History of the Hong Kong Dollar

The currency of Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar. Hong Kong Dollar bank notes and coins come in 6 denominations of each type.  The currency is issued by the government, under the supervision of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the acting central bank of Hong Kong.  It’s ISO 4217 code is HKD, and is abbreviated HKD or HK$.  It is used in Hong Kong and Macau.  Read on for the history of the Hong Kong Dollar.

History of the Hong Kong Dollar

In 1841, Hong Kong became a free-trading port.  At the time, they did not have an official currency, and many currencies were used as a substitute, including the Chinese Yuan, Pound Sterling, Spanish and American Silver Dollars, and the Rupee.  Hong Kong came under British rule in 1842, and they tried to make the Pound Sterling Hong Kong’s official currency.  It didn’t exactly work, until about 1863 when the British Empire set up the Hong Kong Mint and began making Hong Kong Dollar coins.  The Chinese did not take well to the new silver dollars, and the Hong Kong mint was closed only five years later, in 1868.  Hong Kong continued to use Spanish and Mexican coins through the silver crisis in 1873, as their currency was greatly devalued.  By 1935, only China and Hong Kong were still circulating silver coins.  China abandoned the silver coin, as did Hong Kong, and they finally created the Hong Kong dollar within the next few years.

In 1941, Hong Kong came under Japanese and the Japanese Yen was the only legal tender accepted in Hong Kong for the next 4 years.  At the end of World War II, when Hong Kong was returned to British rule, and use of the yen was banned.  They returned to the Hong Kong Dollar.  Over the next 40 years, the Hong Kong Dollar slowly raised in value, especially after the devaluation of the sterling.  In 1997 Hong Kong was given full autonomy with their money as they returned under Chinese rule.

The currency is issued by the government and by the de facto central bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.  Three other banks issue the Hong Kong Dollar under its supervision: the Bank of China, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, and the Standard Chartered Bank.

Banknotes & Coins

Hong Kong Dollar banknotes come in denominations of $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1000.  Coins come in denominations of 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1, $2 $5 and $10.