As a momentum of my travels, I try to collect the leftover currencies from the countries I’ve been fortunate enough to visit. By doing so, I eventually realized that the American dollar is a little…boring. Is it just me? Maybe I’m too used to seeing the dollar, but other countries seem to boast pretty gnarly bills. Here are a few of the most beautiful currencies from around the world:
1. Hong Kong (Hong Kong Dollars)
The Hong Kong dollar is the 8th most traded currency in the world. Its rather complex and futuristic design, combined with its vivid colors, make it a difficult currency to counterfeit.
Exchange rate: 1 HK Dollar = .13 U.S. Dollar
2. Cook Islands (Cook Island Dollars)
The Cook Islands has its own currency, which is on par with the New Zealand dollar. With such a beautiful design, we’re starting to wonder whether the islanders wanted to keep this bill all to themselves. Plus a woman riding a shark is pretty darn cool.
Exchange rate: 1 Cook Island Dollar = .80 U.S. Dollar
3. New Zealand (New Zealand Dollars)
The New Zealand Dollar is currently one of the 10 most traded currencies in the world. Green and blues are pretty standard colors when it comes to money – but orange? That’s new.
Exchange rate: 1 New Zealand Dollar = .80 U.S. Dollar
4. Comoros (Comorian Franc)
The Comorian Franc became the official currency of the islands after it became a French protectorate in 1886. The lone tree by the water almost gives this bill a serene, tranquil quality. It’s a nice change of pace since Presidents and figure heads tend to grace the center.
Exchange rate: 1 Comorian Franc = 0.0026 U.S. Dollar
5. São Tomé and Príncipe Dobra (Dobras)
The dobra was introduced in 1977, which replaced the escudo as the official currency in São Tomé and Príncipe Dobra. Its complex design is certainly entrancing, but the colors really do it for us. Not to mention that bird.
Exchange rate: 1 São Tomé and Príncipe Dobra = 0.000052 U.S. Dollar
6. The Maldives (Rufiyaa)
Although the earliest form of currency used in the Maldives was cowry shells, the island nation now uses the Rufiyaa. Still, the sea is obviously the largest influence behind the creative design of the currency. A series of flowing, waves-like designs border and surround the main focus of the bill – a boat.
Exchange rate: 1 Maldivian Rufiyaa = 0.065 U.S. Dollar
7. Canada (The Canadian Dollar)
The currency is Canadian is sometimes referred to as a “loonie”, thanks to the image of a loon on its one dollar coin. Although there’s no loon on the bill, we are reminded of a winter wonderland or our favorite childhood holiday: a snow day.
Exchange rate: 1 Canadian Dollar = 0.89 U.S. Dollar
8. Egypt (Egyptian Pound)
Every Egyptian banknote has Arabic text, Eastern Arabic numerals on one side and English and Hindu numerals on the other. The various shapes, architectural lines and curves of the lettering adds to the overall dimension of this bill.
Exchange rate: 1 Egyptian Pound = 0.14 U.S. Dollar
9. French Polynesia (CFP Franc)
The CFP is used in French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna. The super colorful and almost cartoonist design makes this banknote almost seem like an illustration.
Exchange rate: 1 CFP Franc = 0.011 U.S. Dollar
10. Libya (Libyan Dinar)
The Libyan dinar took the place of the pound in 1971. It is similar in design to the Egyptian Pound, but a splash of greens, blues and yellows, definitely make this a bill a bit more vibrant.
Exchange rate: 1 Libyan Dinar = 0.83 U.S. Dollar
11. Antarctica (Antarctican Dollar)
Sadly, Antarctican dollars cannot be used as legal tender anywhere. It is a collector’s item produced by the “Antarctica Overseas Exchange Office” in the appearance of a national currency for Antarctica. The portion of the proceeds go to research and humanitarian projects in the Antarctic region.
Exchange rate: 1 Antarctican Dollar = 1 U.S. Dollar