Tanzanian Currecy: Banknotes II

September 3, 2007

After the dissolution of the East African Currency board into three independent central baks of Kenya Uganda and Tanzania in 1966, each of the three east african countries had their own Shilling. The first Tanzanian Banknotes to be released by the Bank of Tanzania were also in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 100 Tz. Shillings. The front face had the picture of President Julius Nyerere while the back face had various Tanzanian features. The 5 Shilling banknote had a picture of Mount Kilimanjaro; the 10 Shillings banknote had a sisal estate; the 20 shilling banknote had a the gread Mwadui Dimand mine; and the 100 hundred shilling had a Maasai herdsman.

5 Tz Shilling


10 Tz Shilling


20 Tz Shilling


100 Tz Shilling


However, the image of a maasai herdsman was not well recievd by the public as it made them appear as a natural attraction or an economic center. Therefore the next release of these banknotes in 1969 had been redesigned and the maasai image was replaced by the image of wild animals in Serengeti.

100 Tz Shilling


These banknotes continued in circulation until 1978 when they were redesigned, and the five shilling banknote was retired from circulation. In the new design, the image of mwalimu Nyerere was changed from that of a youthful Nyerere of pre-independence to a more matured authoritative figure; and the notes were written entirely in kiswahili. The front face of all notes were similar while the back faces had a map of Tanzania and carried images that represented Tanzania of that time. The 10 shilling banknote had Mount Kilimanjaro, a makonde carving an the Arusha Declaration monument; the 20 shillings banknote had a spinning mill in a textile plant, which indicated the rise of industrial activties in the Nation. The 100 shilling banknote had educational activties from primary school to universities. Education for self reliance, which was one of the ingrediates of the education system, is depicted by the picture of pupils cultivating land with handhoes

10 Tz Shilling


20 Tz Shilling


100 Tz Shilling


The banknotes were redesigned and released in 1984 before Nyerere stepped down. The new design was more colorful showing an image of the aging President Nyerere. The 10 Shilling banknote was retired from circulation and a new banknote of 50 Shillings was introduced. The back of the 20 shillings banknote showed various industrial activities, while the back of the 50 Shilling banknote showed a self-help spirit in constructing primary schools. The back of the 100 banknote had an image showing graduation processign and facilities at the university of dar es salaam. This image was intended to show strides made in the are of higher education in the nation.

20 Tz Shilling


50 Tz Shilling


100 Tz Shilling


When Nyerere stepped down in 1985 and Mwinyi took over. The new banknotes that were released in 1986 did not change in design, but the image of Nyerere was replaced by that of Mwinyi except on the 100 Shilling note. Due to massive delavuation of the shilling that followed under mwinyi, higher denominations became necessary, and a new 200 Shilling banknote was issued. At that time, the 200 shilling was popularly known as the “Double Cabin;” the back of this note had an image showing Zanzibari fishermen and a scribe of clove.

20 Tz Shilling


50 Tz Shilling


100 Tz Shilling


200 Tz Shilling


By 1988, the demand for more money in circulation forced the bank of Tanzania to release another high denomination banknote of 500 Shillings, known at that time as the “Pajero.” The design of the 500 banknote was quite different from that of the other notes. It had a colored coat of arms and a clear Bank Of Tanzania logo. Its back face had an image of women picking coffee.

500 Tz Shilling


The shilling continued to deteriolate against the US dollar, hence the demand for more high denomination bankotes contuned to rise. In 1990, a new 1000 Shilling banknote was released. The design of this banknote was similar to the 500 shilling note. Its backface showed Tanganyika Packers plant in Kawe Dar es Salaama as an indication of the industrial activities in Tanzania. Although its coat of arms was not colored, it had a clear BOT logo with a background inscription of 1000.

1000 Tz Shilling


Tanzanian banknoes of that time were rather wide. Towards the end of 1992, major changes happend in the Tanzanian currency. The 20 Shilling note was retired from circulation, while notes of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 100 Shillings were redesigned by reducing their size with slight changes in their apperance. New bankontes of 5000 and 10,000 Shillings were introduced.

50 Tz Shilling


100 Tz Shilling


200 Tz Shilling


500 Tz Shilling


1000 Tz Shilling


5000 Tz Shilling


10000 Tz Shilling


These new notes continued in circulation until the end of Mwinyi’s tenure in office. When Mkapa took over the presedinecy, his policy was not to use the president’s image on the currency. The front face of all banknotes released in 1997 under Mkapa had a girrafe head, symboling the national animal since colonial times. Banknotes in denominations of 50, 100 and 200 Shilling notes were retired from circulation; the first release of banknotes in 1997 were as follows

500 Tz Shilling


1000 Tz Shilling


5000 Tz Shilling


10000 Tz Shilling


After the death of Mwalimu Nyerere in 1999, it was decided that the 1000 Bank not will permenently carry the portrait of Mwalimu. Hence, this note was redesigned as follows:

1000 Tz Shilling


These notes continued in circulation until 2003 when they were redesigned to add more security features. The girrafe head on the front face was replaced with various popular animals of Tanzania; the image on Nyerere continued to feature the 1000 Shilling note. A new banknote of 2000 Shillings was introducesd. The back faces had pictures of various econom,ic activtities, historical sites and an educational symabol. These notes were written in both English and Swahili instead of swahili alone. These notes are still in circulation today, they are shown in the following pictures.

500 Tz Shilling


1000 Tz Shilling


 2000 Tz Shilling


5000 Tz Shilling


10000 Tz Shilling



Tanzania Curreny- Banknotes 1

September 3, 2007

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


Zanzibari Coins

August 26, 2007

Prior to 1884, Zanzibar and the mainland used Riyal coins issued by the sultan of Zanzibar under the Sultan of Oman.




After 1884, Zazibar uzed a combination of coins. There were the Maria Theresa thaler coins, the Indian Rupee Coins and the Indian Rupees.

 Maria Theresa Thaler


Indian Rupee Coins

1 Rupee


1/2 Rupee


1/4 Rupee


1 Anna


After the end of world war 1, Zanzibar used the East African coins just like the other her neighboring states under the british rule:kenya Uganda and Tanganyika.

Tanzania Money: Part III (Coins-Post Independence)

August 25, 2007

In 1966, the East Africa Currency Board was dissolved resulting in three independent central banks: The Bank of Tanzania, The Bank of Kenya and The Bank of Uganda.

The bank of Tanzania issued the Tanzanian Shilling coins in denominations of 5 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents and 1 shilling. The 5 cents coins was in bronze, the 20 cents in nickel-brass while the 50 sents and 1 shilling coins were in cupro-nickel. These coins ccarried a portrait of Mwalimu Nyerere and continued in circulation for almost 20 years while President Nyerere was in power. Images of these coins are shown below.

5 Cents


20 Cents


50 Cents


1 Shilling

In 1972, a 5 shillings coin was introduced also with a portrait of Nyerere. At that time its wa popularly known as the “Scania.” This coin was also in cupro-nickel and its image is shown below. It is believed that the first 5 Shillings coin was released as comemorative coin to mark 10 years of independence, however, the first version did not stay long in circvulation. At one time, it was believed to have been cast in precious matela that far exceeded the face value of the coin and became an object of interest to many fortune hunters.

5 Shilling

In 1974, very few coins of 25 shillings and 1000 shillings were released, I think, mainly for collectors. Many people never saw them. The apperance of the 25 coin is shown in the following image.

As the shilling value continued to decline, the 5 cents coin became almost useless, and in 1977 just after the birth of CCM, a 10 cents coin was introdued as an eventual replacement of the 5 cents coin. This coin was just like the 20 cents coin in nickel-brass: its image is shown below.


Following the FAO regional conference for Africa that was held in Arusha, Tanzania, from 18  to 28 September 1978, commemorative coins were released in 5 Shillings as showin in the following picture.

It is believed that several commemorative coins were released duing Nyerere’s era, but electronic records for most of them are missing. The last coin to be released under Nyerere’s watch was the 20 shilling coin that was released in 1982 to commemorate 20 years of independence. Its image is shown below.

After Nyerere had stepped down in 1985 and the presidency taken by Mr Mwinyi, the coins were redesigned into different material and dimensions; they were relatively smaller in size with the portrait of Mwinyi. Following massive devealuation of the shilling by Mwinyi, the 5, 10 and 20 cents became useless: they were retired from circulation. The first release of coins under Mwinyi in 1987 were in denominations of 50 cents, 1 shilling,  5 shillings and 10 shillings. They had the portrait of Mwinyi except the 10 shilling coin which carried the portraint of Nyerere as the founding father of the nation. The 50 sents and 1 shilling coins were minted in nickel-clad while the 5 shilling and the 10 shillin coins were in cupro-nickel. These coins are shown below, note that the the 5 shilling coin is octagonal in shape instead of the old decagon.

50 cents


1 shilling


5 shillings


1o shillings


However, as the shilling continued to decline, the Bank of Tanzania responded 1990 by minting the 5, and 10 shilling coins in nickel-clad-steel, and released a new 20 shiling coins shown below. At one time, a commemorative 5 Shilling coin was issued to mark the opening of the new Bank of Tanzania building; I could’t get its image.

Towards the end of Mwinyi reign, new 100 brass coins were released in 1994 with the portrait of Mwalimu Nyerere as a replacement of the 10 coin which had become almost useless in circulation. At that time the 50 cents,  1 shilling and the 5 shilling coins were also retired from circulation.

After Mkapa came to power, he abolished the system of casting images of reiging presidents on the currency; he wanted images of founding fathers to remain on the currency permanently. However, he did not want dowangrade the contribution of President Mwinyi ni building the nation, so new coins did not carry the portrait of Mkapa, instead they carried images of the founding fathers of the nation, Mwalimu Nyerere and Sheikh Karume as well as President Mwinyi. The first release was in 1996 where denominations of 50 shillings and 100 shillings coin were released.  The 100 Shilling coin did not change from its preveious design; howevere, the 50 Shillings coin was new in circulation, minted in brass carrying the portrait of Mwinyi as shown below.


In the same year, coins in 200 shillings were released to commemorate the 35th of independence and the 26th olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. These coins were bimetallic in copper and   nickel.




In the year 1997, two comemorative coins were released in 200 shilling and 500 shilling denominations. The 200 Shiling coins was released to mark the wild life of africa daya, and the 500 shilling coin was released to mark 75 years since the East African tour of Queen Elizabeth, the quee’s mother Elizabeth and her husband in 1923. Their images are as shown below.

200 Shillings


500 Shillings

In 1998, all 200 Shilling comemorative coins were replaced by a brass 200 Shiling coin that carried the portrait of Sheikh Karume as shown below. Along with it was a 500 coin released to promote Wildlives of Serengeti.

200 Coin


500 Coin


Since then, no new coins have been released. Coins in circulation have remained to be 50, 100 and 200 shillings only with portraits of Mwinyi, Nyerere and karume respectively. However, all retired coins are still legally accepted in all finacial transactions.

Tanzania Money: Part II (Coins-British Rule)

August 24, 2007

After the world war I in 1919, German East Africa was occupied by British and Belgian forces. In Tanganyika, the Rupie circulated alongside the British East African rupee, which had been in existence in Kenya and Uganda, until 1920 when both were replaced by the East African florin at par. The florin was divided into 100 cents. Coins were minted in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and 1 florin but, according to the “Standard Catalog of World Coins” (C. L. Krause & C. Mishler, Krause Publications), the 50 cents coins were not released for circulation and only 30% of the 1, 5 and 10 cents coins produced were issued for circulation before the East African florin was replaced by the East African Shilling in 1921. One Shilling was equal to half a florin or equivalently one East African florin equaled two East African Shillings. Because of its short period in existence, few of the coins minted were actually issued and are consequently scarce today.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to get images of those coins.

The East African Shilling was decimalized into 100 cents. Coins were issued in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 50 cents and the 1 Shilling. Coins of 1, 5 and 10 cents were holed bronze, while coins of 50 cents and 1 shilling were solid faced cupronickel. Of all coins in history of this country, these coins were the most stable in  design as they never changed for the whole period of over fourty years of british rule; they continued in circulation even after independence untill 1966. As the British rulers changed, the coin faces were also changed ro reflect the reigning British ruler without changing the coin design; coins with faces depicting past rulers continued in circulation. From the period from 1921 to 1936 when the British empire was ruled  by King George V, coin faces appeared as follows.

Bronze coins




After the death of King George V and the start of the rein of King Edward VIII, who ruled for a little less than a year from January 1936 to December 1936 before being abdicated from the throne for his controversial marriage to an American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Only bronze coins were released during his reign and were inscribed as follows.


King EdwardVIII was replaced by King George VI who ruled until his death in February 1952. During the reign of King George VI, two designs of coin faces were issued. Coins released in the period from 1936 to 1946 were inscribed GEORGIVS VI as shown in the following pictures.





After 1946,  coins were inscribed GEORGIVS SEXTVS as shown in the following picture.





King George VI died in 1952 leaving the throne to his daughter, the current Queen Elizabeth II. Coins released under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II were inscribed as shown in the following picture.





The back face of the coins never changed, all were as shown in the
following pictures.Back Bronze


Back Cupronickel


After independence, these coins continued in circulation as shown in the following picture.


However, in 1964 new coins were released without inscription of the British ruler. Typical coins released in 1964 were as shown in the following pictures.


Tanzania: Money Part 1 (Coins- German Rule)

August 20, 2007

The first currency in this country (then known as germany East Africa) was the rupie, which was introduced by Germans in 1890. It was it was subdivided into 64 Pesa. The swahili word “pesa” is a result of this fraction of a rupie. The fisrt money was all in coins at denominations of 1 Pesa copper coin and 1 Rupie silver coin.
1 Pesa Copper Coin


1 Rupie Silver Coin


 The silver quarter and half Rupie coins were introduced in 1891, and in 1893 the silver 2 Rupien coins were introduced. 

Quarter rupie silver coins


Half Rupie silver coins


2 Rupien silver coins

2 rupee

 These coins continued in circulation untill 1904 when the rupie was decimalized into 100 Hellers per one Rupie. The swahili word “hela” has its origin in this unit of a Rupie. At that time bronze half heller and one Heller coins were introduced.
half heller bronze coin

Half Heller

one heller bronze coin


New designs of the quarter rupie, half rupie and one rupie coins were released.

Quarter Rupee


Half Rupee



one Rupee


More coins were minted in 1908 introducing the bronze and 5 Heller and the holed cupro-nickel 10 Heller coin.5 heller holed broze coin


10 heller holde cupro-nickel coin


In 1913, the brass 5 heller coin was replaced by the holed cupro-nickel holed coin


During the world war in 1916, crude shaped, brass 5 and 20 Heller coins were issued, together with the gold 15 Rupien (also known as the Tabora Pound). The 15 Rupien is said to have been minted with excessive gold compared to the face value of the coin; these are the most favored collectrors coins to date selling as high as.

crude shaped 5 heller brass coins



crude shaped 20 heller coins


15 Rupien gold coins



After the  war, Germany lost this country to the British Empire. Although the German coins continued in circulation for about two years, it was replaced by britsh currency, to be discussed in the next issue.

Tanzania Flags: From 1800

August 16, 2007

Prior to German Invasion, the current Tanzania was part of the Sultanate of Zanzibar which was under control of the Sultan of Oman. The Sultanate Flag


Following Carl Peters treaties and the 1884 Berlin Conference, German colonized this country and called it Deutsch-Ostafrika (German East Africa). They traded with the British giving them Zanzibar islands for Heligoland in North Sea. When  Britain took the islands they retained the Zanzibar Sultanate.

The flag of German East Africa


The flag of Britsh Zanzibar


The Sultanate of Zanzibar’s flag


After World War 1,  the mainland was kept under protection of the British. That is when the name Tanganyika was conceived as an extension of “TANGA”.

The Tanga Flag


The British Tanganyika Government is believed to have used several flags as shown below:




At that time, the governor used a different flag


Tangnyika gained self-government from Britain on 01 May 1961 and became independent on 09 December 1961.  For the period between may and 1961, it is not known clearly what  flag was used. It seems that along with British Tanganyika flag, there was another flag used by Nyerere’s government. It is believed to have been this one:


However many think that Nyerere used the TANU flag.


In 1961, Tanganyika became independent but remained under the British Monarchy; Nyerere became the first Prime Minister under Sir Richard Turnbull as the British Governor General

The first Flag of Independent Tanganyika:


Governor General’s Flag


After becomeing a republic in 1962, the governor general left, and Nyerere became the first president.  I have’nt been able to get a picture of the president’s flag just after being a republic

In 1993, Zanzibar also became independent under the sultan; the flag of the independent Zanzibar under the sultan (Sultanate of Zanzibar) is as follows:



After 33 days, the Governement was toupled under bloody revolution creating the Republic of Zanzibar instead of the sultanate. Two flags were used.

The first flag of the Republic of Zanzibar.


This design was later changed into the the following design


It is belived that immediately after the revolution, Pemba isalnd declared itself an independent territory known as the People’s Republic of Pemba with the following Flag. I think this republic was quashed by Field Marshal Okello in two or three days only.


In April 1964, Zanzibar reunited with the mainland again, creating the United Republic of Tanzania. The National flag has since then been this one.


And the presidential flag became


In 2005, Zanzibar created a new flag, which is a combination of the Union flag and the last flag of the Republic of zanzibar. The current Zanzibar flag is as follows  


The Zanzibar’s presidential flag is as follows: