About the Indonesian Rupiah

Country:	Indonesia
Currency:	Rupiah
Alias:	Indonesian rupiah
ISO 4217 CODES:	IDR/360
Symbol:	Rp

The rupiah was first introduced as Indonesia’s national currency during World War II, and has undergone several transformations, leading up to the present day incarnation. In addition to enduring social and political conflicts, Indonesia has waged a constant war against inflation, and the rupiah has undergone numerous devaluations. Sadly, a major earthquake and resulting tsunami in 2004 devastated portions of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and full economic recovery is expected to take several decades.

Background of the Indonesian Rupiah

For much of its modern existence, Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands known as the Dutch East Indies. Not surprisingly, the Dutch gilder served as the dominant form of currency for well over two centuries. With the onset of World War II, the Dutch lost the ability to effectively defend their colonial empire, and Japan soon invaded Indonesia in their conquest of the Pacific. After the war, the Dutch sought to reassert their governance of the region, but found themselves engaged in a prolonged series of skirmishes. Indonesia finally earned its independence in late 1949.

The exchange rate of the rupiah had been controlled by a managed float scheme, but this was abandoned in 1997 in favor of a true, free float, which proved to be ruinous.

Following Australia’s lead, Indonesia introduced a series of bank notes manufacturer from a synthetic polymer substance in the 1990s, but resorted to using paper notes again.

By definition, the Indonesian rupiah is divided into 100 sen, but as a result of repeated bouts of inflation over the years, sen are no longer used, and whole rupiah units are used instead. Denominations for coins are 25 Rp, 50 Rp, 100 Rp, 200 Rp, 500 Rp and 1,000 Rp. Banknotes are color-coded, and come in denominations of 1,000 Rp, 5,000 Rp, 10,000 Rp, 20,000 Rp, 50,000 Rp and 10,000 Rp.

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