DEFINITION of 'SOS (Somaliland Shilling)'

The currency abbreviation for the Somaliland shilling (SOS), the currency for the Republic of Somaliland, a de facto independent republic located in northeast Africa. The Somaliland shilling is technically made up of 100 cents, but coins denominated in cents have never been issued. The Somaliland shilling is often presented with the symbol Sl. Sh., to differentiate itself from the prior currency, the Somali shilling (So. Sh.) which is no longer legal tender.

It is important to note that the ISO 4217 currency code SOS still refers to the Somalia shilling, even though it is no longer in circulation, because Somaliland remains unrecognized other countries and international organizations.

BREAKING DOWN 'SOS (Somaliland Shilling)'

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. The Italian names scellino (for shilling), and centesimo (for cent) disappeared in 1975, around the same time as the Latin alphabet was introduced. In 1991, Somaliland declared itself an independent state and introduced the Somaliland shilling in October of 1994 at a rate of 100 Somali shillings to 1 Somaliland shilling.

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