The US dollar in the 1960s

American change, 1960s

From 1949 to 1967 a pound sterling was worth $2.80. That meant you got 7s 2d (7 shillings and 2 pence or 36p) for a US dollar. From 1967 the value of the pound changed to $2.40. So you got 100d (that's one hundred old pence, not £1 but just 42p, or 8s 4d).

How far did the US dollar go in the 1960s?

These are the exchange rates against a number of well-known currencies in 1964.

CountryCurrencyExchange rate (1964)Value in USD
Australia (*) £A0.45$2.24
AustriaSchilling25.774c
Belgium/LuxembourgFranc49.5 2c
CanadaDollar1.0793c
DenmarkKroner6.915c
EgyptEgyptian £0.44$2.30
FranceFranc4.8920c
East GermanyOstmark2.2245c
West GermanyDeutsch Mark3.9725c
GreeceDrachma29.833c
HollandGuilder3.5928c
IsraelIsraeli £3.0033c
ItalyLira623.21less than 1c
JapanYen357.77less than 1c
LebanonLebanese £3.0832c
NorwayKroner7.1314c
South AfricaRand0.71$1.40
SpainPeseta59.642c
SwedenKroner5.1220c
SwitzerlandFranc4.3123c
TurkeyTurkish £9.0211c
UKPound0.3572.80
USSRRouble0.9$1.11

Source: Collins Unique Gem Reckoner, revised edition 1964, adjusted using the Bretton-Woods system for 1964.

(*) Australia changed to Dollars in 1966 with one Australian Pound worth two Australian Dollars.

Some surprises?

A Soviet Rouble was worth more than a US dollar.

Two national currencies were worth less than 1 cent, the Italian Lira and the Japanese Yen.

A West German Mark was worth a quarter; the coins were about the same size.

Article by Steven Braggs, December 2020

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