The island of Jersey uses the British pound as its official currency. However the Jersey pound is also legal tender here. This is essentially a Jersey-based version of the British pound since it is not actually a separate currency. As such there is no ISO code for the Jersey pound. It is merely a separate set of banknotes and coins that are released by the so-called States of Jersey. As such you may well see people using the British pound coins and banknotes as well as the Jersey versions of these coins and notes.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
Since this currency is basically a separate issue of the British pound, if you like, you will find all the coins and notes are probably quite familiar to you. The subunit here is the penny and there are 100 of them to every pound. The coins range from the 1p coin through to the 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p and £1 coins. There is also a £2 coin but this doesn’t seem to be seen quite as often as the others.
There are six banknotes for the Jersey pound – the £1, £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100 notes. You will notice there is no £100 note for the British pound, and this particular note is actually little more than a commemorative issue that came out in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee. As such it is not seen in common circulation. The £50 note is also quite rare to see in use, although there is nothing wrong with it being legal tender.
From past to present – the history of the Jersey pound
Jersey is quite near to France in terms of its geographical location. As such it may not come as a surprise to learn that the island once used the livre. This was the currency used in France at that time. This was the case until the mid-1830s when the livre was discontinued in France in favour of the franc. It meant that Jersey could no longer use the livre and they had to decide which other currency to switch to. This was because the notes and coins for the livre became very few and far between.
The situation was rather unusual for a while though. Although Jersey chose to take on the British pound at this time, there were still a number of French coins doing the rounds that people used to pay for things. So there was an interesting and probably confusing mix of coins in circulation at that time! Eventually the island went over to using the British coins and notes in their entirety, before issuing their own versions of them to use as well. These are the Jersey pound coins and notes we know of today.
How to get hold of the Jersey pound
The best place to get hold of the currency is in Jersey itself. This is because the currency is not generally accepted in the UK. You may be able to use UK notes and coins in Jersey but for the most part you should assume you will need the Jersey pound. Fortunately the island has lots of cash machines so you simply have to withdraw the local currency once you arrive there. When you pay for something in a shop or restaurant (or anywhere else) with cash, you’ll usually get back your change in Jersey coinage and notes. Some people who regularly visit the island say you can ask for it to be given to you in British pounds if you are right at the end of your holiday. However don’t expect to get British currency back throughout your stay as it might start to annoy people!
In theory British banks should swap any Jersey notes you have once you get back into Britain. However some have said this is rather a hit-and-miss affair. As such you may want to consider looking to exchange anything you have left prior to leaving Jersey.
As you might expect you won’t have any trouble paying for things with a credit or debit card on the island. These are widely accepted by all kinds of establishments. Finally if you use any other currency than the British pound where you live, you can take traveller’s cheques to Jersey to cash in while you are there. Get these denominated in the British pound to ensure you don’t incur any further charges when you cash them in.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Jersey pound
The Jersey pound is issued on a 1:1 basis (at par) with the British pound, so if you use this in your everyday life you won’t need to find out what the exchange rate is. However if you hail from another part of the world you can simply get the exchange rate you need by comparing your own currency with that of the British pound. This can be done on any currency converter since they will all include this popular currency in their list of currencies. If you do use another currency type you may want to remember that exchange rate charges might be applied when you convert your own currency to that of the pound.
If you are planning a trip to Jersey you might want to find out more about it before you go. As such the best place to go is the official website for the States of Jersey. You can visit a link concerning the visa and passport requirements that are in place for visiting Jersey by going to http://www.gov.je.
Travelling safely with the Jersey pound
Jersey is a pretty safe place to be for the most part. This is good news for everyone who might be planning to visit there in the near future. While there is the chance of petty crime taking place it probably won’t affect you. The majority of people who go to Jersey have no problems while they are there at all.
However it is a good idea to take the same kinds of steps you would to protect yourself as you would at home. For example you might want to keep a close eye on any valuables you have with you, and ensure you don’t leave them unattended. This is really the most you have to be concerned with, since the vast majority of trips to Jersey are memorable for all the right reasons.
Where to spend your pounds in Jersey – and what to spend them on
Jersey is located far closer to France than it is to England. However you will find it south of Swanage and to the south-east of Guernsey, which isn’t too far away. It is also situated roughly to the west of Coutances in France.
The capital of Jersey is Saint Helier, which is strictly speaking a parish of the island. It is close to where many ferries come into port on the island. Many tourists like to see the indoor Central Market it has to offer, while the nearby Beresford Market is also worth a look. Be warned of the strong smell of fish though, since it sells this above all else! It is also worth popping into the museum at 16 New Street while in Saint Helier. This is owned by the National Trust of Jersey and is a fascinating place to go.
Another popular spot on the island is Durrell Wildlife Park. This is known for the work it does in preserving many species instead of letting them be consigned to history. You can see many of these species here and learn more about how they have been preserved and looked after as a result of the great works performed at the wildlife park.
The island has its fair share of castles too, but one of the most appealing is surely Elizabeth Castle, since it stands out on an islet that can only be reached when the tide is at its lowest. That’s if you want to walk to it of course – if you want to reach it at other times you need to grab a place on the ferry that regularly makes the journey to and from the mainland. The castle itself is quite a famous sight and often represents the island as such. You may well recognise it long before you ever step foot inside it.
Jersey is a great island to visit. It is not a big island, covering slightly less than 120 square kilometres in all. This is equivalent to just over 46 square miles, so you can see it’s not a particularly big place to be. However there is plenty here to explore and enjoy, which means you can really get to grips with everything that is provided for you to enjoy.
It might take a while to get used to the different-looking coins and banknotes, but you’ll certainly find plenty of places to spend them. Where will you go first when you decide to visit Jersey?