The Singapore dollar or Dollar (sign: $; code: SGD) is the official currency
of Singapore. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively S$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.
Summary information about Singapore dollar
- ISO 4217 Code:
- Currency sign:
- Singapore, Brunei
- 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 dollar
- 2 dollars, 5 dollars, 10 dollars, 20 dollars, 50 dollars, 100 dollars, 1000 dollars, 10000 dollars
- Central bank:
- Monetary Authority of Singapore
Coins found from sites such as Fort Canning Hill and the new Parliament House Complex, dating back as early as the 10th and 11th centuries, proved that Singapore was already a busy trading centre long before the establishment of the British East India Company in the region. Research has shown that from 8th century AD, Chinese copper cash imported by Chinese merchants became the main currency for trade in the Malay Peninsula. A local indigenous version, pitis, cast from tin, eventually evolved from this model during the last two decades of the 18th century.
By the 15th century, currencies made from native materials such as gold, tin and pewter were used. These included tampang or money cast in shapes of pagodas and pyramids and tin-animal money. The tampang developed into the lighter hollow 'tin-hat' shape and was used up to 1893. Some states such as Johor, Kelantan and Trengganu also issued gold coins from the 15th to 18th centuries, while conventional shaped tin coins appeared in Malacca in the 15th century. Pewter coins were issued in Trengganu and Kelantan in the 18th century.
The Malay Peninsula was a central emporium of trade between the Chinese merchants in the east, and the Indian as well as Arab traders. A variety of other currencies were issued in the Malay Peninsula by the 15th century. There was no dominant native currency. The Spanish dollar was the main unit of account and other coins were also in circulation. The early days of the Straits Settlements of Singapore were marked by an acute shortage of currency. Indian and Penang coinage were the official standards, but merchants preferred the Spanish and Mexican silver dollars because of the high quality silver in these coins.
Owing to the wide and varied trade in the island, a much greater range of silver dollars such as the Peruvian, Bolivian, Hong Kong and American dollars, and the Japanese Yen
were also in circulation. Under those circumstances, a problem of an established exchange medium arose.
The Portcullis trade coins were struck at the command of Queen Elizabeth I to be used for trade by the East India Company in the East Indies in the same way as the British Trade Dollar circulated in the Far East some 300 years later. These were the first coins issued for the British Empire outside the normal coinage that were issued for England. These coins show no denomination, but they were issued to be equivalent to the 1, 2, 4 and 8 Spanish reale coins. Their denominations were usually referred to as testers.
The coins were struck for the first and last time in January 1601 and they formed a part of the money supply in the East Indies in 1602. However, the East Indies did not readily accept these English trade coins.
Singapore was a dependency of Bengal until 1826, when it was amalgamated with Malacca and Penang to constitute the Presidency of the Straits Settlements.
Japanese forces invaded Malaya on 17 December 1941 and completed their conquest of the Peninsular in February 1942 when Singapore surrendered.
The Japanese Army brought with them serially numbered $1, $5 and $10 notes. These notes, with a code letter "M", bore the inscription "The Japanese Government Promises To Pay The Bearer On Demand". The currency notes were intended to circulate at par with the existing British Malayan currency notes. Later, when the British Malayan currency notes were withdrawn, minor notes in denominations of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢ and 50¢, were issued in place of coins.
When the war ended, Singapore reverted to British control, with increasing levels of self-government being granted, culminating in Singapore's merger with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia in 1963.
Singapore obtained political independence from Malaysia in 1965. On 12 June 1967, the currency union which had been operating for 29 years came to an end, and the three participating countries, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei each issued its own currency. Singapore issued its own currency, by the newly established Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore (BCCS) under the Currency Act of 1967. However, to maintain some degree of currency cooperation, the three countries agreed on the Interchangeability Agreement of 1967, which allowed the new Bruneian, Malaysian and Singapore Dollars to be used as customary tender in all three countries. This meant that the currencies of the 3 countries were interchangeable at par value.
In 8 May 1973, the Malaysian government decided to terminate the agreement, however Brunei and Singapore continued with the Agreement until the present day.
The Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore, was dissolved on October 1, 2002 and its functions, property and liabilities have been transferred to the MAS Currency Department.
The First Series of circulation coins was issued on 20 November 1967. These coins, displaying various designs, represented a dramatic break from the past, as coins issued by previous currency commissions had borne only the effigy of the reigning British monarch on the obverse. This was a reflection of the new status which Singapore had gained as an independent republic in 1965.
The coins in this series have a common reverse design. The denomination of the coin is in the centre with the year-date at the top. Two stalks of paddy are on the left with the word "SINGAPORE" on the right.
The Second Series of circulation coins bear the Flora theme and feature local plants and flowers. It is aimed at enhancing Singapore's image as a garden city. Four denominations, namely the 5-cent, 10-cent, 20-cent and 50-cent coins, were the first to make their appearance on 2 December 1985, followed by the 1-cent and 1-dollar coins on 28 September 1987.
The obverse design of the coins bears the Singapore Arms in the centre surrounded by the word "SINGAPORE" in the four official languages (English, Chinese, Malay, Tamil) around the circumference of the coins. The year-date is below the Singapore Arms. In addition, a ring of dashes surrounds the Singapore Arms on both the 10-cent and 50-cent coins. There is an octagonal frame around the circumference of the 1-dollar coin; its milled edge bears the inscription "REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE" and a lion symbol. Since 28 May 1990, the 50-cent coin has had a plain edge with the inscription "REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE" and a lion symbol.
The First Series (1967 - 1976) has nine denominations. The dominant feature is a spray of orchids in the centre of the front of each note. On the front, all notes have the Singapore Arms, a watermark of a lion's head and the signature of the Minister for Finance and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore. With the exception of the $10,000 note which has two security threads, each note has a single thread embedded vertically across the note. A scene of Singapore is depicted on the back.
The Second Series (1976 - 1984) also has nine denominations as in the first except that a $20 note was introduced to replace the $25 note of the Orchid series. The dominant feature is a bird on the left side of the front of each note. The birds depicted on the notes are noted for their strength, adaptability and independence which characterize the young Republic of Singapore with the potential of soaring to greater heights in its progress.
On the front, all notes have the Singapore Arms, a watermark of a lion's head and the signature and seal of Minister for Finance and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore. With the exception of the $1,000 and $10,000 notes which have two security threads, each note has a security thread embedded vertically across it.
The Third Series (1984 - 1999) also has nine denominations. The denominations are similar except that the previous $20 note was discontinued and a new denomination of $2 note was introduced. The pictorial and aesthetic themes of this series are based on maritime vessels and the modern development of Singapore. The vignettes on the front of the Ship notes depict vessels that have plied the waters of Singapore over the centuries. The series starts with the merchant craft of bygone days, and progresses to the modern bulk carrier which is featured on the highest denomination. The series pays tribute to the contributions of merchant shipping to the development of Singapore from an entrepot trading centre to the busiest port in the world.
On the front, all notes have the Singapore Arms, a watermark of a lion's head and the signature and seal of Minister for Finance and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore. On the front centre panel are creatures from Chinese mythology printed in colour lithographic offset prints. Each note has a security thread embedded vertically across it.
On the reverse of the notes are scenes depicting Singapore's achievements in the fields of communication, housing, defence and port management. The orchid featured on the back of all the Ship series notes is the national flower of Singapore, Vanda Miss Joaquim.
The Fourth Series (1999 - PRESENT) marks the first time a portrait has been featured as its main design theme. The portrait of Singapore's first President, the late Encik Yusof Bin Ishak was chosen in honour of his invaluable contribution towards nation building.
The front of all the notes feature the Singapore Arms, a watermark of the portrait, the Singapore Lion symbol, the word Singapore in the four official languages, as well as the signature and seal of the Chairman, BCCS or Chairman, MAS. The back of each denomination features a unique theme based on the first President's biography. The themes are Education, Garden City, Sports, Arts, Youth, Government and Economics.
The Portrait series has to strike a balance between simplicity and clarity in design on one hand and sophistication in security features on the other. At the same time, the public-recognition security features must be effective and easy for users to recognise and remember. To help meet these requirements, a standard designing approach was adopted across all denominations of the Portrait series.
Commemorative banknotes are also released, usually in limited quantities. The first commemorative banknote was released on 24 July 1990, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Singapore's independence. On December 8, 1999, to celebrate the coming 2000 millennium, 3 million $2 millennium notes were circulated. The note is similar to the $2 portrait series, except that the prefix of the serial number is replaced with a Millennium 2000 logo. These millennium notes are printed on paper as polymer notes were not introduced yet then.
On 27 June 2007, to commemorate 40 years of currency agreement with Brunei, a commemorative S$20 note was launched; the back is identical to the Bruneian $20 note launched simultaneously. A circulation version of the $20 note can be exchanged at banks in Singapore beginning July 16, 2007, limited to two pieces per transaction.
SGD banknotes pictures gallery
|2 Singapore dollar|
|Banknote of 2 Singapore dollar has dimensions 126×63 mm and main colors are almond, platinum, byzantium, thistle, twilight lavender, pastel purple, rosy brown and white smoke. The banknote of 2 Singapore dollars was issued in 2010.|
Obverse side of the 2 Singapore dollar is showing the portrait of President Yusof bin Ishak and the Money Cowrie.
Reverse side of the 2 Singapore dollar is showing the Education Theme.
|5 Singapore dollar|
|Banknote of 5 Singapore dollar has dimensions 133×66 mm and main colors are moss green, gray-asparagus, dark sea green, xanadu, anti-flash white, grullo, pastel gray, cambridge blue, tea green and isabelline. The banknote of 5 Singapore dollars was issued in 2007.|
Obverse side of the 5 Singapore dollar is showing the portrait of President Yusof bin Ishak and the Gold-Ringed Cowrie.
Reverse side of the 5 Singapore dollar is showing the Garden City Theme.
|10 Singapore dollar|
|Banknote of 10 Singapore dollar has dimensions 141×69 mm and main colors are moss green, gray-asparagus, dark sea green, xanadu, anti-flash white, grullo, pastel gray, cambridge blue, tea green and isabelline. The banknote of 10 Singapore dollars was issued in 2009.|
Obverse side of the 10 Singapore dollar is showing the portrait of President Yusof bin Ishak and the Wandering Cowrie.
Reverse side of the 10 Singapore dollar is showing the Sports Theme.
|20 Singapore dollar|
|Banknote of 20 Singapore dollar has dimensions 145×69 mm and main colors are bisque, pale gold, fawn, peach-orange, wheat, snow, rose ebony, khaki, pale gold and isabelline. The banknote of 20 Singapore dollars was issued in 2007.|
Obverse side of the 20 Singapore dollar is showing the portrait of President Yusof bin Ishak and "Dendrobium Puan Noor Aishah" orchid.
Reverse side of the 20 Singapore dollar is showing Text reading "BRUNEI DARUSSALAM. SINGAPORE and CURRENCY INTERCHANGEABILITY AGREEMENT 1967 - 2007" and national landmarks of Singapore and Brunei.
|50 Singapore dollar|
|Banknote of 50 Singapore dollar has dimensions 156×74 mm and main colors are dark cerulean, light slate gray, timberwolf, mint cream, white smoke, pastel gray, desert sand, tan and gainsboro. The banknote of 50 Singapore dollars was issued in 2009.|
Obverse side of the 50 Singapore dollar is showing the portrait of President Yusof bin Ishak and the Cylindrical Cowrie.
Reverse side of the 50 Singapore dollar is showing the Arts Theme.
|100 Singapore dollar|
|Banknote of 100 Singapore dollar has dimensions 162×77 mm and main colors are burlywood, bronze, desert sand, wheat, champagne, pale spring bud, almond, pearl, sand and white smoke. The banknote of 100 Singapore dollars was issued in 2009.|
Obverse side of the 100 Singapore dollar is showing the portrait of President Yusof bin Ishak and the Swallow Cowrie.
Reverse side of the 100 Singapore dollar is showing the Youth Theme.
|1000 Singapore dollar|
|Banknote of 1000 Singapore dollar has dimensions 170×83 mm and main colors are piggy pink, dim gray, pale chestnut, misty rose, rose quartz, raspberry glace, thistle and seashell. The banknote of 1000 Singapore dollars was issued in 2010.|
Obverse side of the 1000 Singapore dollar is showing the portrait of President Yusof bin Ishak and the he Government Theme.
Reverse side of the 1000 Singapore dollar is showing the Government Theme.
|10000 Singapore dollar|
|Banknote of 10000 Singapore dollar has dimensions 180×90 mm and main colors are pale taupe, antique brass, tan, antique brass, light taupe, khaki, pale chestnut, pale silver and champagne. The banknote of 10000 Singapore dollars was issued in 1999.|
Obverse side of the 10000 Singapore dollar is showing the portrait of President Yusof bin Ishak and the Onyx Cowrie.
Reverse side of the 10000 Singapore dollar is showing the future of Economics Theme.
- About Monetary Authority of Singapore:
- Monetary Authority of Singapore
- List of currencies:
- Security and design features of SGD banknotes:
- SGD banknotes
- SGD currency on Wikipedia:
- Singapore dollar
- Official Website of Monetary Authority of Singapore:
- Commemorative coins:
- Commemorative Coins