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- Foreign Exchange Rates: Demand Draft (1893-1926): Notes
This database provides foreign exchange rates (high, low, average) by location where payable for the period from January 1893 until September 1926. Exchange rates are those for demand draft (i.e., a bill of exchange paid in the foreign currency upon presentation at the place of payment), payable, respectively, in London, Paris, Berlin (changed to Hamburg from September 1920 onward), New York / San Francisco, Bombay (starting from January 1897), Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
The data originate from the "Reference Book of Financial Matters" of the Financial Bureau of the Ministry of Finance. In accordance with the source materials, foreign exchange rates payable in Hong Kong are displayed per 100 Hong Kong dollar stated in yen, while foreign exchange rates payable in locations other than Hong Kong are displayed per 1 yen (or per 100 yen) stated in the respective foreign currency.
The notations to represent the high and low points of foreign exchange rates in the Reference Book of Financial Matters are different across volumes and, therefore, the "highs" and "lows" have been switched around from the data in source materials in the cases mentioned below. The source materials up until and including the 1922 volume use different notations from those in the volumes from 1924 forward, except for foreign exchange rates payable in Hong Kong. Up until the 1922 volume, a peak in the value of the foreign currency against the yen is represented as a "high" and a trough in the value of the foreign currency against the yen is represented as a "low." Thus, "lows" exceed "highs" for exchange rates payable in places other than Hong Kong in terms of the relative dimensions of the numbers displayed in the statistics, while "highs" exceed "lows" in the case of foreign exchange rates payable in Hong Kong (the exceptions are cases where "highs" and "lows" are of the same value). From the 1924 volume forward, except for exchange rates payable in Hong Kong, the source materials indicate a "high" ("low") when the yen marks a peak (trough) value against the foreign currency. Consequently, beginning with the data of the 1924 volume, the "highs" and "lows" appear inverted compared with the data stated in the volumes up to 1922. In this database, the "highs" and "lows" have been switched around for the data in the volumes up to 1922, except for foreign exchange rates payable in Hong Kong.
Errors deemed misprints in the source materials have been corrected. In instances where data are represented as zeros, the spaces have been left blank, consistent with the cases when no data exist.
With regard to foreign exchange rates payable in London, shillings and pence are stated in separate columns since the pound sterling at the time was not decimalized (the pound was divided into 20 shillings each of which consisted of 12 pence).