March 24, 2021

Top 12 Most Expensive World Currencies - 2021 Edition

Top 12 Most Expensive World Currencies - 2021 Edition

Ever thought about what is the highest currency in the world today? Most likely, you’re thinking now about British Pound, US Dollar, or Euro… Well, guess again. There are at least a few currencies with a higher value than these three.

We’ve put together a list of the top 12 world’s highest-valued currencies in 2021 compared to the US Dollar and Euro. You’ll be surprised to learn that being the most widely traded, USD is not even in the middle of the list, but almost at the end of it.

And if you want to see the flip side, compare this list to the top 10 of the weakest world currencies to see the significant differences.

Highest Currency Ranking

So, which country has the highest currency value? Let’s start with a quick recap of the most valuable currencies rating to get the entire picture:

# Currency Currency сode USD conversion rate EUR conversion rate
1 Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 3.31 USD 2.77 EUR
2 Bahraini Dinar BHD 2.66 USD 2.23 EUR
3 Omani Rial OMR 2.60 USD 2.18 EUR
4 Jordanian Dinar JOD 1.41 USD 1.18 EUR
5 British Pound Sterling GBP 1.38 USD 1.16 EUR
6 Cayman Islands Dollar KYD 1.22 USD 1.02 EUR
7 European Euro EUR 1.19 USD 1 EUR
8 Swiss Franc CHF 1.08 USD 0.91 EUR
9 US Dollar USD 1 USD 0.84 EUR
10 Canadian Dollar CAD 0.80 USD 0.67 EUR
11 Australian Dollar AUD 0.77 USD 0.65 EUR
12 Singapore Dollar SGD 0.74 USD 0.62 EUR

And now, we'll get a closer look at each currency and find out what makes them so highly valued.

#1 – Kuwaiti Dinar ($3.31)

The most expensive currency in the world is Kuwaiti Dinar
The leading currency in the world is Kuwaiti Dinar

Currency code – KWD

Kuwaiti Dinar rates:
1 KWD = 3.31 USD (Kuwaiti Dinar to US Dollar)
1 KWD = 2.77 EUR (Kuwaiti Dinar to Euro)

Today, Kuwaiti Dinar is the highest-valued currency in the world, estimating at $3.31 per Dinar. Such a high value is explained by Kuwait's stable economy and significant oil exports into the global market, producing almost 95% of the country's revenue.

According to the estimates, about 9% of the global oil reserves are located on its territory. Petroleum production here is the easiest and, therefore, the cheapest among other countries.

Besides, Kuwait is a tax-free country with a very low unemployment rate.

All of this makes it rank 8th in the list of countries with the highest GDP per capita.

Kuwaiti Dinar was first introduced in 1961 after the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom and was initially equivalent to one Pound Sterling.

Since 2003 the currency was pegged to the US Dollar, but in 2007 the government decided to peg the Kuwaiti Dinar to the weighted currency basket.

#2 – Bahraini Dinar ($2.66)

second most expensive currency Bahrain Dinar
second most expensive currency Bahrain Dinar

Currency code – BHD

Bahraini Dinar rates:
1 BHD = 2.66 USD (Bahraini Dinar to US Dollar)
1 BHD = 2.23 EUR (Bahraini Dinar to Euro)

The world's second most valuable currency is the Bahraini Dinar, with a conversion rate of $2.66 per one Dinar. It is pegged to the US Dollar, and its exchange rate against the USD remained stable since 1987.

Bahrain is a Persian Gulf island state with a population of just over 1 million people. As with Kuwait, its largest source of income is the global gas and petroleum export.

Before Bahrain became one of the leading oil-producing countries, the major profit-gaining industry here was pearl mining. However, in the 1930th the production ceased due to pearl cultivation in Japan.

Interestingly, Saudi Riyal is officially a legal tender in Bahrain next to Dinar. Their exchange rate is fixed as well and equals 1 Dinar = 10 Riyals.

#3 – Omani Rial ($2.60)

third most expensive currency in the world Omani Rial
third most expensive currency in the world Omani Rial

Currency code – OMR

Omani Rial rates:
1 OMR = 2.60 USD (Omani Rial to US Dollar)
1 OMR = 2.18 EUR (Omani Rial to Euro)

The Omani Rial сloses the top three of most expensive currencies in the world with the conversion rate of 2.60 USD to one Rial – nearly double the value of the British Pound.

This currency has been pegged to the US Dollar since 1973.

Remarkably, Dinar’s purchasing power is so high that the government had to issue 1/4 and 1/2 Rial banknotes. In the picture above, you can see 1/2 Rial (Half Rial) note.

Like with other countries on the Arabian Peninsula, Oman has a developed economy and a high quality of life thanks to oil production.

But due to reserves coming to an end, the Omani government decided to diversify the income resources by developing gas production, metallurgy, and tourism.

#4 – Jordanian Dinar ($1.41)

top expensive currencies jordanian dinar
top expensive currencies jordanian dinar

Currency code – JOD

Jordanian Dinar rates:
1 JOD = 1.41 USD (Jordanian Dinar to US Dollar)
1 JOD = 1.18 EUR (Jordanian Dinar to Euro)

The Jordanian Dinar was initially pegged to the US Dollar at a higher value. For the last 20 years, the country managed to maintain this peg. So today, the Dinar has 4th place on the list of the most expensive currencies.

Nevertheless, it is a bit hard to explain the high value of the Jordanian Dinar.

The country is not economically developed, and it lacks essential resources, such as oil. Jordan has significant external debt, so it is highly dependent on neighboring countries and the IMF.

#5 – British Pound Sterling ($1.38)

top 5 currencies British Pound
top 5 currencies British Pound

Currency code – GBP

British Pound Sterling rates:
1 GBP = 1.38 USD (British Pound Sterling to US Dollar)
1 GBP = 1.16 EUR (British Pound Sterling to Euro)

Most people consider that British Pound holds the highest monetary value among other currencies. But it is not the case. Its rate against the US dollar puts GBP only in the 5th position among the highest currencies.

Though, it is still the oldest in circulation and one of the most traded currencies in the world. The GBP/USD pair, commonly known as “the cable,” is the third most traded in the forex market.

Pound Sterling is the national currency of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, as well as the parallel currency of the crown dependencies: Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man.

British colonies like Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Saint Helena, etc., issue their own banknotes valued as 1 per 1. But they differ visually from notes issued by the Bank of England.

Amusingly, native Britons don’t always want to accept "other" Pounds as a means of payment.

#6 – Cayman Islands Dollar ($1.22)

Cayman Islands Dollar
Cayman Islands Dollar

Currency code – KYD

Cayman Islands Dollar rates:
1 KYD = 1.22 USD (Cayman Islands Dollar to US Dollar)
1 KYD = 1.02 EUR (Cayman Islands Dollar to Euro)

The Cayman Islands Dollar is the only Caribbean currency on the list of the highest ones. The reason is that this autonomous British territory is one of the world’s best tax havens and one of the five largest offshore financial centers.

The country provides licenses for hundreds of banks, hedge funds, and insurance companies.

#7 – European Euro ($1.19)

strong euro currency
strong euro currency

Currency Code – EUR

European Euro rate:
1 EUR = 1.19 USD (European Euro to US Dollar)

The Euro has strengthened over the years, which allowed it to hold a strong place in the list of the most powerful world currencies.

Partially, its value is explained by the fact that it is the official currency for 19 European countries, among which you will find several economically developed ones.

Today, EUR is the second reserve currency enveloping 25% of all world savings (62.3% is in USD).

About 25 countries pegged their currencies to Euro at a fixed rate.

Euro is one of the most widely used currencies in the world. It is the second most traded currency on the forex market after the US Dollar. Moreover, the EUR/USD, commonly known as the “Fiber,” is the most traded currency pair accounting for almost a quarter of all daily trades.

#8 – Swiss Franc ($1.08)

stable Swiss franc
stable Swiss franc

Currency code – CHF

Swiss Franc rates:
1 CHF = 1.08 USD (Swiss Franc to US Dollar)
1 CHF = 0.91 EUR (Swiss Franc to Euro)

The Swiss Franc is one of the strongest and most stable currencies worldwide. It is the sixth most traded currency and the only one that is unaffected by inflation.

However, it is not a surprise considering that Switzerland is not only one of the richest countries in the world, but also belongs to the most stable ones.

Switzerland has a strict monetary policy and low debt levels, making Franc a safe bet for investors while trading or storing currency.

By the way, Switzerland has a negative interest rate on deposits. It means the owner has to pay extra for keeping his wealth in the bank. This decision by the Swiss Central Bank (SNB) contained the rapid strengthening of the Franc after the abolition of the fixed rate from the Euro.

#9 – US Dollar

US Dollar
US Dollar

Currency code – USD

US Dollar rate:
1 USD = 0.84 EUR (US Dollar to Euro)

Today, the US Dollar is the most traded currency in the forex market. Owing to the US economic leadership, it gained the title of the primary “World Reserve Currency.” It has the highest demand and is involved in more than 85% of daily forex trades.

All of this makes the US Dollar one of the costliest world currencies.

As of September 2018, there were about 1.69 trillion USD in circulation. 70% of banknotes, however, are circulating outside the US.

Interestingly, there were times when along with traditional nominations, notes with the face value of $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, and $100,000 were issued.

#10 – Canadian Dollar ($0.80)

Canadian dollar
Canadian dollar

Currency code – CAD

Canadian Dollar rates:
1 CAD = 0.80 USD (Canadian Dollar to US Dollar)
1 CAD = 0.67 EUR (Canadian Dollar to Euro)

The Canadian Dollar closes the top-ten highest currencies ranking. It is the fifth-largest reserve currency and the sixth most traded one. Around 5% of daily forex trades involve CAD.

Canada has the second-largest uranium supply in the world as well as large reserves of crude oil (13.21%), second to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Therefore, the Canadian Dollar depends on global oil price fluctuations. And as the major importer of Canadian oil is the neighboring US, CAD also correlates to USD value rise-and-falls.

The Canadian Dollar is often called the "loonie" in honor of the bird depicted on the one-dollar coin.

#11 – Australian Dollar ($0.77)

Australian dollar
Australian dollar

Currency code – AUD

Australian Dollar rates:
1 AUD = 0.77 USD (Australian Dollar to US Dollar)
1 AUD = 0.65 EUR (Australian Dollar to Euro)

The Australian Dollar is the national currency of Australia and some pacific island states. Though it is not the strongest, it is still considered one of the most stable currencies.

AUD is the fifth most traded currency in the forex market, accounting for about 6.8% of daily trades.

#12 – Singapore Dollar ($0.74)

Singapore Dollar
SGD

Currency code – SGD

Singapore Dollar rates:
1 SGD = 0.74 USD (Singapore Dollar to US Dollar)
1 SGD = 0.62 EUR (Singapore Dollar to Euro)

The Singapore Dollar is today one of the strongest currencies in the Asia-Pacific region. It is the thirteenth most traded currency in the forex market accounting for about 1.8% of daily trades.

The S$10,000 banknote recently was the most valuable in the world officially circulating. But in 2014, the government decided to stop printing those and started the withdrawal process.

Interestingly, according to the Currency Agreement between Singapore and Brunei, their dollars are interchangeable at par. Both currencies are in use in both countries.

The Rest of the Top 20 Highest Currencies in the World

Due to the exchange rate volatility, there are a few currencies that can soon move up and change the rating list. Here is some short info about them:

# Currency Currency сode USD conversion rate EUR conversion rate
13 Brunei Dollar BND 0.74 USD 0.62 EUR
14 New Zealand Dollar NZD 0.72 USD 0.60 EUR
15 Bulgarian Lev BGN 0.61 USD 0.51 EUR
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina Convertible Mark BAM 0.61 USD 0.51 EUR
17 Azerbaijani Manat AZN 0.59 USD 0.49 EUR
18 Aruban Florin AWG 0.56 USD 0.47 EUR
19 Fijian Dollar FJD 0.49 USD 0.41 EUR
20 Israeli Shekel ILS 0.30 USD 0.25 EUR

Is the High Value of the Currency a Sign of a Strong Economy

We know that the currencies of not very successful countries tend to decrease in value. However, when everything is fine with the economy, we can hardly see the opposite effect. There were almost no cases when the currency value was constantly increasing. The reasons may be different.

The high currency value only indicates the inflation processes in the country are under control.

Let’s take a look at Japan. It has 4th place among countries with the highest GDP per capita. Still, the value of the one Japanese Yen is about 0.009 US Dollars (1USD = 108.47JPY). It might seem that it has devalued, but in reality, it has strengthened against the USD through the years.

The Japanese government has even conducted so-called forex interventions at some point to artificially lower the value of their national currency as it was more profitable for the country.

So, in this case, we should consider the inflation rate. It means, if the value of the JPY is generally stable, we can say this currency is strong.

And if we take the Russian Ruble, for example, we will see the high inflation rate, which indicates a weak currency.

Where Does Money Get Its Value?

Before the 20th century, gold and silver standards were some of the most popular monetary policies. They implied that the currency value depended on a fixed quantity of the particular precious metal.

But today, the world has abandoned such a system and moved on to fiat money backed by social agreement and people's faith. In other words, modern currencies depend a lot on demand for them, as the goods and services do.

Some other factors that can influence the value of a currency are economic growth, inflation rate, trade balance, interest rates, and even the legal base of the country.

Summary

We hope you’ve enjoyed our ranking of the 12 most valuable currencies in the world. And now, let’s sum up:

What Currency Has the Highest Value in the World?

Kuwaiti Dinar is the highest-valued world currency with an exchange rate of 3.31 USD, and it has been so for many years now. The reason for this is the stable economy of Kuwait and its oil wealth. The Kuwaiti Dinar is widely used for oil trades, especially in the Middle-East.

An interesting fact: There is a currency with a higher value than Kuwaiti Dinar, called Seborgan Luigino. It belongs to the micronation Principality of Seborga on the border of Italy and France. Its local rate claims to be 1 SPL = 6 USD. So it could be the highest-valued currency in the world if it was officially recognized outside Seborga.

Why Is Kuwait’s Currency the Most Expensive?

Kuwait has large oil reserves on its territory and profits from petroleum exports to the global market. Since oil is in high demand today, many countries use Kuwaiti Dinar for oil-based trades. It affects the exchange rate of the currency, giving it the highest monetary value.

Is British Pound the Strongest Currency?

British Pound is often thought to be the strongest currency in the world. But it is not quite true.

Due to the historical circumstances, low inflation rate, demand for UK's export, and a high purchasing power, the GBP can be considered one of the strong world currencies. But it is not the strongest one.

Is the Euro Stronger Than the Us Dollar?

As of today, the Euro is more valuable than the US Dollar with the exchange rate of €1 equaling $1.21. But this doesn’t mean the EUR is stronger than the USD and vice versa. The strength of the currency is a pretty complex thing. It is determined not by the value of the currency, but by many factors, such as the inflation rate, interest rates, country’s debt levels, and so on.

Should One Invest in the Most Expensive Currencies?

The high monetary value doesn’t make the currency strong in the economic context. It can hardly help investors to make any wise decisions. If you are interested in forex investing, you should better consider the list of stable and strong currencies.


Additionally, we learned that it is not allowed to use banknote images without the "SPECIMEN" inscription. So follow the law, friends.