Central Bank of São Tomé and Príncipe celebrates 25th anniversary in a different way

Announces a new currency series that drops three zeroes from all denominations
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 09/09/17
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The Central Bank of São Tomé and Príncipe celebrated its 25th anniversary on Aug. 25 in a different way, when it announced a new currency series that dropped three zeroes from all denominations. The six new bank notes are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 new dobras, with 1 new dobra the equivalent of 1,000 of the old ones. The sum of 10,000 dobras is currently worth 48.5 cents.


How can collectors determine a coin’s value when price guides assign it different values? Also in this week’s print issue, we learn of the first report of a 2017 doubled die variety, found on a Lincoln cent.


The notes were all printed by De La Rue, with only the two lowest denominations, the 5- and 10-new-dobra issues, made of polymer, while the higher four values are printed on paper. The high denominations, says De La Rue, “showcase a range of security features including De La Rue’s globally renowned Depth Image Hologram and StarChrome Colour Shift Thread.”

The designs are a radical departure from the series of bank notes they replace. Massari Lima Fernandes, deputy governor at the Central Bank, says, “The notes have been designed to showcase wildlife that typified São Tomé e Príncipe.” 

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The old 5,000-, 10,000, 20,000-, and 50,000-dobra notes were in circulation for over a decade. They all had images of native birds, and a large portrait of the iconic Rei (King) Amador, who is legendary in the nation’s history for leading the slave revolt of 1595, and for inspiring other Africans to rise against the institution. Amador’s portrait remains as part of a security device on the new notes. (The old 100,000-dobra note showed the poet Francisco José Tenreiro.)

The notes will enter circulation on Jan. 1, 2018. In addition, five new coins will be issued in 2018.

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