SGD – Singaporean Dollar

Singapore dollar

SGD – Singaporean Dollar

A commonly held and utterly erroneous belief is that the Singapore Dollar is exclusively used within Singapore, in reality; it is also commonly used and even officially recognised as legal tender within Brunei. Given the fact that there are multiple currencies within the world which make use of the word “dollar” within them, such as the American, Australian, Hong Kong and New Zealand Dollar, the Singapore Dollar will often be prefixed with a capital S to signify that it refers exclusively to Singapore Dollar. Therefore, if a dollar amount should also be listed in this fashion, then it would be displayed as follows:


It is worth noting that the actual system used to compute and calculate the Singapore Dollar is precisely the same as all the other currencies in the world that also happen to rely upon a dollar as a unit of currency and so the Singapore Dollar consists of 100 cents to one Singapore Dollar.

The issue of currency within Singapore has been a patchwork of political and even military intrigue, with numerous different currencies being operative throughout the history of the country. Initially, Singapore relied heavily upon the Straits Dollar which was the official and legal tender used throughout all of the so called “Straits Settlements.”

However, the Straits Dollar system was only operative for a relatively short period of time, specifically, as it was introduced in the mid-19th century in 1845 and was disbanded and discontinued in 1939.

The decision to end the reign of the Straits Dollar system was not one that was freely made by the Singaporean people, rather, it was a unilateral and executive decision made by the Malaysian government. The unit of currency that superseded the Straits Dollar was the Malaysian Dollar which enjoyed a de facto monopoly within Singapore until 1953.

1953 heralded the introduction of a new currency to Singapore, the Malaya and Borneo British Dollar. When Singapore join Malaysia only a decade later, it still continued to rely upon the shared currency but this harmonious relationship quickly turned sour only 2 short years later. A highly sensitive and politically charged topic in both Singapore as well as Malaysia, historical accounts differ in the respective countries. What is quite evident however this is: both nations blame the other for the turn of events that lead to the breakdown in communications, and then utter alienation.

With diplomatic relations at an all time low, Malaysia decided to expel Singapore from its territories and grant it independence if only to be rid of what was widely perceived to be a poisoned chalice. As a direct consequence of this, the onetime, highly influential Monetary Union between the nations totally broke down entirely.

The Singaporean government, eager to strike whilst the iron was hot, sought to make effective use of their newly founded independence and so proactively implemented a policy of establishing international trade connections. With the Singaporean economy diversified and extremely prosperous this enabled the currency to enjoy a fairly prolonged period of stability and balance.

In the 25th of May 2010, the exchange rate between the Singaporean Dollar and the US Dollar peaked at 1.3111 per US Dollar, and fell to 1.2327 per US Dollar in 27th April 2011.

Traditionally, Singaporean currency was produced using exclusively paper for this purpose; however, this is now being phased out in favour of polymer. The reason for this change in the choice of fundamental material is due to the fact that polymer is much cheaper, and is also tougher to counterfeit. Counterfeit currency has become something of an ever-increasing security concern within Singapore, and with good cause.

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