The Haitian gourde (HTG) was introduced to Haiti in 1813. It has an exchange rate of 40.85 gourde to 1USD. It is subdivided into subunits called centimes, where 100 centimes is equivalent to 1 gourde. The Haitian gourde replaced the livre and was equivalent to 8 livres and 5 sols. The government of Haiti has issued notes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100 and 500 gourde denominations. The first coins consisted of 6, 12 and 25 centimes. The 50 and 100 centimes were introduced to the people of Haiti in 1827, shortly followed by the one and two centimes a year after.
The Haitian gourde has experienced two revaluations since its introduction. The first one was on 1870, where the gourde has been revalued at a ratio of 10:1. The third gourde revaluation took place on 1872, at a rate of 300:1. This was the same time that the gourd was started to be called piastre. The gourde was pegged to the French franc in 1881, where 5 francs became equivalent to 1 gourde, but this peg did not last long. In 1912, the gourde was pegged to the U.S. dollar and this peg lasted until 1989. Five gourds back then has been called the ‘Haitian dollar’. The 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 and 1000 gourde denominations are the ones currently in circulation.
The Haitian gourde is represented by symbols of historical relevance.
• 10 gourde –Sanite Belair: an affranchis that fought as a sergeant with Toussaint Louverture; a hero of independence struggle; a catalyst for the Haitian Revolution
• 20 gourde –Toussaint Louverture: the leader of Haitian Revolution; military genius
• 25 gourde –Nicolas Geffrard: Haitian musician who composed the Haiti’s National Anthem, La Dessalinienne (The Dessalines Song)
• 50 gourde –François Capois: a Haitian rebel slave; a fighter for the Battle of Vertières
• 100 gourde –Henry Christophe: a key leader of the Revolution of Haiti which freed Haiti from France in 1804; the creator of Citadelle Laferrière (appears on the back of the 100 gourde)
• 250 gourde –Jean-Jacques Dessalines: the first leader of Haiti after it being freed from the French under the 1801 constitution; Emperor of Haiti (1805)
• 500 gourde – Alexandre Pétion: president of Haiti from 1806 until his death; a founding father of the Republic of Haiti
• 1000 gourde – Florvil Hyppolite: president of Haiti from 1889-1896 by a constitutional council