The dollar is the official currency of Fiji. The Fijian dollar is divided into 100 cents, and to distinguish it from other dollars, such as Australian dollars, it is designated by the placement of FJ before the dollar sign. The dollar is issued by the Reserve Bank of Fiji, the nation’s central bank.
The dollar was first introduced as the currency of Fiji in 1867, but it was replaced only six years later in 1873. After both the government treasury and the king issued eight denominations of bank notes, the public could not be swayed that either party could back the notes with gold and silver. The Fijian people were correct in their assumption because the British Consul officially declared the government bankrupt in 1874. The Bank of New Zealand tried to reinvigorate the country’s currency system, and the Bank of New South Wales opened in Fiji in 1901. Several foreign currencies were circulated until the formation of the Currency Board in 1914. The three members of the board were given the title Commissioners of Currency and were charged with establishing a new national currency.
The Currency Board made a deal with London, and a first issue of £20,000 Fijian pound notes began circulation. English coins were also circulated until new Fijian coins were minted in 1934. In the mid-1960s, although most Fijians were found to favour the old English denominations of currency, the government could no longer ignore that most countries had already decimalised their currency, including Australia and New Zealand. The original name of the new decimalised currency was the half-pound, but it was changed to the dollar due to its closer correspondence in value to the U.S. dollar than the pound sterling. In 1969, the dollar was introduced as the official currency with a value of 1 Fijian pound: 2 Fijian dollars.
After Fiji gained full independence in 1970, the Central Monetary Authority (CMA) was created to replace the Currency Board. The CMA was itself replaced in 1984 with the Reserve Bank of Fiji, a modern central bank with expanded economic authority. The authority of the bank is to issue currency, facilitate the exchange of foreign currency and to promote monetary stability. The Reserve Bank of Fiji currently circulates coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and $1. Banknotes are currently issued in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars.