‘Currency’ is a generally accepted form of money, including coins and paper notes, which is issued by a government and circulated within an economy. Used as a medium of exchange for goods and services, currency is the basis for trade. (Investopedia) Each country or region can have its own currency, with its own value, and in the Commonwealth of Australia the currency is the Australian Dollar: $. It is also the recognized currency in the Christmas Islands, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Norfolk Island, and the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribat, Nauru and Tuvalu.
It is based on a decimal system, where a dollar can be divided into 100 cents. Coins are available in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent denominations as well as 1 and 2 dollar. Notes comprise of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar denominations.
History of currency in Australia
The first legal currency in Australia when New South Wales was established in 1788 was the English Pound. However, as there was a shortage of money available to settlers, the most common currency used was rum. In the early 1800s the Spanish Dollar was also widely used, but this was actually illegal. To discourage the use of foreign currency, the centres of the Spanish coins were cut out to create two coins – the small centre called a ‘dump’ and worth 1 shilling, and the outer ring called a ‘holey dollar’ and worth 5 shillings. This was the first official coinage used in Australia. (Currency Encyclopedia)
In 1910 the Australian Notes Act was passed, with Australia a newly independent nation and the Federal government now responsible for the currency. The first series of Australian notes was issued in 1913, still based on the English pound, with 12 pence to a shilling, and 20 shillings to a pound. The Australian pound did not become distinct in value from the English pound until 1931.
As the preparations for decimalisation were under way, it was decided that Australia would develop an entirely new currency...