Somaliland shilling

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Somaliland shilling
شلن صوماليلاندي ‹See Tfd›(in Arabic)
Soomaaliland shilin (in Somali)
SymbolSl. Sh.
Banknotes5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 Somaliland shillings[1]
Coins1, 5, 10, 20 Somaliland shillings
User(s) Somaliland
Central bankBank of Somaliland (Baanka Somaliland)

The Somaliland shilling (Somali: Soomaaliland shilin) is the official currency of Republic of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.[2][3]


The Somaliland shilling was introduced on 18 October 1994 at a rate of one new Somaliland shilling to 100 Somali shillings. The Somali shilling ceased to be accepted as legal tender in Somaliland on 31 January 1995. Although the authorities in Somaliland have banned usage of the Somali shilling, Somalia's official currency is still used by many border villages.[4]


Nominally, one Somaliland shilling is divided into 100 cents, but coins denominated in cents have never been issued, probably due to the low value of one shilling. The coin with the lowest value is the one shilling coin, first minted in 1994 at the Pobjoy Mint in England and therefore bearing the PM mintmark. In 2002, 2 and 5 shilling coins were issued, bearing depictions of explorer Sir Richard Burton and of a rooster, respectively. Other coins that have been issued at some point are the 10 shilling coin (depicting a monkey), the 20 shilling coin (depicting a dog), and a silver 1,000 shilling coin (also depicting Sir Richard Burton). The reverse side of the 1,000 shilling coin contains an interesting error: instead of depicting the coat of arms of Somaliland, it depicts the coat of arms of Somalia.

Somaliland coins are not currently being minted or circulated.

There are nominally 100 cents in one Somaliland shilling. The 1/- coin was struck at the Pobjoy Mint in England. The 1/- and 5/- coins are composed of aluminium. The 10/- coin is composed of brass, the 20/- coin is composed of stainless steel, and the 1,000/- coin is composed of .999 fine silver.

1 Shilling (1994)

This was the first coin issued by the Somaliland government. The coin depicts a Somali pigeon (Columba oliviae). The obverse of the coin is inscribed 'REPUBLIC OF SOMALILAND 1994'. The PM (Pobjoy Mint) mint mark is located near the bird's tail feathers. The reverse of the coin is inscribed 'BAANKA SOMALILAND' and '.ONE SOMALILAND SHILLING.'. The symbol '1/-' is in the centre.

5 Shillings (2002)

There were two coins of this denomination, both issued in 2002. The first coin has a portrait of Sir Richard Francis Burton, and the second coin depicts a rooster.

The specifications of the first coin are as follows:

The obverse of the coin is inscribed "RICHARD F. BURTON EXPLORATION OF SOMALILAND". The dates "1841 1904" are to the left of the portrait, and "2002" is to the right of the portrait. The reverse of the coin is inscribed "BAANKA SOMALILAND" and ".FIVE SOMALILAND SHILLINGS.". The symbol "5/-" is in the centre.

The specifications of the second coin are as follows:

The obverse of this coin is inscribed "REPUBLIC OF SOMALILAND 2002". The main obverse design depicts a rooster. The reverse of the second coin is the same as the first coin.

10 Shillings (2002)

Is the third lowest denomination of the shilling. It has a monkey on the front.

20 Shillings (2002)

The obverse of this coin depicts a Greyhound. It is inscribed 'REPUBLIC OF SOMALILAND 2002'. The reverse of this coin is inscribed 'BAANKA SOMALILAND' and '.TWENTY SOMALILAND SHILLINGS.' The symbol '20/-' is in the centre.

1,000 Shillings (2002)

The obverse of this coin depicts a portrait of Sir Richard Burton as on the 5/- coin. However, the reverse depicts the coat of arms of Somalia, instead of the coat of arms of Somaliland. 1,000 shillings coin


Banknotes were issued in denominations of 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, 500, and 1,000 and 5,000 Somaliland shillings, with dates ranging from 1994 to 2011.[5] Currently only the 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 Somaliland shillings notes are in circulation.

50 USD equivalent in 2011
Regular Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of printing
Obverse Reverse
[1] 5 Somaliland shillings 120 × 53 mm Green Historic house "Goodirka" (House of Representatives then. Now Supreme Court of Somaliland), kudu Two nomads with three camels, behind them are the Naasa Hablood hills 1994
[2] 10 Somaliland shillings Purple 1994, 1996
[3] 20 Somaliland shillings Brown
[4] 50 Somaliland shillings Blue 1994
[5] 50 Somaliland shillings 130 × 58 or 130 × 57 mm (different sources) 1996, 1999
[6] 100 Somaliland shillings 135 × 62 mm Khaki green Bank of Somaliland in Hargeisa Berbera dockside with herds of Somali sheep and goats 1994, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011
[7] 500 Somaliland shillings 145 × 66 mm Blue
[8] 1,000 Somaliland shillings 145 × 66 mm Red 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015
[9] 5,000 Somaliland shillings 145 × 66 mm Green Three camels and three goats foraging 2011, 2012, 2015
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixel per millimeter. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

In 1996 and 1999, regular 50 Somaliland shillings notes were reissued with increased size (130 × 58 or 130 × 57 mm by difference sources).

5th Anniversary of Independence Commemorative Issue (1996)

In 1996, banknotes were overprinted with the phrase "5th Anniversary of Independence 18 May 1996 Sanad Gurada 5ee Gobanimadda 18 May 1996" in bronze/gold letters or "Sanad Gurada 5ee Gobanimadda 18 May 1996" in silver letters to commemorate the fifth anniversary of gaining de facto independence. However, whether these commemorative notes were overprinted by the Somaliland authority or by numismatic merchant is unclear.

Exchange rates[edit]

Moneychangers in Hargeisa

The central bank provides exchange services for various currencies at the official government rate, but most people prefer the better, although unofficial, rates provided by the hawala agents and moneychangers found on the streets of main cities.

In November 2000 the official exchange rate of Baanka Somaliland was 4,550 shillings for 1 US dollar. Unofficial exchange rates at the time fluctuated between 4,000 and 5,000 shillings per dollar.

In December 2008, the official rate had fallen to 7,500 shillings per US dollar.[6] In December 2015, the generally recognized exchange rate was 6,000 shillings per US dollar. In July 2019, the generally recognized exchange rate increased to 8,500 shillings per US dollar.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Somaliland new 1,000000- and 5,000000-shilling notes confirmed Archived 2012-01-21 at Wikiwix Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  2. ^ The Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic Archived 2008-12-18 at the Wayback Machine: "The Somali Republic shall have the following boundaries. (a) North; Gulf of Aden. (b) North West; Djibouti. (c) West; Ethiopia. (d) South south-west; Kenya. (e) East; Indian Ocean."
  3. ^ CIA - The World Factbook - Somalia
  4. ^ Time for Somaliland to Rethink its Strategy
  5. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Somaliland". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA:
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2005-12-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Preceded by:
Somali shilling
Reason: currency independence
Ratio: 1 Somaliland shilling = 100 Somali shillings = 1/50 United States dollar
Currency of Somaliland
1994 –
Note: Somaliland is not widely recognized
Succeeded by: