Solomon Islands dollar
|Solomon Islands dollar|
|ISO 4217 code||SBD|
|Central bank||Central Bank of Solomon Islands|
|Source||Central Bank of Solomon Islands, August 2009.|
|Coins||10, 20, 50 cents, $1, $2|
|Banknotes||$5, $10, $20, $50, $100|
The dollar (ISO 4217 code: SBD) is the currency of Solomon Islands since 1977. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign "$" or, alternatively "SI$" to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is subdivided into 100 cents.
|Current SBD exchange rates|
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Prior to the Solomon Islands Dollar, Solomon Islands relied on foreign currencies, namely the Australian units of pound sterling. however, the Solomon Islands had also issued its own corresponding banknotes, sometimes called the Solomon Islands Pound.
When Solomon Islands fell under the control of Imperial Japan, the Oceanian pound, a so-called "Japanese Invasion Currency" became the official currency until after the war ended and the Pound was restored.
In 1966, the Australian dollar replaced the pound, and was circulated in the Solomon Islands until 1976, shortly before independence.
The Solomon Islands dollar was introduced in 1977, replacing the Australian dollar at par, following independence. Until 1979, the two dollars remained equal. After a period of five months pegged at SI$1.05 = A$1, the currency floated. Economic stagnation ensued, so over the next 28 years, and especially during the civil war of 2000–2003, inflation has taken its toll, with the Solomon Islands dollar now equal to 15 Australian cents.
In 2008, due to the low valuation in the currency, many Islanders have taken to hoarding coins and giving them to children as souvenirs, sparking a coin shortage. Some more traditional monetary forms, such as dolphin teeth, have in a few areas taken the place of coins. A public awareness campaign was launched to encourage people to cash in excess coins at the bank to help alleviate the shortfall.
The Solomon Islands dollar is not a true dollar in the sense that it is descended directly from the Spanish pieces of eight, as is the case with the US dollar, the Canadian dollar, and the East Caribbean Dollar. The Solomon Islands dollar is an off-shoot of the Australian dollar which is in turn essentially a half pound sterling. Australia followed the pattern of South Africa in that when it adopted the decimal system, it decided to use the half pound unit as opposed to the pound unit of account.
The choice of the name dollar was motivated by the fact that the reduced value of the new unit corresponded more closely to the value of the US dollar than it did to the pound sterling. Other examples of dollars that are not true dollars for this same reason are the Cayman Islands dollar, the Australian dollar, the Jamaican dollar, the New Zealand dollar, the Fiji dollar, the Namibian dollar, the Rhodesian dollar, and the Zimbabwe dollar.
Examples of dollars that are directly related to the original Spanish dollar unit are the US dollar, the Canadian dollar, the Newfoundland dollar, the East Caribbean dollar, the Belize dollar, the Guyanese dollar, the Bermuda dollar, the Bahamian dollar, the Trinidad and Tobago dollar, the Barbados dollar, the Hong Kong dollar, the Straits dollar, the Malayan dollar, the Singapore dollar, and the Brunei dollar.
In 1977, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 cents and 1 dollar. The cent coins were all the same sizes, weights, and compositions as the corresponding Australian coins, with the 1 dollar an equilaterally curved heptagonal (seven sided) coin minted in cupro-nickel. The reverse of each of the six original coins depicts the image of an item or symbol important to native culture, with the most notable being the 10 cent piece depicting Ngoreru, a local sea god from the Temoto region.
In 1985, bronze-plated steel replaced bronze in the 1 and 2 cents, with nickel-clad steel replacing cupro-nickel in the 20 cents in 1989, and the 5 and 10 cents in 1990. 1988 saw the introduction of 50-cent coins, which were dodecagonal (twelve sided) and minted in cupro-nickel. The 1988 50-cent was a commemorative piece celebrating the tenth anniversary of independence. Later issues simply depict the national crest. Unlike the lower denominations, the 50-cent and 1 dollar continued to be minted in cupro-nickel rather than clad-steel up until their discontinuation.
With a high national inflation rate, the 1 and 2-cent coins became seldom used, with prices often being rounded off to the nearest 5 cents instead due to a low valuation and shortage of these coins.
Second coin series:
In 2012, New, smaller coins were introduced in denominations 10, 20, and 50 cents in nickel plated steel and brass 1, and 2 dollar coins. The minting of the older coins had become too costly, with most of them being more expensive to produce than they were worth. Like the previous issue, these coins were minted by the Royal Australian Mint. The 2 dollar coin replaced the banknote while the 1, 2, and 5 cent coins were discontinued for having face value too low for production or practical use. Most notably, the 1 and 2 dollar coins have a close similarity to the 1 and 2 dollar coins of Australia being of nearly the same thickness, color, and circumference. The interrupted reeding on the edges are also identical to that of their Australian counterparts, however the metallurgical compositions and weights are slightly different and respective denominations are on the opposite sizes.
On 24 October 1977, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 2, 5 and 10 dollars, with 20-dollar notes added on 24 October 1980. The first issues of banknotes depicted Queen Elizabeth II. However, all new series afterwards had her image replaced with that of the national crest. 50 dollar notes were first introduced in 1986, followed by 100 dollar notes in 2006. A polymer two-dollar banknote was issued in 2001 to replace the cotton fibre issue, but the banknote was reverted to cotton in the 2006 series.
The 2006 series also saw several new security features, including brighter background colours, a micro printed holofoil on the 50 and 100-dollar notes, a tapered serial number, and a weaved security thread. On 26 September 2013, the Central Bank of the Solomon Islands issued a new 50 dollar note featuring Hybrid security features by De La Rue and announced it to be the first of a series of new banknotes over the course of five years as older notes begin to wear out and need replacement.
All of the notes depict scenes of traditional daily life and things that are culturally important in the islands, with each note pertaining to a particular theme.
All banknotes are issued by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands.
- Krause, Chester L., and Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
- Pick, Albert (1994). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (7th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9.