Even before the establishment of the British East India Company, Singapore was a busy trading centre and as such witnessed a variety of foreign currencies. As early as the 8th century AD, Chinese merchants brought in money that became the main currency of the Malay Peninsula. By the 15th century, materials such as gold, tin, and pewter were used to make money that was often shaped into coins, pagodas, pyramids, and tin-animal money. Since there was no dominant currency, Singapore's merchants used Spanish and Mexican dollars although the Indian and Penang coinage systems were the official standard.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, private banks such as The Asiatic Banking Corporation, The Chartered Mercantile Bank of India and The Shanghai Banking Corporation were some of the first to issue paper currency in Singapore. During the same period Singapore merchants produced and imitated Dutch trading coins in an effort to replace them.
Between 1845 and 1939, Singapore used the Straits dollar. When the Japanese invaded Malay in 1941, they brought their own currency which circulated alongside the British Malay notes. After World War II, a central Board of 'Commissioners of Currency' was established. This board became the sole authority to issue currency for the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, British North Borneo and Sarawak in 1952.
Singapore joined Malaysia as a state with autonomous powers in September 1963.
However, two years later the country found itself expelled and the monetary union between Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei subsequently broke down. In 1967, Singapore established a Board of Commissioners of Currency and released its own notes called the Orchid, which is now known as the Singapore Dollar (SGD). The Singapore Dollar is also accepted as legal tender in neighbouring Brunei under The Interchangeability Agreement of 1967.
The currency used by the people in Singapore is known as the Singapore Dollar. The currency symbol for the Singapore Dollar is S$, while the currency code is SGD.
The Singapore Dollar has maintained an attractive rise in value and returns even in a neighborhood that is infamous for its turmoil and instability, and it will be interesting to see how this is maintained against the fast expanding world economy.
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