Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD)

What Is the Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD)?

The Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD) is the national currency of the Solomon Islands, a sovereign nation located in the Pacific Ocean whose landmass consists of a chain of hundreds of small islands. 

Key Takeaways

  • The Solomon Islands are an island chain in the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Islands were a British protectorate and declared independence from Britain in 1978.
  • After using the British pound and the Australian dollar, they adopted their own currency in 1977.
  • The Solomon dollar comes in both coins and banknotes of different values, with the dollar made up of 100 cents.
  • One Solomon dollar is equal to .123 U.S. dollars.

Understanding the SBD

Originally a British protectorate, the Solomon Islands gained independence in 1978. Today, the country follows a constitutional monarchy structure, with a parliament and prime minister. Despite being an independent nation, the Solomon Islands continues to recognize the monarch of the U.K. as its constitutional head of state, currently King Charles III. English is the country’s official language.

Prior to using the SBD, the Solomon Islands previously used both the Australian dollar (AUD) and the British pound as their national currencies. In 1977, the nation replaced the AUD in favor of the SBD. Although the two currencies were initially valued equally, the SBD proceeded to dramatically lose its value relative to the AUD.

In fact, the decline in the value of the SBD has been so severe that locals sometimes use other items in lieu of the national currency. For instance, dolphin teeth are commonly traded in lieu of the SBD within the region.

Today, the SBD is made up of 100 cents, with its coins issued in denominations of 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, and 50 cents, as well as in units of $1. Its banknotes, meanwhile, are issued in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Both the coins and the banknotes are controlled by the nation’s central bank, the Central Bank of the Solomon Islands.

As of Sept. 21, 2022, one Solomon dollar equals .123 U.S. dollars.

Solomon Islands Economics

The Solomon Islands' economy is primarily made up of agriculture, fishing, and forestry, which the bulk of the population depends on for their livelihood. The manufacturing of goods and petroleum is imported. The country is rich in many natural resources that are still undeveloped. These include zinc, nickel, lead, and gold.

The country experienced some civil unrest in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. A coup that followed led the country’s economy to the brink of collapse. The Islands became insolvent in 2002, largely due to inconsistent infrastructure and unreliable transportation. Although the country has a tourism presence, they have been unable to create a more desirable vacation locale like some of its island counterparts.

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the Solomon Islands in 2021 was $1.65 billion. This was an increase from $1.55 billion the year prior.

After the social turbulence in the country, The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands was set up to help facilitate progress. These efforts finished in 2017 but had a positive effect on the country, which restored law, order, and economic stability.

The Solomon Islands' top three trading partners are China, Australia, and Singapore, with wood, prepared meats, and fats and oils being the top three exports.

What Is the Currency of the Solomon Islands?

The currency of the Solomon Islands is the Solomon dollar, which became the nation's country in 1977, replacing the Australian dollar. Its symbol is $ and it is divided into 100 cents. The country issues its currency in both coins and banknotes.

What Language Do the Solomon Islands Speak?

The official language of the Solomon Islands is English. The country used to be a British protectorate. Though English is the official language, there are many other local languages spoken.

Where Is the Solomon Islands?

The Solomon Islands is a country that consists of 992 islands, of which only a third is populated. The country is located in the South Pacific, near Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Article Sources
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  1. "1 SBD to USD."

  2. Refworld. "Solomon Islands Act 1978."

  3. Bank Note World. "The History of the Solomon Islands Dollar."

  4. The Guardian. "Solomon Islanders Kill More Than 1,600 Dolphins for Their Teeth."

  5. OANDA. "Solomon Islands Dollar."

  6. Moody's Analytics. "Solomon Islands -Economic Indicators."

  7. U.S. Department of State. "Solomon Islands."

  8. Reuters. "Solomon Islands Prime Minister Survives No-Confidence Vote After Riots."

  9. The World Bank. "GDP (Current U.S.$) - Solomon Islands."

  10. Global Edge. "Solomon Islands: Economy."

  11. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "Solomon Islands."

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