What is the Currency of the Gambia?

By Chelangat Faith on August 1 2017 in Economics

The Gambian dalasi.

The currency of Gambia is known as Dalasi. The assets and accountability of the Gambia Currency Board were reformed in 1971 in the Central Bank of Gambia. During the same year, the currency was subdivided on the criteria of 1 Dalasi which is equal to 100 Bututs. The Royal Mint minted the coins. Dalasi is sub-portioned into hundreds called bututs. Initially, the government of Gambia was using the Gambian pound which is equivalent to 5 dalasi or 4 shillings. Some 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 coin denominations were launched in 1971. The 1 and 5 coins were mounted from bronze, the 10 was coined from brass, and finally, the 25 and the 50 bututs were made from nickel. The new design of the three valuable denominations was copied from the previous denomination of 1, 2 and 4 shillings while the lower denominations were copied from the previous designs of 6,1 and 3 pence coins. All coins produced during this series visualized the image of former president Dawda Jawara.


Later in 1987, a new 1 dalasi coin was pioneered after designing it from a model of a 50 pence United Kingdom coin. This was introduced to eliminate the lower denomination coin which was not used frequently. A new series of coins with a new image of the coat of arms was introduced in 1998.This new series lacked the picture of President Dawda Jawara. The older jawara coins are still used as legal tenders although the 1 dalasi coins were reduced in size and weight. At the moment only the 1, 25 and 50 bututs coin are being used in Gambia. The 1, 5 and 10 coins ceased to be in the circulation due to degradation of their value with time.

Bank Notes

The bank note currently used in Gambia includes 5, 10, 25 and 100 dalasi. A 1 dalasi note was launched and circulated between 1971 and 1987. The initial bank note was provided on July 27, 1996 and circulated up to 2001 when they have reprinted again. A new series of notes was released by the Bank of Gambia on July 27, 2006, with the images matching the current trending issues in the country. There was much advancement in the design of the paper, the thickness of the paper, and some security measures. The 5 and 10 dalasi are embedded with an overcoat of a special varnish to prolong its lifetime. The 100 dalasi which is the highest note is fitted with a silver foil on the fore side of the note consisting 100 images embossed to the foil.

Commemorative Issue

The government of Gambia has used its currency for commemorative purposes. A 20 polymer dalasi was developed and circulated to commemorate 20 years of Yahya Jammeh's governance. Another new type of bank notes was released on April 15, 2015. These notes included a 20 dalasi note to replace the 25 dalasi and 200 a dalasi note. The two notes contain a portrait image of former President Yahya Jammeh.

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