Exploring the Historic Exchange Rate Calculator

Posted by Allison on 24 May 2012, 11:26

When it comes to money converters there are plenty of them to choose from. But only a fraction of them offer you the opportunity to look back into history to see what the exchange rate was between any two currencies at any time in the past.

Some of these calculators go back many years, so if there is a particular period of time you have an interest in looking at you should be able to find the data you need. Some will also provide you with a graph that will illustrate the overall rise and fall of a particular exchange rate.

In today’s dramatic climate, with the Euro taking a nosedive towards unknown territory and many other currencies struggling with their performance, it can be interesting to look back on previous exchange rates. Take the British pound for instance. A couple of years back it was bagging a two dollar exchange rate against the likes of the US dollar. Since falling back from that rate and hitting a low that went well below $1.40, we have never recovered. At the moment it is hovering around $1.60, although it has dropped back from there in recent days, largely as a result of the growing uncertainty over the Eurozone.

The good thing is that whatever reason you decide to use a historic exchange rate calculator, they are fairly easy to get to grips with. The first job is to choose the two currencies you want to look at, just as you would with any other calculator of this nature. But instead of looking at the most current rate by default, you have to enter the dates you want to find exchange rates for.

This means you can focus on a particular date in the past by entering the start and end date as the same. For example you could select the 23rd April 2008 as the start and end date, to get the closing rate for that particular day. Alternatively you could find exchange rates over a period of time, perhaps even for a year or more. This is interesting if you want to look at the wider picture. In this case you might set 1st January 2004 as your start date and 31st December 2004 as the end date. Here you would get the complete exchange rate history between your two chosen currencies for an entire calendar year.

There are many reasons why you might opt to get historical exchange rates rather than up to date ones. You may need it for business purposes, for study purposes or just for your own interest. It can also come in handy if you are thinking of investing in the foreign exchange markets, because you can often use historical rates to gauge whether they are likely to go up or down in the near future. It still amounts to an educated guess of course, but an educated guess is better than a shot in the dark.

So you can see the benefit of having a historic converter to use as well as a standard one. What will you use it for?



  1. I can see the point of using a historic currency converter from time to time. I wouldn’t have any reason to use it right now but I have used it in the past when I got curious about how low the pound had fallen compared to its heyday. I would probably only use it now to compare the health of the Euro to its own heyday too!

    — Kate · Jun 12, 04:59 PM · #

  2. I write a lot of financial articles online and I find this type of calculator indispensable in my daily work. I do think it is restricted more to people who work with currencies and perhaps trade in the Forex markets too though. The average person (no offence intended) would not have cause or need to use such a calculator. The more traditional one would suffice in most people’s cases, to get up to date information rather than old news.

    — Ajay · Sep 13, 10:40 AM · #