The Shilling (sign: USh; code: UGX) is the currency of Uganda. Technically, the shilling is subdivided into 100 cents but no subdivisions have been issued since the revaluation of the shilling in 1987.
The first Ugandan shilling (UGS) replaced the East African shilling in 1966 at par. Following high inflation, a new shilling (UGX) was introduced in 1987 worth 100 old shillings.
The shilling is now a stable currency and predominates in most financial transactions in Uganda, which has a very efficient foreign exchange market with low spreads. The United States dollar is also widely accepted. The pound sterling and increasingly the euro are also used.
The Bank of Uganda launched new redesigned banknotes earlier in May 2010. The present 1,000 and 5,000 Uganda Shilling notes have been given a makeover, incorporating not only the latest security features and arguably given the notes a longer life span through new production processes, but in addition, a new note with the value of 2,000 Uganda Shillings was also launched, which is equivalent to approximately US$1.
In 1966, coins were introduced in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 shillings. The 5, 10 and 20 cent coins were struck in bronze, with the higher denominations struck in cupro-nickel. The 2 shilling was only issued that year. In 1972, cupro-nickel 5 shilling coins were issued but were withdrawn from circulation are now very rare. In 1976, copper-plated steel replaced bronze in the 5 and 10 cent and cupro-nickel-plated steel replaced cupro-nickel in the 50 cent and 1 shilling. In 1986, nickel-plated-steel 50 cent and 1 shilling coins were issued, the last coins of the first shilling.
In 1987, cupro-nickel-plated-steel 1 and 2 shilling and stainless-steel 5 and 10 shilling coins were introduced, with the 5 and 10 shilling curved-equilateral heptagonal in shape. In 1998, coins for 50, 100, 200 and 500 shillings were introduced. Denominations currently circulating are 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 shillings.
In 1966, the Bank of Uganda introduced notes in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 100 shillings. In 1973, 50 shilling notes were introduced, followed by 500 and 1000 shillings in 1983 and 5000 shillings in 1985.
In 1987, notes were introduced in the new currency in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 shillings. In 1991, 500 and 1000 shilling notes were added, followed by 5000 shillings in 1993, 10,000 shillings in 1998, 20,000 shillings in 1999, 50,000 shillings in 2003 and 2000 shillings in 2010. Banknotes currently in circulation are 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 shillings. In 2005, the Bank of Uganda was considering whether to replace the low value notes such as the 1000 shilling with coins. The lower denomination notes take a battering in daily use, often being very dirty and sometimes disintegrating.
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