The value of currency fluctuates from day to day, depending upon current world events. The difference between the Euro and the U.S. Dollar, for example, could change by as much as 20 percent in a few short months. When traveling to other parts of the world, therefore, it is important to keep abreast of these changes.
In 2010, the Euro was the basic monetary unit for sixteen European countries, namely Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. During 2009, the Euro ranged in value from a low of $1.28 to a high of $1.49.
Countries within the European Union who do not use the Euro include Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Exchange rates for these countries range from less than one-half a U.S. cent for a Hungarian Forint, to a high of $1.55 for a British Pound.
The Department of the Treasury's currency exchange rates for June of 2010 shows that a U.S. dollar is worth nearly 47 Afghani, Afghanistan's monetary unit. A dollar buys 69 Bangladesh Taka, while in China, the same dollar will buy 6.78 Renminbi.
The unit of currency in Mongolia is the Tugrik. It takes over 1,383 Tugriks to buy one U.S. dollar. In India, approximately 46 Rupees make up a dollar while in Japan, the Yen is worth a little over one U.S. cent.
The currencies of Niger, Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), the Central African Republic and Chad, among others, have equal value. This is because they all use the Central African Franc, a currency based on the old French colonial system. The currency exchange is 532 CFA Francs to the U.S. dollar.
Egypt uses the pound. There are about 5.7 Egyptian Pounds to every U.S. dollar. At the other end of the continent, the South African Rand is the basic monetary unit. A dollar will buy approximately 7.62 Rands.
Currencies of America and Oceania
Canada's dollar holds a relatively equal value to the currency of the United States. A U.S. dollar is worth about 1.05 Canadian dollars, while a Mexican Peso is worth less than 8 U.S. cents. Brazil's Real is worth about 55 U.S. cents, while Venezuela's New Bolivar is equivalent to 38 U.S. cents.
Half way around the world, Australia's dollar would earn $1.16. in the United States. New Zealand's dollar fares even better, at about $1.44. as of June 2010.
The toppling of a regime or a switch from a monarchy to democracy sometimes precipitates a change in currency. Additionally, as more countries join the European Economic Community, monetary units will likely change. Several countries are current candidates for EEU membership, and some members who are not currently using the Euro may adopt it in the future.
African nations, as well, may someday adopt a system similar to the European Community. If such a change occurs, it may prompt a shift in the current monetary outlook.
Kathleen Cook began her career in 1974 as a writer for the "Port of Call News" and went on to become editor-in-chief. In 2006, she was named fictional religion editor for the Open Directory Project. Cook has written several novels, including "Peekaboo Sun" and "Jane's Remedy," and she currently writes about gardening, culture and family relationships.