The Australian dollar is the official currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, which includes mainland Australia, its territories, as well as Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu and Zimbabwe. The Australian dollar, nicknamed "the aussie," uses the dollar sign ($), and is sometimes written as A$ or AU$ to distinguish it from other dollar currencies. The aussie is the fifth most-traded currency in the world, with a 8.6% share in daily transactions. The aussie divides into 100 cents, and is used in both coin and banknote forms. The aussie trades with the currency code AUD and is controlled by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
The Australian dollar came into use 14 February 1966. Between 1910 and 1966, the Australian pound was used, but the changeover to the dollar occurred when Australia decided for decimalisation. The new dollar was initially pegged to the pound sterling, but then was pegged to the US dollar in 1967. In 1976, the aussie switched again; this time as a moving peg to a basket of currencies, called a time weighted index. Then, beginning in 1983, the aussie began to float.
Coins and Bills
The Australian dollar is denominated in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills and 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 banknotes. All Australian coins are minted by the Royal Australian mint. Coins are medallic orientation, meaning the image is right side up when flipped on the vertical axis. Previously used 1c and 2c coins were discontinued in 1991, due to increasing values in metals. Polymer banknotes have been in use since 1988, containing high levels of security features, like transparent windows and diffractive optically variable devices, the first currency to use such features.((http://www.rba.gov.au/Museum/Displays/1988_onwards_polymer_currency_notes/first_polymer.html Retrieved 13 March 2015.))
The following territories and countries use the Australian dollar:
- Ashmore and Cartier Islands
- Australian Antarctic Territory
- Christmas Island
- Cocos Islands
- Coral Sea Islands
- Heard Island and McDonald Islands
- Norfolk Island
The Australian dollar is pegged by the Tuvaluan dollar and Kiribati dollar.
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