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SGD - Singapore Dollar

Singapore Dollar Converters

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The Singapore dollar is the official currency and legal tender of Singapore. It is issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The Singapore dollar (currency code: SGD) can be divided into 100 smaller units called cents, which is similar to other dollar currencies. In order to distinguish the Singapore dollar from other dollar currencies, instead of the usual $ sign, S$ can be used to differentiate it. In Singapore, it is more commonly referred to as the “Sing”. Each Singapore dollar that is currently circulating is backed up by the country’s foreign reserve, to ensure the economic stability and preserve the trust of the public.

History and Introduction

After Singapore became independent in 1965, it had lost its currency, previously shared with Malaysia. The Board of Commissioners of Currency was founded in 1967, for the purpose of setting up a new monetary system and the official currency. The result were notes known as the orchids, but the name was dropped over time in the favor of the Singapore dollar. Although Singapore has its own currency, due to close ties between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board, the Singaporean dollar and the Brunei dollar are mutually interchangeable. Each currency is accepted as customary tender in the other country, in accordance with the Currency Interchangeability Agreement.

Singapore Dollar Coins

After the Board of Commissioners of Currency established the orchid as the official currency and legal tender, the first series of coins was minted in 1967, in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, as well as 1 dollar. The series was in production up until 1985. The second series of coins was issued the same year, denominations 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 dollar, with the production run expected to end in 2017.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore released a new series of the Singapore dollar coins in 2013, whose designs features Singapore’s landmarks and national icons. This series of coins is minted from multi-ply plated steel planchets (round metal disks from which coins are struck), which are also used by the Royal Canadian mint. Apart from new security features which make the coins harder to counterfeit, the coins also feature a new design. The $1 bi-metallic coins depict the Merlion, whereas the 50-cent coins feature the Port of Singapore. In addition to those two, the new 20-cent coins will have the image of the Changi International Airport, the 10-cent coins will feature Singapore public housing, while the 5-cent coin will feature the Esplanade. A total of 6.71 million coins is currently is circulation, even though they are out of production since 2003.

Singapore Dollar Banknotes

There is total of 4 series of notes printed so far. The first, also known as the Orchid Series, was printed between 1967 and 1976, in nine different denominations. The name comes from the obverse of the bill, which features an orchid design. The orchid is the national flower of Singapore. The reverse of the notes depicts typical Singapore scenery. Each denomination has its own version of this design. All of them have the same Coat of Arms, a lion head watermark, and the signature of the Minister of Finance and the chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Currency on the face of the bill. An embedded security thread is standard on each one, except for the $10,000 note, which has two.

The second series of banknotes, named the Bird Series, printed from 1976 to 1984, also comes in nine denominations, with one clear distinction: the $25 note has been replaced by the $20 note. Just like with the Orchid series, it gets its name from the design on the face of the bill, which, in this case, features birds, which is supposed to represent Singapore’s flight to new heights and prosperity. Also, on the front of the note, are the same elements that can be found on the Orchid series notes. This time, however, both the $1000 and the $10,000 feature two vertical security threads.

The third series of notes, which was issued between 1984 and 1999, is called the Ship series. Again, the number of denominations is the same as in the previous two series. The only difference is the replacement of the $20 note with the $2 note. This theme was selected in order to emphasize Singapore’s importance as a port. The design depicts all the different types of ships that were used through Singapore’s history and which have had a place in its development. Again, this design is featured on the front, along with the standard security features. On the back of the note is now an orchid, as well as scenes from Singapore’s history.

The fourth and current series, named the Portrait series, was issued in 1999, with a portrait of Yusof bin Ishak, the first president of the Republic of Singapore, on the obverse of the note, while the reverse displays a feat of civic virtue. This series is printed on both polymer and paper. The differences are slight. The polymer notes feature a transparent window and are more slippery to the touch. Also, in order to help the people with visual impairments, they also feature Braille patterns. The $1 and the $500 denominations are missing this time around. The Singapore $10,000 note is the most valuable banknote in the world.


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