Haitian Currency, La gourde and its History

The current Haitian currency is La gourde that was introduced in the year 1813. It was then that livre, the previous currency was replaced at the rate of 8 livre and 5 sous equaling 1 gourde. The gourde or goud has a division of 100 centimes. The currency was first issued in form of coins of denominations 6, 12 & 25 centimes with coins for 50 & 100 centimes being introduced in 1827 and the following year, 1 & 2 centimes were pushed in market. The silver coins first introduced were later replaced by bronze coins in 1863 of 5, 10 & 20 centimes. These were the last of first gourde coins.


Paper money issued by governments of Haiti had the denominations 500, 100, 50, 25, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 gourde. Revaluation of La gourde took place in 1870 at 10 to 1 ratio. These were the second gourde with paper note denominations of 25 & 10 being issued by the government. The second revaluation was on 1872 at 300 to 1 ratio. For this third gourde, there were only banknotes. The first pegging of gourde took place in 1881 with French franc at rate of 1 gourde equaling 5 francs and in 1912 gourde was pegged to US Dollar at the rate of 1 USD equaling 5 gourde.

In 1989, the linking with USD was abandoned but even today, 5 gourdes are still referred to as 1 Haitian Dollar with 1 Haitian penny referred to as 5 centimes. The current currency circulation includes coins of 50 centimes, 1 gourde and 5 gourde. The banknotes currently in circulation include denominations of 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 and 1000 gourdes.

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