Cayman Currency

Exploring the Cayman Islands Currency: 10 Fascinating Insights

Let’s talk about the currency of the Cayman Islands, which is called the Cayman Islands Dollar (CI$) and discover what makes it unique. Notably, it’s worth mentioning that the US Dollar (USD) is widely accepted across the Cayman Islands, so you can rest assured that you won’t face any issues if you don’t have Cayman Islands Dollars on hand.

Inception of Local Currency

Inception of Local Currency

The Cayman Islands introduced its own currency in 1971. Initially, banknotes came in four denominations: $25, $10, $5, and $1. In 1981, two new denominations, $100 and $40, were introduced, and the $40 bill eventually got phased out.

Coinage Diversity

Coinage Diversity

The Cayman Islands Dollar is divisible into 100 cents and comprises four coin denominations: 25 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, and 1 cent. Interestingly, these coins decrease in size with decreasing value, unlike U.S. coins. Remarkably, the 5 cent piece is simply called “5 cents” and not referred to as a nickel.

Exchange Rates

Exchange Rates

The Currency Law of 1974 pegged the CI dollar at a rate 20% higher than the US dollar, with CI$1 equating to US$1.20, and US$1 equivalent to CI$0.80. In terms of the British Pound Sterling (UK £), the CI dollar is 19% lower. Commercially, a 0.82 exchange rate is utilized for salary payments and business transactions.

Local Coin Usage

Local Coin Usage

The US dollar circulates alongside the CI$, but merchants do not provide change in US currency. Local checking accounts can be opened in either US$ or CI$. However, British Sterling does not circulate and must be exchanged for the local currency. Additionally, Canadian dollars and Euros are also exchangeable.

Distinctive Banknotes

Distinctive Banknotes

Each Cayman Islands banknote measures 156mm x 66mm and features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side, along with the Cayman Islands Coat of Arms. All notes incorporate security features like a security thread, a watermark image of a turtle, and serial numbers. The $1 note is blue, the $5 note is green, the $10 note is pink, the $25 note is brown, the $50 note is blue, and the $100 note is orange.

Unique Coin Designs

Unique Coin Designs

All coins display a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The 25-cent coin showcases a two-masted Cayman schooner, the 10-cent coin features a hawksbill turtle, the 5-cent coin displays a crayfish, and the 1-cent coin portrays a thrush bird on a tree branch.

Minting Origins

Minting Origins

The Cayman Islands’ first circulating coins in 1971 were minted by the Royal Mint in Britain. Between 1977 and 1984, the Franklin Mint in the USA took over coin production. Since 1986, the Royal Mint has once again been responsible for minting Cayman Islands coins. The 1-cent coins are struck in copper, while the other coins are composed of nickel-plated steel.

Note Printing Location

Note Printing Location

Cayman Islands banknotes are printed in the United Kingdom by Thomas De La Rue and Company Limited, the world’s largest commercial currency printer and papermaker. De La Rue is renowned for its involvement in producing over 150 currencies, including those of Venezuela, Scotland, and Bermuda. Notably, the Cayman dollar holds the distinction of being the highest-valued dollar unit globally.

Historical Transition

Historical Transition

Prior to 1971, the Cayman Islands were part of Jamaica and utilized its national currency. However, in September 1970, the UK approved the introduction of a new and independent currency for the Cayman Islands. A Currency Committee was entrusted with the task of launching the new currency, which was named the dollar due to its relative value compared to the US dollar.

A Surprising Fact

As of September 2010, a staggering $9 million worth of Cayman Islands coins were in circulation, with a remarkable $805,274 of that sum accounted for by 1-cent coins.

This article has been collaboratively crafted with the assistance of AI-driven insights and meticulously curated by Fevi Yu, our  SEO Content Manager. It has undergone rigorous editing and fact-checking by a Destination Editor-At-Large, who is also a resident of the Cayman Islands. Should you have any inquiries, require clarifications, or seek additional information, we invite you to contact us at [email protected]