What Is SOS?

SOS is the currency abbreviation or currency symbol for the Somali shilling, the currency for Somalia. The Somali shilling is issued and managed by the Central Bank of Somalia.

Understanding the SOS

Somalia is located in northeast Africa, and the SOS has been the official currency since 1921. Civil war and political unrest have led to wild fluctuations or volatility in the SOS exchange rate over its history.

The Somali shilling comes in denominations of banknotes that include 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 shillings as well as coins.

From the 1880s until 1942, Italian Somalia was a colony under Italian control. Between 1950 and 1962, the somalo was used as its currency. Other parts of Somalia used the East African shilling. In 1962, the somalo and East African shilling were replaced at par by the Somali shilling. Although Somalia is an independent nation today, it has been under duress from war and civil unrest, particularly in the 1990s.

Real World Example of the SOS

Since the early 2,000s, the SOS exchange rate has fluctuated between 550 SOS to 1 U.S. dollar to over 3,000 SOS to one U.S. dollar. For example, if you were converting $1,000 to SOS at a rate of 550, you would receive 550,000 Somali shillings.