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Namibian dollar

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Title: Namibian dollar  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Dollar, Economy of Namibia, South African rand, Hendrik Witbooi (Namaqua chief), Namibia
Collection: 1993 Introductions, Currencies of Namibia, Fixed Exchange Rate
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Namibian dollar

Namibian dollar
10, 50 cents, N$1, N$5
ISO 4217 code NAD
Central bank Bank of Namibia
User(s)  Namibia (alongside South African rand)
Inflation 5.5%
 Source The World Factbook, 2013 est.
Pegged with South African rand at par
 1/100 cent
Symbol N$
Coins 5, 10, 50 cents, $1, $5, $10
Banknotes $10, $20, $50, $100, $200

The Namibia dollar (symbol: $; code: NAD) has been the currency of Namibia since 1993. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively N$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.


  • History 1
  • Coins 2
  • Banknotes 3
  • Dollar or mark? 4
  • References 5


The dollar replaced the South African rand, which had been the country's currency while it was under South African rule as South-West Africa from 1920 until 1990. The rand is still legal tender, as the Namibian dollar is linked to the South African rand and can be exchanged on a one-to-one basis locally. Namibia was also part of the Common Monetary Area from independence in 1990 until introduction of the dollar in 1993.

In 1990, moves were under way to replace the rand with a new Namibian currency. The name kalahar was proposed, as the Kalahari Desert is located in eastern Namibia. The name of Namibia's central bank was going to be known as the Namibia Reserve Bank. Denominations of this planned currency included 2, 5, 10, and 20 kalahar. (Note: There were two different designs for the 20 kalahar specimen notes.) These plans came to nothing, but some specimen notes were printed in a range of denominations.

The Bank of Namibia issued the first banknotes on 15 September 1993, and during December of that year, also issued the first national coins.


Five dollar coin

in circulation

  • 5 c
  • 10 c
  • 50 c
  • $1
  • $5
  • $10

Years of mintage are 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2008 and 2009. The cent coins are made of nickel plated steel and the dollar coins of brass


10 Namibian dollars

Banknotes in circulation

  • $10
  • $20
  • $50
  • $100
  • $200

Historically, Hendrik Witbooi, once chief of the Namaqua people and instrumental in leading the revolts against German rule at the turn of the 20th century, has been depicted on all Namibian banknotes. However, on 21 March 2012, the Bank of Namibia introduced a new series of banknotes to be issued in May 2012. The new family of banknotes will have the same denomination structure as the current series. All denominations have improved anti-counterfeiting features, and the portrait of Hendrik Witbooi are retained for all but the 10- and 20-dollar notes, which feature a new portrait of Sam Nujoma, the founding president and father of the Namibian nation.[1][2]

The Bank of Namibia has discovered that the diamond-shaped optically variable ink patch on the N$10 and N$20 notes was cracking after multiple folding and handling. The Bank of Namibia has recently issued in limited quantity, the N$10 and N$20 notes on paper with improved quality and shifted the placement of the diamond-shaped optically variable ink feature.[3]

2011-2012 Series [7]
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of issue Date of first issue Watermark
Obverse Reverse
[8] N$10 129 x 70mm Blue H.E. Dr. Sam Nujoma; Parliament building in Windhoek Namibian coat of arms; three standing springbok antelope (Antidorcas marsupialis) 2011 May 15, 2012 Sam Nujoma and electrotype 10
[9] N$20 134 x 70mm Orange H.E. Dr. Sam Nujoma; Parliament building in Windhoek Namibian coat of arms; three standing red hartebeest 2011 May 15, 2012 Sam Nujoma and electrotype 20
[10] N$50 140 x 70mm Green Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi; Parliament building in Windhoek Namibian coat of arms; five standing kudo antelope (Tragelaphus stepsiceros) 2012 May 15, 2012 Hendrik Witbooi and electrotype 50
[11] N$100 147 x 70mm Pink Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi; Parliament building in Windhoek Namibian coat of arms; three standing oryx antelope (Oryx gazella) 2012 May 15, 2012 Hendrik Witbooi and electrotype 100
[12] N$200 152 x 70mm Purple Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi; Parliament building in Windhoek Namibian coat of arms; three standing roan antelope 2012 May 15, 2012 Hendrik Witbooi and electrotype 200

Dollar or mark?

10 marks essai (reverse)

During the planning phase of the introduction of a new national currency replacing the South African rand, the newly founded Bank of Namibia minted a proof series of coins denominated in dollars as well as in marks, for the consideration of the Namibian Ministry of Finance. The decision then fell in favour of the name ‘dollar’ for the new currency.

The proof series consisted of four different coins: 1 mark, 1 dollar (both in copper/nickel), 10 marks and 10 dollars (both in silver). The obverse of the mark pieces shows a sitting lion where the dollar pieces depict a San (Bushman) with bow and arrow. All obverse sides bear the indication of denomination as well as the remark ‘PROBE’/‘ESSAI’ (proof). The reverse of the 1-mark/1-dollar pieces shows Namibia’s former coat of arms surrounded by the inscription ‘NAMIBIA’, the year (1990) and two ears of corn. The ten-mark/ten-dollar pieces bear the inscription ‘INDEPENDENCE’/‘UNABHÄNGIGKEIT’ (German: ‘independence’) instead of the ears.

There was a series of Namibian pattern coins denominated in South African Rand dated 1990. This short-lived tender was cited in the 2005 edition of Krause's 'Unusual World Coins'.


  1. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Namibia". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: 
  2. ^ Namibia new 2012 banknote family confirmed Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  3. ^ Namibia new 10- and 20-dollar notes reported June 4, 2013. Retrieved on 2013-06-05.
Preceded by:
South African rand
Reason: independence
Ratio: at par
Currency of Namibia
1993 –
Concurrent with: South African rand
Succeeded by:
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