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São Tomé and Príncipe; Monetary reform for 2017 in discussion

Started by Jostein, November 05, 2016, 01:08:14 PM

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Its seems that São Tomé and Príncipe is preparing a currency reform from the next year, but still has not been confirmed. The national currency, the Dobra, is one of the less value currency in the world, for then, they are thinking about to print new notes with 3 zeroes less.

If this is finally approved, would be printed banknotes in denominations of: 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 new dobras (two last made of polymer)
Coins of: 2, 1 new dobra, 50, 20, 10 cêntimos.

Here some pics of the new banknotes. No pics of new coins yet.

Lets see.
"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future" - John F. Kennedy



The reform has been confirmed for January 1st 2018. New banknotes and coins will be presented in a ceremony on August 25th.

Six new notes (i think: 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5) and five new coins (2, 1, 0.50, 0.20, 0.10) will bw issued, it seems that the banknote of 500 dobras won't be issued on the first time.

1 nova dobra would be less than 4 euro cents...I would done a stronger monetary reform removing 4 zeroes instead 3 ones.

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future" - John F. Kennedy


Keep in mind that São Tomé and Príncipe is one of the very poorest countries on earth, so its currency is likely to be undervalued by official exchange rates. In other words, in terms of purchasing power, a dobra will buy more than 4 eurocents. That said, the lowest denomination still has a very low value as well as an odd denomination for the lowest value.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Image that to some extent gives an idea of the coins. It will be a thematic series and will have the coat of arms of the country on the reverse. At least 3 of the coins will depict a bird. I think they have been minted at the South African Mint.


I think the 10 Centimos may also have a bird on it but not sure. The 20 Centimos I think has a turtle on it.


Thank you so much for the images, the notes are just as expected, the coins are ok, but I can not distinguish anything design on the reverse image hahaha. There are not bimetallic coins, as I expected (10 cents are 0.00 €, and 2 dobras are less than 8 euro cents)


"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future" - John F. Kennedy


Thanks eurocoins for imges !

New 500 dobras banknote not released ?


Somewhere (cannot find it right now) I read that the 500 note will come a little later.



As <k> agrees with me and as is more or less visible (with some zooming etc.), the 3 highest denominations each depict a different bird sitting on a branch. I think the lowest denomination is also a bird. If that is indeed the case, I think all coins in the series depict birds. If so, it is nice that it is a thematic set but it would have been better to just have various animals instead of just birds. Anyway the official unveiling on Friday is still almost a week away. Let's wait for any further leaks. ;D


Today was the official unveiling of the designs. Despite the presence of quite some journalists during the unveiling event, unfortunately the local media has not really done any effort to cover the event properly nor has the Central Bank done such effort. Because of that only few and partial images of some of the coins and of the common obverse are now available. All 5 new coins depict birds. Notice the reeding around the rim of the coin.

I guess the names of the birds that can be seen on the coins are in some kind of local language or dialect. The national language of the country is Portuguese but that is not used on the reverses of the coins. 

The 20 Centimos piece depicts a São Tomé green pigeon (Treron sanctithomae). The 1 Dobra piece depicts a Giant sunbird (Dreptes thomensis).


Excellent designs. Well done, SAM. To my knowledge, it's the first time a sunbird has appeared on a circulation coin. Jordan issued a WWF commemorative coin that featured one, back in the late 1970s.

From Wikipedia:

The sunbirds have counterparts in two very distantly related groups: the hummingbirds of the Americas and the honeyeaters of Australia. The resemblances are due to convergent evolution brought about by a similar nectar-feeding lifestyle. Some sunbird species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but they usually perch to feed.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.


Quote from: <k> on August 25, 2017, 10:30:03 PM
Excellent designs.

The designs are indeed of a good quality. It's a pity that there are no images of the other designs yet. The few images above were only released in the last hour or so and come from the American press agency Voice Of America. Nothing in the local media.

Quote from: <k> on August 25, 2017, 10:30:03 PMWell done, SAM.

Very likely, but this is not confirmed.


Hmm, according to this article, also by Voice of America, the notes and coins are made in the UK. ("As novas notas e moedas da dobra, produzidas na Inglaterra, entrarão em circulação a 1 de janeiro de 2018.")