What is the Currency of the Dominican Republic?

By John Misachi on August 1 2017 in Economics

Dominican peso coins.

What is the Currency of the Dominican Republic?

Dominican Republic’s official currency in circulation is the Dominican Peso. Dominican Republic is categorized as a middle-income economy among the developed countries. Dominican Republic’s economy has transitioned from agriculture to a diversified mix of services, manufacturing, mining, and trade. The service sector accounts for about 60% of GDP. Finance is the main component of the service sector, accounting for about 64% of the sector. The growth of the financial sector has been facilitated by a relatively stable currency with well performing commercial banks. Although the Dominican peso is the official currency, some of product prices are listed in US dollars.

Dominican Peso

The Dominican Peso is the officially recognized currency in the Dominican Republic and the only currency in the country that is a legal tender for all monetary actions. The currency is denoted by the symbol "$" or "RD$" to help differentiate it from other currencies based on the dollar or peso. One peso is divided into 100 centavos (cents). The Dominican Peso has been in circulation since 1844 when the Dominican Republic was granted independence by Haiti. Prior to this, the country had several currencies. During Haitian rule, the Haitian gourd was the recognized currency. In 1877, the Dominican Peso was decimalized, subdividing it into 100 centavos and issued alongside another currency known as the franco. In 1905, the US dollar replaced the peso at a rate of 5 pesos for one dollar. On February 21, 1937, the Dominican Peso was recognized as the country’s official currency. Several regulations were also put in place to ensure that the coins and banknotes are issued in reference to the American currency.

Banknotes and Coins

The design of banknotes and coins have changed over the years. During the reign of Trujillo, coins featured symbols of the party or state. Commemorative coins have been in circulation since his assassination, and feature the Mirabel sisters and one of the country’s founding fathers (Juan Pablo Duarte). After the Declaration of Independence, coins were issued in the denomination of quarter of a real. The circulation of 5, 10, and 20 US cents were authorized in 1848 and were circulated alongside 1, 2, and 20 peso banknotes. In 1937, coins in the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 centavos were released with all the coins bearing the national arms on the reverse. Currently, the Dominican Peso coins are in the denomination of 1, 5, 10, and 25 pesos.

Banknotes have also been through numerous changes, with the current notes differentiated by colors and other features such as the country’s historical figures and landmarks. The first banknotes were issued in the denomination of 1, 5, and 10 and were similar in size and features to US dollars. Fractional notes or papers were also issued in the denomination of 10, 25, and 50 centavos. Currently, banknotes are made up of cotton and come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, and 2,000.

The Value of the Dominican Peso

Like other Latin American counties, the Dominican Peso has generally been compared to the US dollar. Its value has steadily decreased over the last decade despite a period of stability in the 2000s. With the value of US dollar increasing, the Dominican Peso continues to depreciate in value against it. Today (June 27, 2017), one US dollar is worth 47.28 DOP.

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