Southern Rhodesian pound

The pound was the currency of Southern Rhodesia. It also circulated in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The pound was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.

Southern Rhodesian pound
Banknotes10 shillings, £1, £5, £10
Coins½, 1, 3, 6 pence, 1, 2, 2½ shillings
User(s)Southern Rhodesia
Pegged withBritish pound at par
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.


From 1896, private banks issued notes denominated in pounds equal to the British pound. In 1932, a distinct coinage was introduced. In 1938, the Southern Rhodesia Currency Board was established and took over the issuance of paper money the following year. Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland joined in 1953 to form the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which continued to use the Southern Rhodesian pound until 1955 when coins were introduced for the Rhodesia and Nyasaland pound. 1955 also saw the Southern Rhodesia Currency Board renamed the Central Africa Currency Board. In 1956, the first paper money of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland pound was introduced, completing the transition.


In 1932, .925 fineness silver coins were introduced in denominations of 3 and 6 pence, 1 and 2 shillings, and ½ crown (2½ shillings). These were followed in 1934 by holed, cupro-nickel ½ and 1 penny coins. In 1942, bronze replaced cupro-nickel, whilst the silver coins were debased to .500 fineness in 1944 and replaced by cupro-nickel in 1947. Coins were issued until 1954. In 1953 a crown (5 shilling) coin of .500 fineness (.45 ounce actual silver weight) was minted to commemorate the centennial of the birth of Cecil Rhodes. 124,000 were produced for circulation, plus 1500 minted as Proof coinage.


In 1896, the Salisbury branch of the Standard Bank of South Africa introduced the first Southern Rhodesian banknotes, in denominations of 1 and 5 pounds. This bank later issued 10 shilling notes. The Bank of Africa, Barclays Bank and the National Bank of South Africa also issued notes. These private bank issues ended in 1938.

In 1939, the Southern Rhodesia Currency Board introduced 10 shilling, 1 and 5 pound notes, followed by 5 shilling notes between 1943 and 1948 and 10 pounds in 1953. In 1955, the Central Africa Currency Board issued notes in denominations of 10 shillings, 1, 5 and 10 pounds.

1939-1952 George VI Issue
5 shillingsKing George VI5 Shillings
10 shillingsKing George VIVictoria Falls
1 poundKing George VIGreat Zimbabwe ruins
5 poundsKing George VIVictoria Falls
1952-1954 Elizabeth II Issue
10 shillingsQueen Elizabeth IIVictoria Falls
1 poundQueen Elizabeth IIGreat Zimbabwe ruins
5 poundsQueen Elizabeth IIVictoria Falls
10 poundsQueen Elizabeth II


  • Krause, Chester L.; Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
  • Pick, Albert (1994). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (7th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9.
  • Pick, Albert (1990). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: Specialized Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (6th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-149-8.

Preceded by:
British pound
Reason: creation of local currency
Ratio: at par
Currency of Southern Rhodesia
1940 1953
Currency of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
1953 1956
Succeeded by:
Rhodesia and Nyasaland pound
Location: Rhodesia and Nyasaland
Reason: formation of federation
Ratio: at par
Circulates in Northern Rhodesia
1940 1953
Circulates in Nyasaland
1940 1953
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