Swaziland, which is now known as the Kingdom of Eswatini, is a landlocked nation located in Southern Africa. It neighbors Mozambique to its northeast and South Africa to the north, southeast, west, and south. Although one of the smallest countries on the continent with less than 200 kilometers from north to south and 130 kilometers from east to west, Swaziland has a diverse terrain and climate.
Swaziland’s new name is derived from former king Mswati II who was hailed as the greatest of the fighting kings in the country, extending its territory to twice its current size. The country has a developing lower-middle-income economy that relies on agriculture, forestry, mining, and manufacturing of textiles and sugar-based products.
First Currency of Swaziland
Swaziland’s official currency is the Swazi lilangeni which was launched in 1974 and is divided into 100 cents. To promote economic stability, the lilangeni is pegged to the South African rand which also circulates across the country. The first banknotes feature King Sobhuza II, the Ngwenyama of Swaziland who had the longest reign of monarch in history.
In 1981, the Central Bank of Swaziland took over the production of banknotes and also issued its first notes commemorating King Sobhuza II’s Diamond jubilee. Another set of notes was released in 1986 bearing a portrait of King Mswati III. In 2008, 100 and 200 lilangeni banknotes were released in celebration of King Mswati III’s 40th birthday and also the 40th year of independence. These paper bills are the first in the world to ever use intaglio halftone technology that creates picture-like portraits. They are also the first notes to be printed on Hybrid substrate by Giesecke & Devrient.
On November 1, 2010, a new set of paper bills is introduced by the Central Bank of Swaziland. They feature enhanced security features such as color shifting windowed security thread with demetalized text and portrait watermarks with electrotype denomination.