The Solomon Islands is a sovereign group of islands that is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country consists of the Solomon chain of islands except for Buka and Bougainvillea. The Solomon Islands were once a British protectorate and gained independence in 1978.

Beach View of Uepi Island
Source: AS

The official currency in the Solomon Islands is the Solomon Islands dollar (ISO code: SBD). It replaced the Australian pound sterling at par in 1977. The Monetary Authority (SIMA) was in charge of issuing notes from 1977 to 1981.

The Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) was established in February 1983 under the Central Bank Act 1976. It is currently the sole issuer of coins and notes in the Solomon Islands.

Central Bank Building
Source: CBSI/Facebook

Currency of the Solomon Islands

Early Solomon Island dollar notes featured Queen Elizabeth II and island culture. They had solid security threads, flying falcon watermarks, and gradually increasing dimensions. The portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was replaced by the coat of arms of the Solomon Islands in 1986. This note design persisted until 2013, with the security features being upgraded as banknote technology also developed. In 2004, the bank added an image of the national flag to the front design of the notes.

20 Dollars | 1984 | P-12 |
Source: Banknote World Educational

The 2 Solomon Island dollar note from 2001 commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Central Bank of the Solomon Islands. It was the first polymer note in the country. In addition, it’s green in color. Its obverse side featurea the coat of arms and Its reverse side features spearfishing. Security features of the note include a decorative shell ring registration device, a simulated windowed security thread with demetalized CBSI as well as a watermark of the coat of arms and an electrotype CBSI.

2 Dollars | 2001 | P-23 | Polymer |
Source: Banknote World Educational

Though the bank intended for the succeeding 2 dollar notes to be printed on a polymer substrate, the public complained about the quality of the polymer note. Eventually, the bank reverted to printing the 2 dollar note on cotton paper.

100 Dollars | 2015 | P-36a.1 |
Source: Banknote World

Modern Banknotes

From 2013 to 2019, the CBSI started printing a new family of Solomon Islands notes. Though these notes featured similar elements like vignettes on island culture and the coat of arms, they also incorporated native design patterns like basket weaving patterns, a colored flag, and animals. These notes also had upgraded security features like holographic patches on the 50 and 100 dollar notes, security threads with demetalized text, and falcon head watermarks with electrotyped CBSI and Cornerstones.

40 Dollars | 2018 | P-37 |
Source: Banknote World

In 2018, the CBSI introduced a new legal tender 40 dollar polymer note. The note commemorates the 40th anniversary of independence from the British. It has a theme of celebrating independence with “a call to the nation to come together as one and move forward”. The prefix on each note was SI/40 for 40 years of independence.

Its front side is also in a vertical position and features the map of the islands, a conch shell in MASK, the coat of arms, and a man blowing on a conch shell. Its reverse side featured a sea turtle, a coral reef with fish, a diver, children rowing a canoe, and also a lone fisherman. Because the note consists of SafeGuard polymer substrate, it does not have a security thread or a watermark.

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