Gambian pound

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The Gambian pound was the currency of the Gambia between 1965 and 1971. Gambia used the British West African pound until it issued its own currency on October 5, 1964. In 1971, the dalasi replaced the pound at a rate of 1 pound = 5 dalasis which means 1 dalasi = 4 shillings. One Gambian pound was made up of 20 shillings, each shilling being made up of 12 pence.


When The Gambia was granted internal self-government in October 1963, rather than being a constituent colony of British West Africa the West African Currency Board ordered that the Gambian pound should replace the British West African pound in the colony and an order for unique banknotes was lodged with British banknote printer Bradbury Wilkinson & Co. Ltd. for 10 shilling, £1 and £5 notes. The new notes were issued within four days of the new currency ordinance under the oversight of The Gambia Currency Board, which came into effect on 1 October 1964.[1]

The Gambia Currency Board issued The Gambia's first coinage, produced by the Royal Mint, to replace the British West African coins, on 21 November 1966; the values remained the same although the 1 tenth and 1/2 penny coins were not issued, whilst a 4 Shillings piece went into circulation. An 8 Shillings coin was subsequently struck in 1970.

The Central Bank of The Gambia took over assets and liabilities of The Gambia Currency Board in 1971 and a new decimal currency was introduced to replace the Gambian pound; the new currency was the Dalasi with 1 dalasi being subdivided into 100 bututs. Again, the coins were minted by the Royal Mint and the notes were printed by Bradbury Wilkinson & Co. Ltd.[1]


Coins were introduced by The Gambia Currency Board on 18 February 1966 and these were minted by the Royal Mint[1] in denominations of 1, 3 and 6 pence, 1, 2 and 4 shillings, with 8 shillings added in 1970. All coins had Queen Elizabeth II's portrait on the obverse.[2]

Value Date Composition Reverse
1 penny 1966 Bronze Native sailing boat
3 pence 1966 Aluminium bronze Double-spurred francolin
6 pence 1966 Cupronickel Three peanuts
1 shilling 1966 Cupronickel Oil palm
2 shillings 1966 Cupronickel African domestic ox
4 shillings 1966 Cupronickel Slender-snouted crocodile
8 shillings 1970 Cupronickel Hippopotamus

The 8 Shillings coin of the Gambia is the only example of this denomination ever minted. With the exception of the Hippopotamus, the reverse designs of the pre-decimal coins were reused on the Gambia's decimal coins.[2]


On October 5, 1964, new banknotes were introduced by the Gambia Currency Board in denominations of 10 shillings, 1 and 5 pounds. All notes had a sailing boat with a forest background on the obverse and were produced until 1970.[3]

Value Colour Reverse
10 shillings Green Natives tending their crops
1 pound Red Labourers working at a wharf
5 pounds Blue People using hand powered machinery

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "A History of The Gambian Dalasi". Gambia Information Site. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  2. ^ a b Chaster L. Krause; Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-150-1.
  3. ^ Albert Pick (1994). Colin R. Bruce II; Neil Shafer (eds.). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9.

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