The dollar has been the currency of Liberia since 1943. It was also the currency between 1847 and 1907. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively L$ or LD$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies and it is divided into 100 cents. The first Liberian dollar was issued in 1847 and it was pegged to the US dollar at par and circulated alongside the US dollar until 1907, when Liberia adopted the British West African pound, which was pegged to sterling. In 1847, copper 1 and 2 cents coins were issued and were the only Liberian coins until 1896, the last issues were made in 1906. The Treasury Department issued notes between 1857 and 1880 in denominations of 10 and 50 cents,1,2,3,5 and 10 dollars, united States currency replaced the British West African pound in Liberia in 1935. Starting in 1937, Liberia issued its own coins which circulated alongside US currency, unfortunately the 7-sided coins were the same size and weight as the one-dollar coin, this similarity was frequently abused by traders. In the late 1980s the coins were replaced with a newly designed $10 note modeled on the US greenback. The design was modified during the 1990-2004 civil war to ostracize notes looted from the Central Bank of Liberia and this effectively created two currency zones -- the new Liberty notes were legal tender in government-held areas, while the old notes were legal tender in non-government areas. Each was of course illegal in the other territory, following the election of the Charles Taylor government in 1997 a new series of banknotes dated 1999 was introduced on March 29,2000. In 1937, coins were issued in denominations of ½,1 and 2 cents and these were augmented in 1960 with coins for 1,5,10,25 and 50 cents. A $1 coin was issued the following year, five-dollar coins were issued in 1982 and 1985. According to the 2009 Standard Catalog of World Coins, numerous commemorative coins in denominations ranging from 1 to 2500 Dollars have been issued beginning in the 1970s through the present, five-dollar notes were introduced in 1989 which bore the portrait of J. J. Roberts. These were known as J. J. notes, in 1991, similar notes were issued which replaced the portrait with Liberias arms. These were known as Liberty notes, on 29 March 2000, the Central Bank of Liberia introduced a new “unified” currency, which was exchanged at par for “J. J. ” notes and at a ratio of 1,2 for “Liberty” notes. The new banknotes each feature a portrait of a former president and these notes remain in current use, although they underwent a minor redesign in 2003, with new dates, signatures, and the CENTRAL BANK OF LIBERIA banner on the back. On 27 July 2016, the Central Bank of Liberia announced new banknotes will be introduced with enhanced security features, all of the denominations are the same as previous issues, with the $500 banknote being introduced as part of this series. On 6 October 2016, the Central Bank of Liberia introduced new banknotes, Central Bank of Liberia Economy of Liberia Liberian banknotes
19th Century Liberian One dollar.
Image: LIB 10A Republic of Liberia 25 cents (1880)