History of Australian Dollar Symbol

The dollar sign is one of the most potent symbols for standard usage; the sign is usually written to the left of the specified amount, e.g. “$1”, read as “one dollar”. Different stories presented about the origin of the Australian dollar symbol. Some have hypothesised, it is originated by Bohemian coins; some people claimed the story of the Pillars of Hercules and harried merchants and some tell a tale of the slave and nail, but if you are looking from where the Dollar sign exactly comes from then you are in the right place. There’s a fantastic story behind its origin, but here’s a big hint: the dollar sign is actually a peso sign.


Most Acceptable Theory; a piece of eight:

In the sixteenth century, Spanish explorers found a considerable quantity of silver in the South American lands, they had just conquered. The areas were Rich with silver and Spain began mining massive amounts of silver coins called pieces of eight, or peso de ocho, “pesos” for short. So, the Spanish peso became the First coin for international trade.


Merchants recording trade transactions desired to use an abbreviation for “pesos” rather than writing out the whole word. So they select a letter P with a superscript S (ps), which becomes a P and an S overlapping. With the time they had dropped the bowl shape from the P letter completely, reducing the shorthand to an S crossed with the vertical line of what once was a P. And thus has created a brand new symbol, still used to mean peso today: the peso sign ($).These symbols first appeared in record documents around 1770.


Origin of dollar sign and Australia:

In contrast to other countries, Australia kept the sterling system for well over half a century after gaining independence from Britain. The Australians decimated their national currency five years earlier, but, in contrast to Britain, they decided to nullify the pound and adopt the Dollar. So on Valentine’s day of 1966, Australia introduced a new national currency that is Australian Dollar; pragmatic and economic one.


One new Australian Dollar was the equivalent of ten shillings. New Zealand followed Australia’s footsteps and replaced their currency with the New Zealand dollar in 1967. Some of the smaller islands such as Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru carry on with the Australian Dollar. It is interesting to know that it took a long time by Australia to make the switch to decimal currency. 


The other well-known theory:


Some people claimed The slave and nail story about the origin of the Australian Dollar symbol, they have been declared that the dollar symbol, $, is derived from the words for “slave” and “nail” in Spanish. The Spanish for the slave is esclavo and for “nail” is clavo. Therefore the “S” with a nail, $ is used as a symbol for dollars. It’s interesting to know how the past influences the future. After independence, Australia sought to have their currency as the symbol of their independence. Australian dollar was a step towards this approach.

Australian Dollar:


The Australian Dollar is the currency unit used in the Commonwealth of Australia. It is divided into 100 cents within Australia and is often presented with the symbols $, A$, or AU$. It is mostly symbolised with A$ to distinguish it from other dollar currencies. The Australian dollar has been in use since February 14, 1966 (its issuance date). AUD is the Abbreviation or currency code used for Australian Dollar. The Australian currency is regarded as a commodity currency due to its substantial raw material exports. Australian dollars use denominations of:

  • Coins 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, $2,
  • Notes $5, $10, $20, $50, $100



Other names:


Some other names used as an alternative of the Australian Dollar are Aussie, Menzies, Buck and dough.


Some Interesting facts:

  1.   The Aussie was divided into 20 shillings and 12 pennies.
  2.   Australia has made unique edition coins and notes to commemorate events, such as the Commonwealth Games of 1982.
  3.  Australia’s currency is uncommonly counter-cyclical and volatile.
  4.  After the introduction of the Australian Dollar, its international currency relationships were kept balanced under the Bretton Woods system, a constant exchange rate system.
  5.  The first Australian dollar commemorative coin was made in 1970, with a denomination of 50 cents.
  6.   In 1988, Australia officially introduced its first polymer banknote. 
  7.   The $1 and $2 coins are gold-coloured.
  8.    The $2 coin is smaller than the $1 coin.


What’s Dollar Called In Australia:


There are different local names in Australia for the Australian Dollar. Some of them contribute to money slang; here we share some of them.

Most commonly, any number of dollars can be called Dollorydoos. Twenty cents is two bobs while The Five Dollar note alone has at least 14 funny nicknames in the county it is called fiver, but if we move to fun part, it is named as “a Fairy Floss”, a “Skydiver”, a “Pink Lady”, or a “Pink Snapper”. Some of them got their names from the pink colour known as, a Piglet & Rasher, like Prawn – $5.


Two dollars is called a couple of quid. The blue ten-dollar note is named as a “blue swimmer”, a “blue tongue” or a budgie. (Blue Swimmer named for $10). The twenty-dollar note is named as Lobster. Hundred dollar note called ’’jolly green giant” or a ‘’Grey Nurse’’. The fifty dollar note term used by Australians is pineapple. For their five-cent coin Clunky Silver Echidna term is used. Commonly any number of Australian dollars can be called Dollorydoos.


Australians named their currency (Australian dollars) hilariously and uniquely. That makes enormous fun for them.


$1 U.S. in Australian dollars:

It’s relatively difficult to predict the future U.S. dollar to Australian dollar exchange rate because Australian Dollar has a fluctuating exchange rate. Many factors can influence the value of both U.S. and Australian currency; these factors include political, economic, and environmental events. The exchange rate is the estimate of how it costs to exchange one currency for another. The U.S. dollar is the currency widely used in international transactions and also by several countries as their official currency. The Australian Dollar is currently the fifth-most-traded currency in world foreign exchange markets.


1USD = 1.429593AUD


USD is the United States Dollar

AUD is the Australian Dollar

How to make the conversion from USD to AUD:

No. U.S. dollars to convert x exchange rate of 1 Australian dollar


Is Australian Dollar Stronger?


The Australian Dollar Often mentioned by its nickname the “Aussie,” is considered as the fifth most commonly traded currency in the world (behind the U.S. Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen and the British Pound) and one of the eight major currencies in the global market.


Australian Dollar is actively traded on the Forex market via currency pairings; it is paired with the U.S. dollar and in isolation through the buying and selling of outright future contracts on the CME Globex futures exchange. The demand for exports and imports influence the strength of the Australian Dollar. The Australian Dollar is right up there among the world’s most prominent players. In a speech delivered on February 1, Julia Gillard appreciates the strength of the Australian Dollar and predicted that:


 “Our dollar is likely to remain relatively high for years to come”. 


The other primary things that strengthen any country’s currency is the exchange rate. The exchange rate is the merit of one currency compared to others. Australia has a floating exchange rate that gives a dark spot at the strength of Australia dollar strength. As it is said that:


 “Past achievements are no indication of future results”.


Uncertainty in the economies of the Australian Dollar’s trading partners, as well as highs and lows in commodity pricing, can be a standby in the intermediate-term exchange rate fluctuations faced by the Aussie. The highest worth of the Australian Dollar comparative to the American Dollar was during the period of the peg. For a positive thought, we conclude that if the world economy continues a slow recovery, Australia’s economy will remain relatively stable. Federal Reserve bank rates have played a role in weakening the Australian currency.


For decades, balance of trade in Australia has depended primarily upon commodity exports such as minerals and agricultural products. This balance of trade for Australia means the Australian Dollar varies remarkably during the business cycle and improves during global booms as Australia starts exporting raw materials. Australian dollar drops during recessions as mineral prices collapse or when domestic spending overshadows the export earnings outlook. 


The Bottom Line:

Aussie is a “floating currency”; its value is estimated by the participants within the international currency markets at a given time. The Australian Dollar is a legal tender throughout Australia and the neighbouring small islands. When we move to the exchange rate, the Australian Dollar is both winner and loser. Still, we can say that at present, The Australian Dollar is a “safe and inexpensive currency” for American investors, but some international business transfers can be tricky.


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