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Tourist Guide to Jamaican Money

Tourist Guide to Jamaican Money

Why read the Tourist Guide to Jamaican Money

We designed this Tourist Guide to Jamaican Money as a easy way to familiarize yourself with Jamaican money.  If you are traveling to Jamaica for the first time, taking a few moments to read this article is a good idea. Having an idea of how Jamaican Dollars equate to US Dollars. (Euros, Canadian Dollars, Mexican Pesos, etc)   Understanding Jamaican currency will help put your mind at ease while traveling on the island.   We’ve separated this post into Jamaican Currency (paper money) and Jamaican Coins (coinage). If you’re not used to international travel or doing math on the fly, doing currency conversions to unfamiliar monetary units can be confusing.   With «Camp Cabarita’s «Rule of 5 & 10» makes Jamaican foreign exchange easy  and fast.

The Rule of 5 & 10

The fastest and  best way to equate Jamaican prices to US Dollars is to memorize how many Jamaican Dollars equal $5 and  $10.  We call memorizing the Jamaican equivalent of $5 and $10,  «the rule of 5 and 10.»   This rule a works great for traveling to Jamaica (or any country for that matter).

Here’s how and why it works:  Factors of 5 & 10 are easy to calculate  and estimate when necessary. For  example at the time this article is being written, 1 US Dollar equals about $130 Jamaican dollars:

$5 USD (U.S. Dollars) is $650 JMD (Jamaican Dollars)
$10 USD (U.S. Dollars) is $1300 JMD (Jamaican Dollars)

At this point it’s immediately is easy to calculate:

  • $2.50 USD (1/2 of 650) is about $325 JMD
  • $20 USD (2 x  1300) is about $2600 JMD
  • $50 USD  (10 x 650) is about  $6500 JMD
  • $100 USD (10 x 1300) is about $13,000 JMD

After you’ve committed the  $5 & $10 conversions to memory, you’re ready to quickly and accurately estimate any price. Most Jamaicans involved in the tourist trade are also proficient at currency conversions, they commonly collect US Dollars, Pound Sterling, Euros & Canadian Dollars. Understanding what quoted or marked prices (taxi rates, menu items, etc) are actually cost will put your mind at ease during your trip.

Double check the value of Jamaican coinage before assuming a handful of change is adequate or equates to the amount your intending to leave as a tip. Chances are that pile of change isn’t as much as you think.   If you found this Tourist Guide to Jamaican Money useful, and you’re interested in more tips on how to travel Jamaica like a pro check out our Jamaica Travel Guide.

Jamaican Currency

5000 Jamaican Dollar Note

The Honourable Hugh Lawson Shearer


Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) blossoms and a view of Highway 2000

1000 Jamaican Dollar Note

1000 Jamaican Dollar Note

Front: The Honourable Michael Norman Manley

Back: Jamaica House

500 Jamaican Dollar Note

500 Jamaican Dollar Note

Front: The Right Excellent Nanny of the Maroons

Back: Old Map of Jamaica highlighting Port Royal

100 Jamaican Dollar Note

100 Jamaican Dollar Note

Front: Sir Donald Sangster

Back: Dunn’s River Falls

50 Jamaican Dollar Note
Front: The Right Excellent Samuel Sharpe, National Hero;
Back: Doctor’s Cave Beach, Montego Bay

Jamaican Coins

The Jamaican Coat of Arms is on reverse or back of all Jamaican coins.

Jamaican 1 cent

Jamaican 1 cent
Ackee Tree
12-sided, 21.08 mm, 1.22 g, aluminium

Jamaican 10 cents
Rt. Excellent Paul Bogle
24.50 mm, 6.00 g, nickel-plated steel

Jamaican 25 cents

Jamaican 25 cents
Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey
20 mm; 3.6 g; copper-plated steel

Jamaican 50 cents
Rt. Excellent Paul Bogle

$1 Jamaican Dollar

Jamaican 1 dollar
Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante
18.5 mm; 2.9 g; nickel-plated steel; seven-sided

Jamaican 5 Dollar Coin

Jamaican 5 dollar
Rt. Excellent Norman Manley
21.5 mm; 4.3 g; nickel-plated steel

Jamaican 10 Dollar Coin

Jamaican 10 dollar
Rt. Excellent George William Gordon
24.5 mm; 6 g; nickel-plated steel

Jamaican 20 Dollar Coin

Jamaican 20 dollar
Rt. Excellent Norman Manley
23 mm; 7.1 g; bimetallic copper-nickel center in nickel-brass ring

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