Australian dollar (AUD)

The Australian dollar is the official currency of Australia. Its ISO 4217 code is AUD and its symbol is $, although it is sometimes written A$ or AU$ to differentiate it from the US dollar.

In addition to Australia, the Australian dollar is also legal tender in three small independent states in the Pacific region: Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu.

The Australian dollar was introduced in 1966 to replace the Australian pound, thus applying the decimal system (an Australian dollar is subdivided into 100 cents) instead of the previous system, which was based on the subdivision of the pound into shillings and these in pennies

As of February 2023, the currency equivalent of the Australian dollar against the euro is:

  • 1 euro = 1.54 AUD
  • 1 AUD = 0,6471 EUR

History of the australian dollar

The reason the Australian dollar was created in 1966 was to introduce a decimal monetary system to the country. At first, different names were considered for the new currency: royal, austral, oz, boomer, roo, emu and koala, among many others, although the most popular was finally chosen: Australian dollar or Australian dollar.

In order to make the transition between the old and new denominations smoother, it was decided to keep the previous names of shilling, florin and crown for the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins respectively, although these are hardly used today.

Australian dollar notes are issued by the Reserve Bank of Australia, based in Sydney, while coins are minted by the Australian Royal Mint, located in the Australian capital, Canberra.

Australian dollar coins

As we have seen, the Australian dollar is divided into 100 cents (c), which in Portugal we call cents or dollar cents. The following penny and dollar coin denominations are currently in circulation across Australia:

  • Cent coins: 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. Until February 1992, coins of 1 and 2 cents (copper) were still in circulation, but they were withdrawn from circulation in 1991 due to their low purchase value.
  • Australian dollar coins: 1 and 2 dollars.
Australian coins
Australian coins

On the obverse of all Australian coins appears the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II (remember that Australia is part of the Commonwealth). Elizabeth II is queen of Australia and other Commonwealth countries. The queen delegates her monarchical mandate to the Governor-General of Australia.

Characteristic species of Australian fauna (the kangaroo on the AUD 1 coin) or of the country’s culture, such as the Aboriginal elder on the AUD 2 coin, are depicted on the reverse of the coins.

The 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins are made of an alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel, which is why they are popularly called silver coins.

One-dollar and two-dollar coins were introduced in 1984 and 1988, respectively, to replace banknotes of the same denomination. Its composition is: 2% nickel, 6% aluminum and 92% copper. Their golden color has made them known as gold coins.

1 australian dollar and 2 australian dollar coins
1 australian dollar and 2 australian dollar coins

The two-dollar coin is smaller in diameter than the one-dollar coin, although it is slightly thicker.

Australian dollar banknotes

In Australia there are notes in circulation with the following denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 AUD.

To date, the Reserve Bank of Australia has issued up to three series of banknotes, the last two using plastic polymer instead of paper. You can see them all on their website.

Australian dollar banknotes
Australian dollar banknotes

The color of each note corresponds to a certain value or denomination.

  • 5 AUD note: mauve color
  • 10 AUD note: blue color
  • 20 AUD note: red color
  • 50 AUD note: yellow
  • AUD 100 note: green.

5 AUD banknote

This 2016 banknote features the image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and the reverse depicts the New Parliament House building, a native plant (Acacia verticillata) and an exotic bird, the Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris).

5 australian dollar banknote
5 australian dollar banknote

10 AUD banknote

The queen gives prominence on banknotes over 5 AUD. Two prominent Australian literary figures are represented in the 10 AUD note: Banjo Paterson and Dame Mary Gilmore.

The banknote is blue and other ornamental and security motifs appear on it, such as a native plant (Acacia victoriae) and an exotic bird from the country (Cacatua galerita).

10 australian dollar banknote
10 australian dollar banknote

Important: For someone unfamiliar with the Australian dollar, it is relatively easy to confuse the AUD 5 and AUD 10 notes, both due to color and size. The most prudent thing is to always look at the face value.

20 AUD banknote

The red 20 AUD note measures 14.4 x 6.5 cm and represents two pioneering entrepreneurs in the country’s history: on the obverse, Mary Reibey next to the images of two of her properties, the schooner Mercury and a building in George Street, Sydney.

The reverse features Reverend John Flynn, the man behind the world’s first air medical service (along with the DeHavilland 50 Victory aircraft that made a historic first flight in 1928).

20 australian dollar banknote
20 australian dollar banknote

50 AUD banknote

The central themes of the 50 AUD banknote are women on the one hand and Australia’s native Aboriginal people on the other. On a yellow background are the effigies of David Unaipon, the first great Aboriginal scientist, and Edith Cowan, the first woman to serve in the Australian Parliament.

50 australian dollar banknote
50 australian dollar banknote

An outstanding decorative element is the King Edward Memorial Hospital, a maternity hospital created by Cowan.

100 AUD banknote

The highest value note in the Australian monetary system is green and pays tribute to the soprano Dame Nellie Melba (obverse) and the soldier Sir John Monash (reverse), hero of the First World War.

100 australian dollar banknote
100 australian dollar banknote

Euro-Australian dollar exchange rate

The exchange rate of the euro against the Australian dollar is quite stable, with moderate fluctuations. If you search Google for “euro-australian dollar exchange rate” you will find dozens of websites (“currency converters”) that offer a “price” of the day.

You will also see this chart with the prices of that currency pair from XE currency converter:

Euro to Australian dollar converter XE 16 02 2023
Euro to Australian dollar converter XE 16 02 2023

As you can see, the exchange rate today 16th February 2023 is 1 euro equals 1.5449 AUD and 1 AUD equals 0,6472 euros, but keep in mind that this graph represents the value of the dollar “currency” against the euro, and not that of the real paper money currency, which is lower.

In fact, in currency suppliers in France you can buy Australian dollars at an exchange rate of around 1.39 AUD for each euro. Nothing to do with the Australian dollar to euro currency exchange.

So, when you see these values ​​in Google and other currency converters with your mobile, you should keep in mind the following:

  • This is an unofficial price, and therefore not reliable. That is, if you click on the “Disclaimer” link, you get this warning from XE: “We use the mid-market rate for our Converter. This is for informational purposes only. You won’t receive this rate when sending money.”
  • These rates can only be obtained by banks among themselves, that is, it is impossible to obtain it as an individual.

If you need Australian dollars in banknotes you will have to go through the retail banknote market (bank or currency supplier). This market means that the Australian dollars have had to be “transported” by someone for you to enjoy them (or bought from travelers coming from Australia, passing through Portugal previously).

In other words, moving banknotes from one place to another has logistical costs that will make its sale price more expensive (the exchange rate that whoever sells it will apply to you).

The AUD is not a very abundant currency/currency in Portugal. As a result of its scarcity, its price is more expensive in Portugal than in Australia. If you decide to buy Australian dollars in Portugal, it is good to anticipate the purchase and order them online to get a better price.

Where to exchange Australian dollars in Portugal

The three most popular places to exchange Australian dollars in Portugal are banks, currency suppliers and the airport.

Of these, the least recommended place to buy is the airport (in Lisboa, Porto, Faro, Madeira, etc.) and any business that charges you a commission in addition to an “exchange margin” (difference between the rate for which you paid the currency and the rate for which they sell it to you).

Euro to Australian dollar exchange rate today

To find out the best euro to Aussie dollar exchange today, the best thing you can do is use our currency comparator.

  • Buy Australian dollars with euros (EUR-AUD)
  • Sell your Australian dollars for euros (AUD-EUR)

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