The Issues

Tanzania Curreny- Banknotes 1

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The first banknotes in this country were rupee banknotes introduced in 1905 during the German rule. They were in denominations of  5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 Rupien. Their images are shown below. Very few the banknotes with facevalues of 500 rupee were issued because not many people could own as much as that amount of cash; I was unable to get their images.
5 Rupien

10 Rupien

50 Rupien

100 Rupien

In the same year of 1905, Zanzibari rupee banknotes were intropduced in Zanzibar.  These were also in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 rupees. However, up to this moment I have managed to get an image of the 5 rupee banknote only.5 Zanzibari rupee

During the first world war, the german governement in german East Africa introduced emmergencey banknotes on plain paper. These emmergency banknotes were in denominations of emergency notes were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 200 Rupien. The emeregency 200 rupien banknotes were very few; I couldn’t get their images.

1 Rupie

5 Rupien

10 Rupien

20 Rupien

50 Rupien

It seems that Tabora was the second important city after Dar es Salaam during the German rule as every banknote listed Dar es Salaama and Tabora cities. The temporary banknotes were very rudimentary, and at some time, hey were oriduced by just a mere rubber stamp as shown below.

A Rubber stamp temprary banknote

After the fall of germany rule in East africa, first, the british used the East African Rupee and the Zanzibari rupee along with the rupien. In zanzibar a 1 rupee banknote was introduced just after the war in 1920.
1 Zanzibari Rupee

1 EA Rupee

5 EA Rupee

1o EA Rupee

In mid 1920, the British governement introduced a common east african currecy of the East African Florin. Florin bank notes were in denominations of  1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 florins, with the 10 florins and above also carrying the denomination in pounds (1, 2, 5, 10 and 50). This currency did not last more thana six months, so very few bankones were released.1 EA Florin

5 EA Florin

After about six months, in .. 1921, the East African Shilling was introduced to replace the East African Florin. The EA shilling had a value of 20 EA Shillings per British Pound, and it was pegged to the pound. For that reason, all 20 EA Shilling banknoes had dual values, of 20 EA SHillings and 1 pound. All banknotes were written in English, Arabic and in Amharic. TWo designs of the EA Shilling banknotes were issued; the first design lasted from 1921 to 1958 udring the reigns of King George V(1910-1936), King Edward VIII(1936-1936), King George VI (1936-1952) and Queen Elizabeth II (1952-Todate). The face had a picture of the King and back had a picture of lion behind Mount Kenya.

Banknotes released released under King George V were in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 100, 1000,  and 10,000  EA Shilling

5 EA Shilling

10 EA Shilling

20 EA Shilling

100 EA Shilling

1000 EA Shilling

(Picture was taken after the banknote had been delegitimized. Punched holes indicate the delegitimization of the banknote)

 By the value the shilling at that time, very few bankontes with a face value of 1000 and 10,000  EA Shillings actually circulated. I haven’t been able to get an image of the 10,000 bankonte. In 1933, the 1000 EA SHilling bank note was retired from circulation.
During the short lived reign of King Edward VIII, no banknotes were released. The next release was under King George VI. Under King George VI,  the 1 EA Shilling was introduced in 1943 and the 10,000 EA shilling banknote was retired in 1947.

1 EA Shilling

5 EA Shilling

10 EA Shilling

20 EA Shilling

100 EA Shilling


After the death of King Gorge VI when Queen Elizabeth II took the throne, the first release of banknotes under the queen were similar to those of her predecessor, however the 1 EA Shilling banknotes were retired from circulation. It seems that this was the only banknote that carried a value of one shilling in East African history.

5 EA Shilling

10 EA Shilling

20 EA Shilling

100 EA Shilling

In 1958, the banknotes were redesigned to be more colorful with popular East african cash crops to represent East african economic activities than merely a lion and Mount Kenya. Denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 100 EA shillings were released. The 5 EA Shilling banknote showed cotton and cloves; the 10 EA Shilling showed sisal and tea; the 20 EA SHilling showed coffee and sunflower, and the 100 EA Shilling banknote showed coconuts, palms and pyrethrum. The East African shilling was no longer officially pegged to the pound, hence the 20 shilling banknote did not have dual values any more.
5 EA Shilling

10 EA Shilling

20 EA Shilling

100 EA Shilling


These new designs continued until after independence although by 1961, the number of members in the East African Currecy board had increased to 6 members, the banknotes released in 1961 had some slight modifications in the front face to accomodate six signatures of the board members as shown below.
5 EA Shilling

10 EA Shilling

20 EA Shilling

100 EA Shilling


The first post-independence release of the EA Shilling banknotes in 1964 had significant changes. The notes were in English and kiswahili; the face of the British ruler was replaced with a dhow (the reason for choosing a dhow is not yet known); and the back of the banknotes were also carried the same east african cash crops although in different images as shown in the following pictures.
5 EA Shilling

10 EA Shilling

20 EA Shilling

100 EA Shilling

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