Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone new 5,000- and 10,000-leone notes reported

According to an article on Awoko.org dated 23 June 2012, the Bank of Sierra Leone has begun issuing new 5,000- and 10,000-leone (US$1.15 and $2.30, respectively) banknotes to alleviate a currency shortage. The article mentions that there was a delay in receiving these new notes because “the printers require time to inscribe the intricate security features,” but that wasn’t the case with the 1,000-leone notes. This would appear to indicate that there are some changes between these notes and the preceding issues (BSL B25 / P30 - BSL B28 / P33), but there is no word yet on what those differences may be.

Additional information and images are requested so that this report can be confirmed.

Sierra Leone to print notes to alleviate cash shortage

According to an article in Sierra Express Media dated 9 March 2012, the government of Sierra Leone will soon print new banknotes to address the “serious shortage of currency in the country” which is “a result of the intensive economy activities of mining companies that were not taken into consideration when the resized bank notes were about to be printed,” said Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, Information and Communications Minister.

Given that the Bank of Sierra Leone introduced new, smaller banknotes just two years ago which were printed by De La Rue, it’s likely that Kargbo’s comments simply mean that the bank will purchase additional notes of the same design from DLR, perhaps with new dates and signatures, but not new designs entirely.

Sierra Leone chapter of The Banknote Book is now available

Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone chapter of The Banknote Book is now available for individual sale at US$9.99, and as a free download to subscribers.

This 11-page catalog covers every note (90 types and varieties, including 8 notes unlisted in the SCWPM) issued by the Bank of Sierra Leone from 1964 until present day. Revised 23 June 2012.

Each chapter of The Banknote Book includes detailed descriptions and background information, full-color images, and accurate valuations. The Banknote Book also features:
  • Sharp color images of note’s front and back without overlap
  • Face value or date of demonetization if no longer legal tender
  • Specific identification of all vignette elements
  • Security features described in full
  • Printer imprint reproduced exactly as on note
  • Each date/signature variety assigned an individual letter
  • Variety checkboxes for tracking your collection and want list
  • Red stars highlight the many notes missing from the SCWPM
  • Date reproduced exactly as on note
  • Precise date of introduction noted when known
  • Replacement note information
  • Signature tables, often with names and terms of service
  • Background information for historical and cultural context
  • Details magnified to distinguish between note varieties
  • Bibliographic sources listed for further research

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Sierra Leone to withdraw old notes as of 15 August 2011

According to a press release dated 25 February 2011, the Bank of Sierra Leone has postponed until 15 August 2011 the withdrawal of old-style banknotes in favor of the new, smaller notes which were issued 14 May 2010.

British West Africa scans needed for catalog

I am working on a new catalog of world notes and I need all the help I can get. If you have any of the notes listed below, please email 300-dpi, 100% actual size, 24-bit color scans of the front and back of these notes, saved as uncompressed JPEG, BMP, or TIFF. Please download and follow these detailed scanning instructions.

I am looking for 300-dpi images of the following banknotes of British West Africa:

P3 issued or specimen
P4 with Arabic text on back
P5 with blank back
P6 issued note, not specimen
P7 dated 2ND JANUARY, 1930, 21ST JULY, 1930, 10TH DECEMBER, 1943, 29TH NOVEMBER, 1948, and 28TH JULY, 1950
P8 dated December, 1947
P11 dated 31ST MARCH 1953

As a contributor, you will receive the satisfaction of taking part in creating something of excellence, your note will be immortalized as the plate note for the catalog, plus your name will appear in the Acknowledgements along with your email address or URL, if you wish.

Thanks in advance for everyone's cooperation!

Sierra Leone resized note family confirmed


1,000 leones (US$0.25). Red and yellow. Front: Coat of arms; carving; Bai Bureh. Back: Telecommunications satellite dish. Windowed security thread with demetalized BSL. Watermark: Lion head and electrotype 1000. Printer: DE LA RUE. 135 x 67 mm. 27th APRIL 2010. Signature 18. Intro: 14.05.2010.


2,000 leones (US$0.50). Blue and orange. Front: Double diamond foil patch; coat of arms; cargo ship and port building; I.T.A. Wallace Johnson. Back: Bank of Sierra Leone building. Windowed security thread with demetalized BSL. Watermark: Lion head and electrotype 2000. Printer: DE LA RUE. 140 x 69 mm. 27th APRIL 2010. Signature 18. Intro: 14.05.2010.


5,000 leones (US$1.25). Blue and purple. Front: Foil patch; coat of arms; building; Sengbe Pieh. Back: Bumbuna Dam. Windowed security thread with demetalized BSL. Watermark: Lion head and electrotype 5000. Printer: DE LA RUE. 145 x 71 mm. 27th APRIL 2010. Signature 18. Intro: 14.05.2010.


10,000 leones (US$2.55). Blue and green. Front: Dove flying over the map of Sierra Leone; national flag; holographic patch. Back: Coat of arms; cotton tree. Windowed security thread with demetalized BSL. Watermark: Lion head and electrotype 10000. Printer: DE LA RUE. 153 x 73 mm. 27th APRIL 2010. Signature 18. Intro: 14.05.2010.

Courtesy of Rui Manuel Palhares.

Sierra Leone new date (04.08.2007) 10,000-leone note confirmed


10,000 leones (US$3.20)
Like Pick 29, but new date (4th AUGUST 2007).

Courtesy of Andrew Roberts.

Sierra Leone new date (27.04.1996) 5,000-leone note confirmed


5,000 leones
Like Pick 21, but new date (27TH APRIL 1996).

Courtesy of Christof Zellweger.