Working out how much you have to spend on a new house or even on a loaf of bread, can all be a little baffling when you’re deciphering a new currency, with its unfamiliar coins and notes. To make sure you know your ZAR (South African Rand) from your NZD (New Zealand Dollar) here’s a helpful guide to currency around the world.


The Australian Dollar (AUD) comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations.

Interesting fact: The $50 note features Aboriginal writer and inventor David Unaipon (1872–1967), and the $5 note has Queen Elizabeth II on it.

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Canada’s official currency is the Canadian dollar (CAD). There are 100 cents (¢) in a dollar. The currency for notes is, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins come as 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, $1 and $2.

Interesting Fact: The coins are all given particular names and include the 5¢ which is called a nickel, 10¢ a dime and $1 a loonie and $2 a toonie!

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Hong Kong:

The Hong Kong dollar (HKD) comes in a variety of denominations starting at $10, all the way up to $1,000. Coins start at 10c, 20c and 50c before moving onto $1, $2, $5, $10.

Interesting Fact: Hong Kong banknotes are all different colours; $10 are green or purple, $20 dark blue or light blue, $50 purple or green, $100 red and $500 brown. $1,000 are yellow.

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New Zealand:

Head to New Zealand and once again you’ll find yourself with a dolllar in your pocket, this time the NZD. Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2 whilst the notes are valued at $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.

Interesting Fact: Until 1967 New Zealand used the British coinage system. Nowadays the gold-coloured $1 coin has a kiwi on it and the $2 coin features the kotuku.

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South Africa:

A trip to South Africa will see you exchange your native currency for the South African rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. You’ll find yourself being given notes ranging from R10-R200 (with R20, R50 and R100 in between). Coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5. There are two R5 coins in circulation.

Interesting Fact: The South African rand is also the means of exchange in Swaziland and Lesotho. Nelson Mandela features on the bank notes with the Big Five animals – the lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant – accompanying him on the back.

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Most of us know that the currency of America is the dollar. One US Dollar is equal to 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of $100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. You won’t find many $2 bills though as they are quite rare. You’ll be given coins to the value of $1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cents.

Interesting Fact: The U.S Bureau of Engraving and Printing says the lifespan of the dollar bills can range from 22 months for the $1, 16 months for the $5 and 18 months for the $10.

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