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Solomon Islands Dollar: Definition, Usage, and Cultural Significance

Last updated 05/27/2024 by

Silas Bamigbola

Edited by

Fact checked by

The Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD) serves as the official currency of the Solomon Islands, introduced in 1977. It replaced the Australian dollar, and its symbol is SI$. Banknotes and coins are issued in various denominations, with banknotes featuring depictions of national symbols and scenes of cultural significance. Over the years, economic fluctuations have impacted the value of the SBD. This comprehensive guide explores the history, usage, and features of the Solomon Islands Dollar, providing valuable insights for investors and travelers alike.

Introduction to the solomon islands dollar (SBD)

The Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD) stands as the official currency of the Solomon Islands, a sovereign state located in the South Pacific Ocean. Introduced in 1977, the SBD replaced the Australian dollar, which had been in circulation since the nation’s colonial period under British administration. The currency is regulated and issued by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands, serving as the primary medium of exchange for daily transactions within the country.

Key Features of the solomon islands dollar

The SBD is denoted by the symbol SI$, distinguishing it from other currencies that utilize the dollar sign. Like many other currencies, the SBD is subdivided into smaller units, with 100 cents making up one dollar. Banknotes and coins are issued in various denominations to facilitate transactions across different monetary values.

Banknotes and coins

Banknotes in the Solomon Islands are available in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Each banknote features unique designs, showcasing elements of national heritage, culture, and daily life. These designs often include depictions of indigenous flora and fauna, traditional crafts, and historical landmarks, providing a visual representation of the nation’s rich cultural tapestry.
On the other hand, coins are minted in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, as well as one dollar. These coins are commonly used for smaller transactions and are often adorned with images representing Solomon Islands’ folklore, traditions, and natural beauty.

History of the solomon islands dollar

The introduction of the Solomon Islands Dollar in 1977 marked a significant milestone in the nation’s economic independence. Prior to this, various currencies were utilized, including the Australian pound sterling, Oceanian pound, and Solomon Islands pound. The adoption of the SBD aimed to establish a stable monetary system conducive to economic growth and development.
Initially, the SBD maintained a fixed exchange rate with the Australian dollar, but it was later floated to allow market forces to determine its value. Over the years, economic challenges such as inflation and external shocks have influenced the purchasing power of the SBD, leading to fluctuations in its exchange rate against foreign currencies.

Current status and usage

Despite economic fluctuations, the Solomon Islands Dollar remains the primary means of conducting transactions within the country. It is widely accepted by businesses, government institutions, and individuals alike, supporting daily commerce and trade activities. However, in remote regions where access to formal banking services is limited, alternative forms of exchange, such as traditional currencies or bartering, may still be prevalent.
Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks to consider:
  • Official currency of the Solomon Islands, facilitating domestic transactions.
  • Features unique designs on banknotes and coins, reflecting the nation’s cultural heritage.
  • Widely accepted across various sectors, including tourism, commerce, and government.
  • Vulnerability to external economic factors, leading to fluctuations in value.
  • Limited availability in remote areas, potentially hindering financial inclusion.
  • Dependence on imports for goods and services, impacting purchasing power.

Exploring the economic impact of the solomon islands dollar

The economic stability of the Solomon Islands is intricately tied to the performance of its currency, the Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD). This section delves deeper into the economic implications of the SBD, examining its role in domestic trade, foreign investment, and economic development.

Domestic trade and commerce

The Solomon Islands Dollar plays a vital role in facilitating domestic trade and commerce within the country. As the primary medium of exchange, it enables businesses to conduct transactions, pay wages, and purchase goods and services. The availability of banknotes and coins in various denominations ensures smooth transactions across different sectors of the economy, from retail to agriculture.
Additionally, the stability of the SBD influences consumer confidence and spending patterns. A strong and stable currency instills trust in the economy, encouraging consumer spending and investment in local businesses. Conversely, fluctuations in the value of the SBD may lead to uncertainty and impact consumer behavior, affecting overall economic activity.

Foreign investment and exchange rates

Foreign investment plays a significant role in driving economic growth and development in the Solomon Islands. The value of the SBD relative to other currencies can influence the attractiveness of the country as an investment destination. A stable and competitive exchange rate enhances the purchasing power of foreign investors, making it more favorable to invest in the country’s infrastructure, natural resources, and tourism industry.
Furthermore, fluctuations in the exchange rate can affect the profitability of exports and imports. A depreciating SBD may make exports more competitive in international markets, boosting export revenues and stimulating economic growth. Conversely, an appreciating currency may make imports cheaper but could dampen export competitiveness, leading to trade imbalances and economic challenges.

Impact of external factors on the solomon islands’ economy

The economy of the Solomon Islands is influenced by various external factors, ranging from global economic trends to natural disasters. This section explores how external factors shape the economic landscape of the country and impact the value of the Solomon Islands Dollar.

Global economic trends and market dynamics

The Solomon Islands, like many other small island nations, is susceptible to changes in global economic conditions and market dynamics. Fluctuations in commodity prices, shifts in demand for key exports such as timber and fisheries, and changes in global interest rates can all impact the country’s economic performance and the value of its currency.
For instance, a decline in global demand for timber exports may adversely affect the Solomon Islands’ export earnings, leading to a depreciation of the SBD. Similarly, changes in global interest rates can influence investor sentiment and capital flows, affecting exchange rates and the stability of the SBD.

Natural disasters and environmental challenges

The Solomon Islands is prone to natural disasters, including cyclones, earthquakes, and tsunamis, which can have devastating effects on the economy and infrastructure. The aftermath of such disasters often requires significant financial resources for reconstruction and recovery efforts, placing strain on government finances and the local economy.
Moreover, environmental challenges such as climate change and deforestation pose long-term risks to the sustainability of key industries such as agriculture, fisheries, and tourism. These challenges can impact economic growth, employment opportunities, and the overall well-being of the population, influencing the value of the SBD and the country’s economic resilience.


In conclusion, the Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD) stands as a symbol of economic independence and national identity for the Solomon Islands. Since its introduction in 1977, the SBD has served as the primary medium of exchange, facilitating domestic transactions and supporting economic growth and development. Despite facing challenges such as economic fluctuations and external pressures, the SBD remains resilient, reflecting the resilience and determination of the Solomon Islands people.

Frequently asked questions

What is the current exchange rate of the solomon islands dollar?

The exchange rate of the Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD) varies and can be influenced by factors such as market demand, economic conditions, and government policies. It is advisable to check with financial institutions or online currency converters for the most up-to-date exchange rates.

Are there any restrictions on the use of the solomon islands dollar?

There are generally no restrictions on the use of the Solomon Islands Dollar within the country. However, travelers should be aware that some establishments may prefer payment in foreign currency, especially in tourist areas. It’s always a good idea to carry a mix of local currency and foreign currency when visiting the Solomon Islands.

Can I exchange foreign currency for solomon islands dollars in the country?

Yes, foreign currency can typically be exchanged for Solomon Islands Dollars at banks, currency exchange offices, and some hotels. However, it’s advisable to compare exchange rates and fees to get the best value for your money.

Is the Solomon islands dollar widely accepted by merchants and businesses?

Yes, the Solomon Islands Dollar is widely accepted by merchants, businesses, and government institutions across the country. However, in remote areas or smaller communities, cash transactions may be more common, and it’s advisable to carry sufficient local currency for purchases.

Are there any security features on solomon islands banknotes?

Yes, Solomon Islands banknotes incorporate various security features to deter counterfeiting and ensure authenticity. These features may include holographic strips, watermarks, and intricate designs that are difficult to replicate. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these security features to identify genuine banknotes.

Can I use credit or debit cards in the solomon islands?

While major credit and debit cards may be accepted at some hotels, restaurants, and larger establishments in urban centers, it’s advisable to carry sufficient cash, especially when traveling to remote areas or smaller islands where card acceptance may be limited. Additionally, notify your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card transactions.

What alternative forms of currency or barter systems are used in the solomon islands?

In some remote regions of the Solomon Islands, traditional forms of exchange such as bartering or using traditional currencies like dolphin teeth may still be practiced, especially in rural communities where access to formal banking services is limited. However, the Solomon Islands Dollar remains the primary medium of exchange for most transactions.

Key takeaways

  • The Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD) serves as the official currency of the Solomon Islands, introduced in 1977.
  • Banknotes and coins feature unique designs reflecting the nation’s cultural heritage.
  • Economic fluctuations and external factors can impact the value of the SBD, leading to exchange rate volatility.
  • The SBD is widely accepted within the country, supporting domestic commerce and trade activities.
  • Alternative forms of exchange, such as traditional currencies, may still be prevalent in remote regions.

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