Sierra Leonean leone/Currency


The Sierra Leonean leone: The leone is the currency of Sierra Leone. It is subdivided into 100 cents. The ISO 4217 code is SLL and the leone is abbreviated as Le placed before the amount.

Sierra Leonean leone Exchange rate

The exchange rate of the Sierra Leonean leone. Feb 12, 2021 — Convert 1 Sierra Leonean Leone to Euros. Get live exchange rates, historical rates & charts for SLL to EUR with Xe's free currency calculator. Currency converter update

The History of The Sierra Leonean leone

The leone was introduced on 4 August 1964. It replaced the British West African pound at a rate of 1 pound = 2 leones (i.e., 1 leone = 10 shillings).

The dollar was a currency issued in Sierra Leone between 1791 and 1805. It was subdivided into 100 cents and was issued by the Sierra Leone Company. The dollar was pegged to sterling at a rate of 1 dollar = 4 shillings 2 pence..

The Sierra Leonean leone Coins

In 1964, decimal coins were introduced in denominations of ½, 1, 5, 10 and 20 cents. The coins size and compositions were based in part on those of the former colonial state British West Africa. All bore the portrait of the first prime minister of Sierra Leone, Sir Milton Margai. In 1972, 50 cents coins were introduced which carried the portrait of the first president Dr. Siaka Stevens.

In 1974, round cupro-nickel one leone coins were introduced and in 1976, seven sided cupro-nickel 2 leone coins commemorating FAO were introduced. These latter two denominations, however, did not circulate as frequently as the lower cent denominations. The portrait of Stevens also appeared on a new, slightly smaller series of coins introduced in 1980 in denominations of ½, 1, 5, 10 and 20 cents. In 1987, octagonal, nickel-bronze 1 leone coins were introduced with a bust portrait of General Joseph Saidu Momoh. This coin effectively replaced the one leone note.

Following a period of economic collapse and the following Sierra Leone Civil War inflation became rampant, devaluing older coins. A new coin series was introduced in 1996 for 10, 50 and 100 leones. The 50 leones is octagonal while the other two are round. These coins were struck in nickel-plated steel and feature important figures in Sierra Leone's political history. Ten sided, bimetallic 500 leones coins were first introduced in 2004. Of the four coins in circulation, only the 100 leones is available in small quantity due to their low valuation and shortage of supply.

500 leones coins and the two lowest denominations are rarely encountered due to rampant metal theft in the impoverished country.

Sierra Leonean leone/Currency Banknotes

With the introduction of decimal currency in 1964, a new series of Banknotes was introduced by the Bank of Sierra Leone. Originally called Shillings, the unit name "Leone" was finally decided upon. After considering (and subsequently rejecting) several new designs, including a particularly attractive multi-coloured design, notes were issued in the 1, 2 and 5 Leone denominations. These officially replaced notes of the British West African pound at a two leone to one pound exchange ratio. 50 cents notes were introduced in 1979, followed by 10 leones in 1980 and 20 leones notes in 1982. Throughout this period the value of the currency was fixed and remained relatively stable despite inherent economic problems.

100 leones notes were introduced in 1988, followed by 500 leones in 1991, 1000 and 5000 leones in 1993, 2000 leones in the year 2000 and 10,000 Leone in 2004.

The original series of notes (1964-1974) depicted the famous 300 year old Cottonwood Tree and Court building in central Freetown. The reverses showed Diamond Mining (1 Leone), a Village market scene (2 Leones) and the Dockside in Freetown (5 Leones). Subsequent issues (1974-1991) depicted the head of state during the time of issue. The first series depicting Sir Milton Margai and later issues depicting either Siaka and Momoh. This practice ended with the ascension of the NPRC regime and has remained so despite the return to civilian government.

Prior to June 2010, bank notes in circulation were 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000 leones. 10,000 leones notes were in circulation for less than ten years and were infrequently encountered. This meant that most transactions took place in bundles of 5000 leones notes.

In June 2010, the Bank of Sierra Leone issued new notes which were slightly smaller in size than the earlier series and intended to be more secure and durable. The new bank notes are: Le10,000, Le5,000, Le2,000 and Le1,000. Coins are still used, but because of their low value are less common.

Because of inflation, a 20,000 leone banknote has been suggested. As of 23 Oct 2018, 20,000 leones are equivalent to about 2.09 EUR.


These rates are obtained from and may contradict with pegged rate mentioned above

Stay safe!

Reach us Support Africatourvisa

Get in touch on