ISO 4217 currency names and code elements

By Rick Jelliffe
August 13, 2008

A new edition of the standard currency codes is out. From the list at the ISO public site it seems that the currency most adopted by nations is first the Euro, second the US dollar, third a tie with the Australian dollar and East Carribean dollar and the CFA Franc BCEAO, fourth the CFA Franc BEAC (same currency, different issuing authority), and fifth New Zealand dollar, by my count.

Currency adoption shows the geo-economic affiliation of countries, and so is quite interesting (in a spelling-bee kind of way.) I was surprised East Timor (Timor Leste) used the USD rather than AUD, but I suppose this has something to do with not feeding re-colonialist fearmongers in Indonesia. Australia prints our plastic money for some other nations, too, such as the PNG kina.

If you want to see pictures of banknotes from around the world, check the gallery of commercial site. The Wikipedia entry on polymer banknotes has a good history too.

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