The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago sitting in the Indian Ocean along with nearby territories and islands of Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar, the Maldives and the Chagos Archipelago, and the French overseas territories of Mayotte and Reunion. With an estimated population of only 98,462 in 2020, Seychelles is the least populated African country. This island nation boasts a diverse culture and society with a blend of British, French, and African heritage and a twist of Indian and Chinese influences.
First Banknotes of Seychelles
In 1914, the Board of Commissioners of Currency was established as authorized by the British Legislative Council. Provisional banknotes that were hand-signed by the auditor and treasurer of the board were issued. In 1918, Seychelles began issuing notes that feature British monarchs on their obverse design.
In 1974, the Currency Commission was formed to be in charge of the production of currency issues for the Republic of Seychelles. The move has made Seychelles the smallest country in the world with its own monetary unit not pegged to another foreign currency and not shared with any other nation.
Following its independence from the United Kingdom on June 29, 1976, Queen Elizabeth II’s picture on the obverse of Rupee banknotes was replaced by the portrait of the nation’s first president James Richard Marie Mancham. Mancham was overthrown by Prime Minister France-Albert Rene on June 5, 1977, therefore these banknotes were short-lived.
In 1983, the Central Bank of Seychelles was established, taking over the responsibilities of the Seychelles Monetary Authority. Its first issues were similar to the banknotes released by the SMA featuring oceans and sea creatures and objects. The 1989 issues of the central bank feature its new headquarters building on Independence Avenue in Victoria. This set of banknotes was released to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the Seychelles People United Party.
Recent Rupee banknotes have vibrant colors, updated designs, and enhanced security features such as a hologram sailfish, a fluorescent or color-shifting security thread, and De La Rue’s Gemini technology that glows under a UV light.