The name for the Indonesian Rupiah was adopted from the Indian form of currency, the Rupee.
Prior to the Rupiah, Indonesia used the Dutch guilder from 1610 to 1817, when the Dutch East Indies
guilder was introduced. The Rupiah was first introduced during the World War II Japanese occupation.
Following the end of the war, the Java Bank briefly issued its own Java Rupiah as a replacement.
Preceding their independence, the Indonesian Rupiah was introduced on November 2, 1949 as the
new national currency.
The Riau islands and the Indonesian half of New Guinea (Irian Barat) had their
own variants of the Rupiah, but these were incorporated into the national Rupiah in 1964 and 1971.
Devalued by inflation, in 1965 the New Rupiah was introduced at a rate of 1000 old Rupiah to one
new Rupiah. More recently, the Asian economic crisis of 1997-1998 depreciated the Rupiah’s value
by 35% in a matter of one night and was a major factor in the overthrow of President Suharto’s
government. The Rupiah had traded at about 2000-3000 Rupiah per 1 US dollar, but reached a
low of 16,800 Rupiah per dollar in June 1998.
The Rupiah is a freely convertible currency, but remains plagued by high inflation. As of early June 2005,
1 US dollar is worth approximately 14,000 Rupiah.
Used money bills are: 1.000, 2.000, 5.000, 10.000, 50.000, 100.000
Be aware that a 100.000 Rupiah bill is seen as “big” money. Usualy people cannot change back from
100.000 bills and therefore you are advised to pay with 50.000,- bills.