The Hong Kong dollar is the legal currency of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.
The ISO 4217 code for the Hong Kong dollar is HKD. Among the world’s most traded currencies, the Hong Kong dollar ranks ninth.
As of June 2023, the currency equivalent of the Hong Kong dollar to the euro is:
- 1 euro = 8.56 HKD
- 1 HKD dollar = 0.12 Euro.
History of the Hong Kong dollar
In 1841, at the time of Hong Kong’s establishment as a free port, the enclave had no official currency. The pound sterling, the Indian rupee or the Spanish real de a ocho (the Mexican peso) were used interchangeably.
However, due to the scarcity of circulation of Mexican pesos in this Asian area, in 1895, the British Asian colonies of Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong asked the metropolis to provide them with the necessary silver coins. Eventually, London allowed British dollars to be minted in both the Straits Settlements and Hong Kong.
In 1935 the Hong Kong dollar was established as the monetary unit. But, ten years later, during the Japanese occupation (from December 1941 to 1945), the only means of payment allowed in the area was the Japanese yen, which was declared null after the end of the world war, recovering in transactions mercantile and for the population, the Hong Kong dollar.
Currently, the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the basic law of Hong Kong establish that the enclave has complete autonomy to issue its own currency. Supervised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the currency is issued by 3 local banks and by the government.
The enclave’s monetary system is fully supported by the US dollar, and it is estimated that Hong Kong has more than seven hundred billion US dollars, one of the largest deposits in the world.
Hong Kong dollar coins
In 1863 the first coins of 10 and 1 cents and 1 thousand were introduced. Three years later those of 1 dollar and a half dollar, as well as those of 20 and 5 cents. All were minted in silver except those of 1 cent and 1 thousand, which were in bronze.
The 1,000 coins were phased out shortly thereafter, with mintage of the dollar and half dollars ceasing in 1868. The half dollar coin would return to circulation in 1890.
After the period of Japanese occupation during World War II, cupronickel coins with a denomination of fifty cents were issued in 1951, which became brass in the 1970s.
A little earlier, in the 1960s, one-dollar coins were minted in the copper-nickel alloy called cupronickel. In the 1970s, cupronickel $2 and $5 coins and brass twenty-cent coins were introduced.
A new bimetallic ten dollar coin (1994) was introduced in Hong Kong as early as the 1990s. A year earlier, in 1993, the coins bearing the effigy of Elizabeth II began to disappear from circulation, which was replaced by symbols of the enclave such as the Bauhinia blakeana flower. Even so, coins with the portrait of the British monarch remain legal tender in Hong Kong territory.
The following denominations are currently in circulation in Hong Kong:
- $10 coin
- $5 coin
- $2 coin and
- $1 coin
And these pennies:
- Coin of 50 cents or dollar cents
- Coin of 20 cents or dollar cents and
- Coin of 10 cents or cents.
- Hong Kong 10 dollar coin
The 10 HKD coin has a countervalue of 1.50 euros in June 2023 in Spain:
Hong Kong 5 dollar coin
The 5 HKD coin has a counter value of 53 euro cents in June 2023 in Spain:
1 and 2 Hong Kong dollar coins
The 1 and 2 HKD coins have a counter value of 10 and 20 euro cents, respectively in June 2023 in Spain:
Hong Kong dollar 50 cent coin
The 50 cent dollar coin has a counter value of 5 euro cents in June 2023 in Spain:
Hong Kong dollar 10 and 20 cent coins
The coins of 10 and 20 cents of the HKD dollar have an equivalent value of 1 and 2 euro cents, respectively in June 2023 in Spain:
Hong Kong dollar banknotes
Hong Kong banknotes are issued by the Monetary Authority (Hong Kong Central Bank) and by 3 local private banks licensed to print currency (The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, the Bank of China Limited and the Standard Chartered Bank Limited).
This means that you will find 3 different versions of each denomination depending on which of the 3 issuing banks has turned the crank. In fact, the obverses of the most current denominations (at least those of the 2018 series) usually bear one of these three motifs together with the name of the issuing bank:
- the lion, emblem of HSBC,
- the Tower of the Standard Chartered Bank or
- the Bank of China Tower.
The first banknotes began to be issued in the 1860s, with denominations of 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 HKDs and 1 Hong Kong dollar.
These notes were accepted in commercial transactions even if they were not used to pay government fees and taxes. The 25s went out of print at the end of the 19th century while the one dollar ones were only issued until 1935.
After the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (1941-1945), Hong Kong dollars were issued again, with the government in charge of printing the 10, 5 and 1 cent coins and the banks the 500, 100, 50, 10 and 5 dollar banknotes. HKD.
Over the course of the 1960s and 1970s, one-dollar and five-dollar coins replaced notes of the same value. During the 1980s and 1990s, $10 banknotes were replaced by coins and $20 paper money began to be issued.
Currently, HK dollar banknotes of the following denominations can be found in Hong Kong: 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 HKDs.
Remember that banknotes of the same denomination are very similar, but there are three versions depending on the Bank authorized to issue them by the HKMA:
- the Standard Chartered Bank,
- the Bank of China or the
- The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.
The names of the three issuing banks appear in English and Chinese on both sides.
20 Hong Kong dollar banknotes
Its predominant color is blue. Below is a 2010 series banknote, issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited. Its equivalent value in euros in Spain, in June 2023, would be about 2.11 euros.
50 Hong Kong dollar banknotes
Purple or green, depending on whether they are banknotes from the older series or the most recent from 2010 below:
Its equivalent in euros in Spain, in June 2023, would be about 5.27 euros.
Hong Kong 100 dollar banknotes
Its predominant color is red. Since September 2019, the three banks authorized to issue banknotes in HK are printing a new circulating 100 dollar (HK$100) banknote, the 2018 series.
On the obverse are the Bank of China Tower, the Standard Chartered Bank Tower and the emblematic lion of HSBC depending on the issuing bank in question.
For its part, the theme of the reverse, vertical like all the other banknotes of the 2018 series, has to do with the musical cultural legacy (scenes from the Cantonese opera).
And here you have the circulating version of the previous series, dating from 2010:
Its equivalent value in euros in Spain, in June 2023, would be about 10.54 euros.
500 Hong Kong dollar banknotes
Its predominant color is brown in the 2018 series that we show you here. Like the 1000 HKD banknote, there are three similar versions depending on its issuing bank out of the 3 authorized and the reverse has a vertical configuration while the obverse is horizontal.
And this is its reverse:
And for their part, the 500 HKD (HK$500) banknotes from the previous series (2010) were more classic:
Its equivalent value in euros in Spain, in June 2023, would be around 52.72 euros.
Hong Kong dollar 1,000 banknotes
Its predominant color is reddish-gold (2018 series). Note that the obverse is the classic landscape banknote while the reverse has a vertical design (curious, isn’t it?). This vertical design is also adopted by Swiss franc banknotes (although on both sides).
And keep in mind that as we said above, although they are very similar, there are three versions of this note according to the Bank authorized to issue them by the HKMA.
And the reverse:
Its equivalent value in euros in Spain, in June 2023, would be around 105.44 euros.
Euro-Hong Kong dollar exchange rate
If you search on Google for “euro-Hong Kong dollar exchange” you will find dozens of websites (“currency converters”) that offer a “rate” of the day. You will also see this graph with the prices of that pair of currencies from Google Finance. Something like this (June 20, 2023):
Today one euro is worth 8.56 Hong Kong dollars and one Hong Kong dollar is approximately 0.12 euros.
As you can see, the EUR-HKD exchange rate has fluctuated quite a bit in recent years, between 1 euro = 7.6 HKD and 1 euro = 9.51 HKD.
Now, keep in mind that this graph represents the value of the Hong Kong dollar “currency” against the euro, and not that of the real currency (paper banknotes), which is lower.
In fact, in currency suppliers in Spain today you can buy Hong Kongers at an exchange rate of around 5.81 at Spanish airports and 7.25 HKD for each euro from Cambiator. Nothing to do with the euro-Hong Kong dollar currency exchange.
So, when you see these values in Google and other currency converters with your mobile, you should keep the following in mind:
-It is an unofficial rate, and therefore unreliable. In other words, if you click on the “Disclaimer” link, you will get this warning from Google Finance: “Google cannot guarantee the accuracy of the exchange rates displayed. Please confirm current rates before making a transaction that may be affected by changes in exchange rates.”
-These rates you see are usually the wholesale prices of the Hong Kong dollar against the Euro currency (currency and paper money are not the same).
-This rate can only be held by banks among themselves, that is, it is impossible to obtain it as an individual.
If you need HKD dollars in banknotes, you will have to go through the banknote retail market (bank or currency supplier). This market means that the HKD had to be “transported” by someone for you to enjoy (or purchased from travelers from Hong Kong passing through Spain previously). In other words, moving tickets from one place to another has logistical costs that will make their sale price more expensive (the exchange rate that will be applied by whoever sells them to you).
The Hong Kong dollar is not a very abundant currency/currency in Spain. As a result of its scarcity, its price is more expensive in Spain than in Hong Kong. If you decide to buy HKD dollars in Spain, it is good to anticipate the purchase and reserve them online to obtain a better price.
If you need to exchange euros for Hong Kong dollars, do not hesitate to use our currency comparator:
- Exchange euros for Hong Kong dollars (EUR-HKD)
- Exchange Hong Kong dollars for euros (HKD-EUR)
Where to exchange Hong Kong dollars for euros
In Spain, the dollar can be exchanged in banks, currency suppliers and currency suppliers at the airports. This is what you need to know about the three options before buying or selling your HKD:
-The airport is by far the worst option because of the high rates at which Hong Kong dollars are bought and sold. The currency suppliers that operate at the airport (Global Exchange) do not charge you a commission, but they do charge more than that with the high exchange margins that they apply to you. The profits from this lucrative are shared between AENA and the supplier that operates at the airport.
-For their part, banks have the ugly habit of charging commissions for practically everything, as you well know. In Spain, BBVA, Caixabank and Santander exchange this currency but, in addition to applying a margin on the purchase or sale of dollars, they apply a commission of between 2.5 and 3% on the volume exchanged, with a minimum of between 6 and 10 euros (30 euros at Caixabank). This means that the currency exchange is not usually interesting in your bank, although that is what Cambiator is for, to show you the rate at which foreign currency is sold and bought daily.
-Finally, currency suppliers that do not operate at the airport do not usually charge you a commission if you buy your Hong Kong dollars online (delivery to your home or book online with collection at one of their offices in the center of the city). We recommend you see the prices of the currency suppliers that collaborate with Cambiator, since they are quite competitive, and vary every day.
And if you prefer to change in Hong Kong itself, the World Wide Shopping on Hong Kong Island is a good place to exchange currency.
It is not recommended to do it at the Hong Kong airport (the currency exchange is operated by the Spanish supplier Global Exchange). Except for the one you may need to take a taxi, which usually only accept Hong Kong dollars, like most commercial establishments.
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