Historical Currency Exchange Rates

 

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See also Prices, wages and other economic events

 

Approximate exchange rates, 1 local currency unit to UK£, for selected years and countries. A range indicates fluctuation within that year. For detailed exchange rate fluctuations in recent years see Economic Data. o = official rate. m = market rate. a = actual rate, by price comparison. Contemporary country names are used where territorial areas have not significantly changed or there is a direct successor-State. Figures in blue are currency to US$ rate.

 

 

US DOLLAR**

Rates to UK£

Afghanistan

Afghani

Albania

Lek (0.2 Fr)

Algeria

New Franc

Angola

Escudo

Argentina

Peso

Austria

 

1964

 

 

 

13.7

80.2

 

 

1960

 

40-60o

145-150m

 

 

 

 

70 Schillings

1948

 

 

 

 

 

 

70 Schillings

1938

4.9

 

126

 

 

11.0

 

1919

5.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

1908

6.0

 

 

 

 

6.0

10 Florins

1860

5.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Derived from Thaler. See bottom of page, other earlier currencies.

 

 

Belgium

Belga

Bolivia

Boliviano

Brazil

Cruzeiro

Bulgaria

Leva

Burkina Faso

CFA Franc

Burundi

Franc

1966

 

 

4,000 - 6,000

 

 

 

1965

 

 

 

3.5

 

 

1964

 

 

 

 

685

140

1938

35.6

 

41.7 Milre m

 

 

 

1903

26.0 Franc

 

24.0 Milre m

 

 

 

1898

 

13.3

41.7 Milre m

 

 

 

1896

 

 

26.7 Milre m

 

 

 

1891

 

 

19.2 Milre m

 

 

 

 

 

Cameroon

CFA Franc

Canada

Dollar

Chad

CFA Franc

Chile

Peso

1964

685

 

685

 

1957

 

 

 

 

1938

 

4.9

 

40

1900

 

4.87

 

14

1858

 

4.9

 

 

Ceylon – see Sri Lanka

 

 

China

Yuan

Colombia

Peso

Costa Rica

Colon

Cote D’Ivoire

CFA Franc

Cuba

Peso

1970

5.9

 

 

 

 

1967

7.1

 

 

 

 

1964

 

 

 

685

 

1957

6.5o

1.96

 

 

 

1938

17.1

5

10.5

 

4.9

1951

 

 

 

 

1.0

1900

8.0Tael*

 

10.5

 

1.0 / 5.3

1896

6.0Tael*

 

 

 

 

1875

3.25Tael*

 

 

 

 

*The Chinese Tael rate to the UK£ varied with the Sterling price of silver

 

 

Czechoslovakia

Koruna

Denmark

Kroner

Djibouti

Franc

Ecuador

Sucre

Egypt

Egypt£

1930

33.3

 

 

 

 

1954

7.2*

 

 

 

 

1968

 

20

 

 

 

1965

 

 

 

 

1.33

1964

 

 

600

 

1.22

1938

192

17.8

 

24.3

0.975

1900

 

18

 

9.6

0.98

1895

 

18

 

 

 

*In 1953 the Soviet administration of Czechoslovakia effectively eliminated all cash savings by issuing a new Koruna currency at 50 old Koruna – 1 new Koruna (except for the first 300 Koruna which could be exchanged at 5 to 1). Meanwhile all wages, pay ,taxes, was adjusted at 5 to 1. Thus, effectively, all private cash savings above 300 Koruna were slashed in value by 90%. The New Koruna was set at 12.50 = I Russian Rouble, with a totally notional rate of 7.2 Koruna = 1 US Dollar.

 

 

El Salvador

Colon

Eq. Guinea

Guinea Fr

Estonia

Kroon

Ethiopia

Dollar

1964

 

683

 

7.0

1957

 

 

 

7.0

1938

9.8

 

18.1

 

 

 

Finland

Markka

France

Franc

Gabon

CFA Franc

Gambia

W Afr £

Germany

Mark*

1964

 

 

685

1.0

 

1960

 

1,370

 

 

 

1938

192

128

 

 

20.4 R/Ma

1932

 

 

 

 

1.2 R/Ma

1928

 

Devalued

24/6/1928

5.2 to

25.5

 

 

 

1926

 

250

 

 

 

1925

 

70

 

 

 

1900

25

25, 5.5

 

 

23.0

1895

 

20

 

 

 

1880

 

25

 

 

 

1875

 

 

 

 

20.4, 4.1

1871

 

25

 

 

 

R/Ma = Reichsmark

 

 

Ghana

Ghana £

Greece

Drachma

Guatemala

Quetzal

Guinea (Port)

Guinea Escudo

1964

1.0

 

 

80.2

1938

 

480

4.9

 

1900

 

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haiti

Gourde

Honduras

Lempira

Hong Kong

Dollar

1958

 

 

17

1938

24.6

9.8

 

1905

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hungary

Forint

India

Rupee

Iran

Rial

Iraq

Dinar

Italy

Lira

Japan

Yen

1971

74

 

 

 

 

 

1970

 

20

 

 

 

 

1968

 

15

 

 

 

 

1958

 

13.3

 

 

 

 

1957

 

13.3

 

 

 

 

1938

28.2 Pengo

13.3

96

1.0

96

10.0

1927

 

 

 

 

85 - 92.5

 

1926

 

 

 

 

154

 

1925

 

 

 

 

132

 

1922

 

 

 

 

90

 

1908

 

15.0

 

 

 

10.0

1900

 

10.0 - 15.0

 

 

25

10.0

1860

 

10.0

 

 

 

5,320 Sapec (iron)

2 – 3 Itzabone (silver)

1* – 3* Cobang (gold)*

1854

 

10.0

 

 

 

 

1773

 

9.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*When Japan first opened up to western trade (1858 Treaty of Edo) they were unaware that they were trading their gold cobang coins with the west at one third the actual price of gold in the west. By 1860 they realised this mistake and adjusted the exchange rate.

 

 

Jordan

Dinar

Kenya

E Afr Sh

Latvia

Let

Lebanon

Dollar

Liberia

Dollar

Libya

Pound

Lithuania

Litas

1968

 

23.5

 

 

 

 

 

1967

0.85

 

 

13.3

 

 

 

1964

 

20

 

 

2.8

1.0

 

1952

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1938

 

 

25.3

 

 

 

49.2

 

 

Madagascar

Malagasy Franc

Malawi

Rhodes. $

Malaysia

Dollar

Mali

Franc

Malta

Scudi

1964

685

1.0

 

685

 

1952

480

 

 

 

 

1938

 

 

8.6

 

 

1825

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

Mauritania

CFA Franc

Mauritius

Rupee

Mexico

Dollar

1964

685

13.3

 

1908

 

 

10.0

1938

 

 

9.8 Peso

1900

 

 

4.8 Peso

 

 

Morocco

Dirham

Mozambique

Escudo

Myanmar

Rupee

Netherlands

Guilder

1968

12

 

 

 

1964

14

80.2

 

 

1938

 

 

 

17.5

1908

 

 

15

 

1900

 

 

 

12.0

1626

 

 

 

1.5 – 2.5

 

 

New Z’d

Dollar

Nicaragua

Niger

CFA Franc

Nigeria

Pound

Norway

Kroner

1969

0.5

 

 

 

 

1967

 

 

 

 

19.4

1964

 

 

685

1.0

 

1938

 

4.9

 

 

17.8

1908

 

 

 

 

18.0

 

 

Pakistan

Rupee

Palestine

Pound

Panama

Balboa

Paraguay

Peso

Peru

Sole

Philippines

Peso

Poland

Zloty

Portugal

Escudo

1968

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1966

 

 

 

 

75

 

 

 

1964

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

79.5

1962

13.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1938

 

1.00

4.8

5

18.1

 

43.6

107

1900

 

 

4.8

 

10.5

9.6

 

5.5 Milre

1864

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.1-4.4 Milre

 

 

Reunion

CFA Franc

Romania

Lei

Russia

Rouble

Rwanda

Franc

1969

 

 

2.4o

 

1968

 

30

2.5o

 

1965

 

 

2.5o

 

1964

685

 

3.3o

140

1963

 

 

3.9o

 

1962

 

 

 

 

1957

 

 

10.0o, 40.0a

 

1938

 

960

9.4

 

1900

 

 

9.5

 

1860

 

 

6.2*

 

*Russian silver rouble

 

 

South Africa

Rand

Spain

Peseta

Sri Lanka

Rupee

Sudan

Franc

Swaziland

S Afr Rand

1972

 

175

 

 

 

1964

2.0

167.5

 

0.975

2.0

1959

 

 

 

 

 

1938

 

25.3

13.3

0.975 Egt. Pound

 

1925

 

 

 

 

 

1900

 

25

 

 

 

1860

 

4.4 – 4.7*

 

 

 

*Peso duro, or Piastre

 

 

Sweden

Krona

Switzerland

Franc

Tanzania

Shilling

Thailand

1972

 

 

 

 

1964

 

 

20

 

1959

 

12.1

 

 

1938

17.8

25.3

 

10.9

1925

18

 

 

 

1900

18

25.3

 

 

 

 

Togo

CFA Franc

Tunisia

Dinar

Turkey

Lira

Uganda

Shilling

Uruguay

Peso

Venezuela

Bolivar

1972

 

 

 

 

 

 

1964

685

1.17

 

20

 

 

1938

 

 

1.1

 

4.7

25

1900

 

 

1.1 (Piastre = 106)

 

4.7

25

 

 

Western Sah.

Span. Pesesta

Yugoslavia

Dinar

Zambia

Pound

1964

167.5

 

1.00

1955

 

840

 

1938

 

274

 

 

Earlier currencies; year, area of circulation and rate to UK£

Daalder (ducat), 1500, Netherlands, 4.8

Dirham (gold) 700 AD, Arabia, 9.5

Dirham (silver) 700 AD, Arabia, 44

Ducat, 1600, Austria, Germany, Russia, 2.15, 1860 = 2.35.

Ducat, (silver) 1860, 1880, Italy, 6.0

Ducat** (Thaler, Dollar), 1860, Spain, 4.8;

Florin (or Gulden), 1860, Austria 10.0; southern Germany 12.0. originally a gold coin struck in Florence (hence the name) in the 13th century.

Gulden – see Florin

Livre, 1689, France, 15.3; 1711, France, 18.3. The Livre devalued due to excess State spending.

Mark*, An important international currency across Europe in the Middle Ages.

1042, Cologne, 2.0 ; 1190, 2 Cologne Marks equalled 1 Cologne Pound, or 1.33 UK Pounds;  1200-1600, England, 1.5 (i.e. 160 pennies); 1750, Prussia, 1 Mark = 14 Thalers**

Scudo, 1800, 1860, Papal States, 4.6 (both years).

**Thaler, 1820, Prussia, 7.0. The Thaler was made from silver mined in Joachimsthaler, Bohemia, and like the Mark became widely accepted, this time across the Hispanic world and then became the US Dollar.

*See below, Roman and Frankish currency.

**See top of page, US$.

 

Roman and Frankish currency

Originally, currency units were based on weight of certain metals, generally gold or silver; less commonly, copper or even iron, would be used. Merchants could use these (supposedly reliable, known) weights of silver/gold as an intermediary unit of value when trading one commodity for another, so avoiding the complexity of multiple barter rates. However over time the coinage was often debased (devalued); in other words its valuable-metal content was reduced. This enabled the State to extend its money supply, at the danger of creating inflation which would bring the total national coinage back down to its original value in commodity/purchasing power terms.

Original basic Roman currency unit = 1 As. 1 Semis = 0.5 As.

Pre-Augustus

2 ½ As = 1 Sestertius. symbol HS or IIS, signifying 2 ½. Sestertius derives from semi-tertius, meaning two and a half. 

4 Sestertius = 1 Denarius (= 10 As) = 1 Drachma (Greek)

Devaluation under Augustus (Emperor 27 BCE – 14 AD)

Basic currency unit = 1 As

4 As = 1 Sestertius.

4 Sestertius = 1 denarius (= 16 As).

Carlovingian Period

The Franks took over and continued many features of the Roman currency system. They took the Roman pound weight, of 12 ounces, and made 1 pound weight of silver equal to 240 denarii (pennies).

12 denarii = 1 solidus

20 Solidi  = 1 librae.

Denarius – penny (England) Pfennig (Germany).

Solidus – Shilling (England, Germany) –Sou (France)

Mediaeval devaluation

By the Middle Ages, a devaluation had occurred; to make matters worse, this devaluation of the coinage was uneven across Europe. In Cologne 240 pennies were now worth around 0.5 lbs of fine silver; this was adopted as the new standard. 120 pennies were then equivalent (in 1042) to 1 Mark#.

#See above, Earlier Currencies.

 

Weights

Quintale -  Originally, 50 kilograms, or around 112 lbs (one hundredweight). France, 1800s, Italy 1927. However the same name has been used to denote a metric weight of 100 kg.