The leone is the currency
of Sierra Leone. It is subdivided into 100 cents.
Summary information about Sierra Leonean leone
- ISO 4217 Code:
- Currency sign:
- Sierra Leone
- 10 leones, 50 leones, 100 leones, 500 leones
- 1000 leones, 2000 leones, 5000 leones, 10000 leones
- Central bank:
- Bank of Sierra Leone
The Portuguese established a port in Freetown in 1495. British abolitionists organized the Sierra Leone Company, founded Freetown in 1787, as a settlement freed and runaway slaves. After the British Parliament made the slave trade illegal in 1807, the government took over the settlement as a base for naval operations against the slave trade, and the area around Freetown became a British colony on January 1, 1808. The interior became a British protectorate in 1896. Sierra Leone gained its independence on April 27, 1961, and became a republic on April 19, 1971.
The Sierra Leone Company issued some banknotes and coins between 1791 and 1805, and the Sierra Leone government issued some banknotes in 1808. The Spanish Dollar was made the official unit of account on January 1, 1796 and the coins were issued in denominations of dollars and pennies. The Pound Sterling was reintroduced as the unit of account on November 30, 1808. The Spanish Dollar was used until around 1880, British coins after 1825, and the French 5 Franc coin after 1843. Spanish Dollars were used in Nigeria with 4 Spanish Dollars equal to 1 British Pound
Sterling to September 30, 1843 and 4.80 Spanish Dollars equal to 1 Pound Sterling until it was demonetized on May 11, 1880.
On July 1, 1913, the West African Currency Board was established originally to issue coins, but the Constitution was revised in November 1915 to allow for the issue of Pound (XWAP) banknotes at par with the British Pound Sterling. The British West African coins replaced the foreign coins that had circulated in Sierra Leone until then.
After gaining its independence, Sierra Leone introduced the Sierra Leone Leone (SLL) as its national currency with 2 Leone equal to 1 Pound. The Leone is divisible into 100 Cents. The Bank of Sierra Leone
is the sole note-issuing authority for Sierra Leone.
In 1964, decimal coins were introduced in denominations of ½, 1, 5, 10 and 20 cents. The coins size and compositions were based in part on those of the former colonial state British West Africa. All bore the portrait of the first president of Sierra Leone, Sir Milton Margai. In 1972, 50 cents coins were introduced which carried the portrait of the succeeding president Dr. Siaka Stevens. In 1974, round cupro-nickel one leone coins were introduced and in 1976, seven sided cupro-nickel 2 leone coins commemorating FAO were introduced. These latter two denominations, however, did not circulate as frequently as the lower cent denominations. The portrait of Stevens also appeared on a new, slightly smaller series of coins introduced in 1980 in denominations of ½, 1, 5, 10 and 20 cents. In 1987, octagonal, nickel-bronze 1 leone coins were introduced with a bust portrait of General Joseph Saidu Momoh. This coin effectively replaced the one leone note.
Following a period of economic collapse and the following Sierra Leone Civil War inflation became rampant, devaluing older coins. A new coin series was introduced in 1996 for 10, 50 and 100 leones. The 50 leones is octagonal while the other two are round. These coins were struck in nickel plated steel and feature important figures in Sierra Leone's political history. Ten sided, bimetallic 500 leones coins were first introduced in 2004. Of the four coins in circulation, only the 100 leones is available in small quantity due to their low valuation and shortage of supply.
500 leones coins and the two lowest denominations are rarely encountered due to rampant metal theft in the impoverished country.
In 1964, the Bank of Sierra Leone introduced notes in denominations of 1, 2 and 5 leones. These officially replaced notes of the British West African pound at a two leone to one pound exchange ratio. 50 cents notes were introduced in 1979, followed by 10 leones in 1980 and 20 leones notes in 1982. Throughout this period the value of the currency was fixed and remained relatively stable despite inherent economic problems.
100 leones notes were introduced in 1988, followed by 500 leones in 1991, 1000 and 5000 leones in 1993, 2000 leones in the year 2000 and 10,000 Leone in 2004.
All pre civil war notes (1964-1991) depicted the head of state during the time of issue. The first series depicting Sir Milton Margai and later issues depicting either Siaka and Momoh. This practice ended with the ascension of the NPRC regime and has remained so despite the return to civilian government.
Prior to June 2010, banknotes in circulation were 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000 leones. 10,000 leones notes were in circulation for less than ten years and were infrequently encountered. This meant that most transactions took place in bundles of 5000 leones notes.
In June 2010, the Bank of Sierra Leone issued new notes which were slightly smaller in size than the earlier series and intended to be more secure and durable. The new banknotes are: Le10,000, Le5,000, Le2,000 and Le1,000. Coins are still used, but because of their low value are less common.
Because of inflation, a 20,000 leone banknote has been suggested.
SLL banknotes pictures gallery
|1000 Sierra Leonean leones|
|Banknote of 1000 Sierra Leonean leones has dimensions 135×67 mm and main colors are light gray, platinum, cinereous, dim gray, grullo, rose gold, antique brass, puce and linen. The banknote of 1000 Sierra Leonean leones was issued in 2010.|
Obverse side of the 1000 Sierra Leonean leones is showing the portrait of Bai Bureh and the Coat of arms of Sierra Leone.
Reverse side of the 1000 Sierra Leonean leones is showing the telecommunications satellite dish.
|2000 Sierra Leonean leones|
|Banknote of 2000 Sierra Leonean leones has dimensions 140×69 mm and main colors are khaki, platinum, light taupe, grullo, bole, gainsboro, pale spring bud, platinum and isabelline. The banknote of 1000 Sierra Leonean leones was issued in 2010.|
Obverse side of the 2000 Sierra Leonean leones is showing the portrait of saac Theophilus Akunna Wallace-Johnson, cargo ship and the Coat of arms of Sierra Leone.
Reverse side of the 2000 Sierra Leonean leones is showing the Bank of Sierra Leone building and the Freetown.
|5000 Sierra Leonean leones|
|Banknote of 5000 Sierra Leonean leones has dimensions 145×71 mm and main colors are gray, old lavender, lavender gray, wild blue yonder, almond, timberwolf, rose quartz and dark gray. The banknote of 1000 Sierra Leonean leones was issued in 2010.|
Obverse side of the 5000 Sierra Leonean leones is showing the portrait of Sengbe Pieh and the Coat of arms of Sierra Leone.
Reverse side of the 5000 Sierra Leonean leones is showing the Bumbuna hydroelectric dam.
|10000 Sierra Leonean leones|
|Banknote of 10000 Sierra Leonean leones has dimensions 153×73 mm and main colors are khaki, silver, light gray, cambridge blue, dark gray, timberwolf, light gray, pastel gray and platinum. The banknote of 1000 Sierra Leonean leones was issued in 2010.|
Obverse side of the 10000 Sierra Leonean leones is showing Dove flying over the map of Sierra Leone and the Flag of Sierra Leone.
Reverse side of the 10000 Sierra Leonean leones is showing Popular tree (Populus trichocarpa) and the Coat of arms of Sierra Leone.
- About Bank of Sierra Leone:
- Bank of Sierra Leone
- List of currencies:
- Security and design features of SLL banknotes:
- SLL banknotes
- SLL currency on Wikipedia:
- Sierra Leonean leone
- Official Website of Bank of Sierra Leone:
- Commemorative coins:
- Commemorative Coins