourth dollar are not de jure legal tender.

Coins of the Rhodesian dollar

The coins of the Rhodesian dollar were part of the physical form of Rhodesia's historical currency, the Rhodesian dollar.

Danish West Indian rigsdaler

The rigsdaler was the currency of the Danish West Indies (now the U.S. Virgin Islands) until 1849. It was subdivided into 96 skilling. The rigsdaler was equal to ​4⁄5 Danish rigsdaler. The rigsdaler was replaced by the daler.

Danish rigsdaler

The rigsdaler was the name of several currencies used in Denmark until 1875. The similarly named Reichsthaler, riksdaler and rijksdaalder were used in Germany and Austria-Hungary, Sweden and the Netherlands, respectively. These currencies were often anglicized as rix-dollar or rixdollar.


Dollar (often represented by the dollar sign $) is the name of more than 20 currencies, including those of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Liberia, Namibia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. The U.S. dollar is also the official currency of the Caribbean Netherlands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and Zimbabwe. One dollar is generally divided into 100 cents.

Greenlandic rigsdaler

The rigsdaler was the currency of Greenland until 1874. It was equal to the Danish rigsdaler which circulated in Greenland alongside distinct banknotes from 1803.

Grenadian dollar

The history of currency in the British colony of Grenada closely follows that of the British Eastern Caribbean territories in general. Even though Queen Anne's proclamation of 1704 brought the gold standard to the West Indies, silver pieces of eight (Spanish dollars and later Mexican dollars) continued to form a major portion of the circulating currency right into the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Britain adopted the gold standard in 1821 and an imperial order-in-council of 1838 resulted in Grenada formally adopting the sterling currency in the year 1840. However, despite the circulation of British coins in Grenada, the silver pieces of eight continued to circulate alongside them and the private sector continued to use dollar accounts for reckoning. The international silver crisis of 1873 signalled the end of the silver dollar era in the West Indies and silver dollars were demonetized in Grenada in 1878. This left a state of affairs, in which the British coinage circulated, being reckoned in dollar accounts at an automatic conversion rate of 1 dollar = 4 shillings 2 pence.

From 1949, with the introduction of the British West Indies dollar, the currency of Grenada became officially tied up with that of the British Eastern Caribbean territories in general. The British sterling coinage was eventually replaced by a new decimal coinage in 1955, with the new cent being equal to one half of the old penny.

Hawaiian dollar

The dollar or dala was the currency of Hawaii between 1847 and 1898. It was equal to the United States dollar and was divided into 100 cents or keneta. Only sporadic issues were made, which circulated alongside United States currency.

Malawian kwacha

The kwacha (; ISO 4217: MWK, official name Malawi Kwacha) is the currency of Malawi as of 1971, replacing the Malawian pound. It is divided into 100 tambala. The kwacha replaced other types of currency, namely the UK pound sterling, the South African rand and the Rhodesian dollar, that had previously circulated through the Malawian economy. The exchange rate of the kwacha undergoes fixed periodical adjustments, but since 1994 the exchange rate has floated. In 2005, administrative measures were put in place by Bingu wa Mutharika to peg the exchange rate with other currencies. Banknotes are issued by the Reserve Bank of Malawi. In May 2012, the Reserve Bank of Malawi devalued the kwacha by 34% and unpegged it from the United States dollar.

Mauritian dollar

In 1820, in response to a request from the British colony of Mauritius, the imperial government in London struck silver coins in the denominations of ​1⁄4, ​1⁄8, and ​1⁄16 dollars. The dollar unit in question was equivalent to the Spanish dollar and these fractional coins were known as 'Anchor Dollars' because of the anchor that appeared on them. More of these anchor dollars were struck in 1822 and not only for Mauritius but also for the British West Indies. In addition to this, a ​1⁄2 dollar anchor coin was struck for Mauritius. A year or two later, copper dollar fractions were struck for Mauritius, the British West Indies, and Sierra Leone.

The dollar was the currency of Mauritius until 1877. Initially, it was made up of Spanish dollars, with paper money and new coins being issued in the 1820s (see Anchor coinage). The dollar was initially pegged at a value of 2 Indian rupees, then at 4 shillings sterling. In 1822, coins for 25 and 50 sous were issued due to the continued use of the French colonial livre.

The dollar circulated alongside sterling and the Indian rupee. An unofficial exchange rate of 2 rupees to the dollar was used, although this overvalued the rupee for a time.

In 1877, the Mauritian rupee was introduced. It replaced the dollar at a rate of 2 rupees = 1 dollar.

Mongolian dollar

The dollar (Mongolian: доллар) was the currency of Mongolia between 1921 and 1925. Treasury notes were issued under Baron Ungern in 1921. The denominations were 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars. It was intended to replace the Chinese yuan at par but, according to European travellers of the time, was worthless. Further banknotes were printed in 1924, in denominations of 50 cents, 1, 3, 5, 10 and 25 dollars, but were not issued. The dollar, together with other circulating currencies, was replaced by the tögrög in 1925.

Pound (currency)

The pound is a unit of currency in some nations. The term originated in the Frankish Empire as a result of Charlemagne's currency reform ("pound" from Latin pondus, a unit of weight) and was subsequently taken to Great Britain as the value of a pound (weight) of silver.The English word pound is cognate with, among others, German Pfund, Dutch pond, and Swedish pund. All ultimately derive from a borrowing into Proto-Germanic of the Latin expression lībra pondō ("a pound by weight"), in which the word pondō is an adverb meaning "by weight" and related to the noun pondus ("weight"). The English word "pound" first referred to a unit of mass or weight; the monetary pound originated as a pound (by weight) of silver.The currency's symbol is £, a stylised representation of the letter L, standing for libra (Latin: "pound"). Historically, £1 worth of silver coins were a troy pound in weight; in August 2016 this amount of silver was worth approximately £170 sterling.

Today, the term may refer to the English name of a number of (primarily British and related) currencies and a variety of obsolete currencies. Some of them, those official in former Italian states and in countries formerly belonging to the Ottoman Empire, are called pound in English, while in the local languages their official name is lira.

Rhodesian pound

The pound was the currency of Southern Rhodesia from 1964 to 1965 and Rhodesia from 1965 until 1970. It was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.

Sumatran dollar

The dollar (Malay: ringgit, Jawi: ريڠݢيت) was the currency of British colony of Bencoolen (also known as Fort Marlbro' or Fort Marlborough; it is known as Bengkulu today) on the west coast of the island of Sumatra until the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, when the British Empire traded away Bencoolen for Malacca.

The dollar was subdivided into four suku (Malay, Jawi: ﺳوکو, English: quarter), each of 100 keping (Malay, Jawi: کڤڠ or کفڠ; English: pieces). The dollar was equal in value to the Spanish dollar. It was replaced by the Netherlands Indies gulden after the Dutch took over control of colony from the British in 1824.

Zimbabwe Bird

The stone-carved Zimbabwe Bird is the national emblem of Zimbabwe, appearing on the national flags and coats of arms of both Zimbabwe and Rhodesia, as well as on banknotes and coins (first on the Rhodesian pound and then on the Rhodesian dollar). It probably represents the bateleur eagle or the African fish eagle. The bird's design is derived from a number of soapstone sculptures found in the ruins of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe.

It is now the definitive icon of independent Zimbabwe with Matenga (2001) listing over 100 organisations which now incorporate the Bird in their logo.

Zimbabwean dollar

The Zimbabwean dollar (sign: $, or Z$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies) was the official currency of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 12 April 2009. During this time, it was subject to periods of above-average inflation, followed by a period of hyperinflation.The Zimbabwean dollar was introduced in 1980 to directly replace the Rhodesian dollar (which had been introduced in 1970) at par (1:1), at a similar value to the US dollar. Over time, hyperinflation in Zimbabwe reduced the Zimbabwe dollar to one of the lowest valued currency units in the world. It was redenominated three times (in 2006, 2008 and 2009), with denominations up to a $100 trillion banknote issued. The final redenomination produced the "fourth dollar" (ZWL), which was worth 1025 ZWD (first dollars).

Use of the Zimbabwean dollar as an official currency was effectively abandoned on 12 April 2009. It was demonetised in 2015, with outstanding accounts able to be reimbursed until April 30, 2016. In place of the Zimbabwean dollar, currencies including the South African rand, Botswana pula, pound sterling, Indian rupee, euro, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Chinese yuan, and the United States dollar are now regularly used.

Currencies named dollar or similar
but renamed
See also

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