Hawaii Currency

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As Hawaii is a state of the USA, the official currency used in Hawaii is the U.S Dollar (USD). This is represented by the dollar symbol ($).

The USD comes in 18 denominations of coins and bills. There are six denominations in coins; the penny (one cent), the nickel (five cents), the dime (10 cents), the quarter (25 cents), the half dollar (50 cents) and the dollar (100 cents).

While there are 12 denominations of bills that are technically considered legal tender, only seven are still being printed. The seven bills in print are: $1, $2, $5, $20, $50 and $100.

While the USD was originally traded against the gold standard, this was discontinued in the 1970s and the USD now floats. It is considered a very strong currency.

History of the American Dollar

The US congress first adopted the dollar in 1792, hailing from the European ‘thaler’. While gold and silver were both traded (15-16 ounces of silver converted to an ounce of gold), gold tended to act as the central monetary basis. It wasn’t until 1900 that the US followed in British steps to adopt a wholly monometallic (gold only) system.

The US experimented with floating paper currencies over a number of centuries, but it wasn’t until Nixon introduced his temporary ‘easy money’ policies in 1970 when the USD lost 90% of its value and went through one of the most significant changes to western civilisation in five centuries. This event is known as the ‘Great Moderation’ and is now considered to have finished.

Interestingly, foreign coins were once accepted currency within the US. As they didn’t have enough precious metals at the time, Spanish dollars were permitted until 1857. It may also be surprising to learn that the highest-denomination bill ever printed was worth $100,000 – though was never circulated among the public.