The Catalog Updated

Official country name: Republic of Biafra
1967 – 1970

Before 1967 and after 1970 see Nigeria

Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in West Africa that separated from Nigeria and existed from May 1967 to January 1970. Its territory consisted of the predominantly Igbo-populated former eastern region of Nigeria which is now divided into the present day southsouth and southeastern regions of Nigeria. Biafra was formed by Igbo nationalists in response to a series of ethnic tensions shortly after Nigerian independence in 1960 that culminated in the 1966 massacres of Igbo people and other southeastern ethnic groups living in northern Nigeria. The military of Nigeria proceeded to attack Biafra shortly after it declared independence in 1967, resulting in the start of the Nigerian Civil War (also known as the Nigerian-Biafran War).

Monetary System
29.01.1968: 1 Biafran pound = 20 shillings

Country state: Complete

BANK OF BIAFRA
Pound System

ND (1968) “First” Issue

The two notes of the first series have a common front, although they are different sizes and different colours. To the left of each note is a rising sun with a palm tree in the foreground, the value of the note is in a disc to the right, and the remaining areas of the note are covered with patterns imitating intaglio engine-work (i.e. lines drawn by a geometric lathe). There is also the usual text associated with any bank note – the name of the country, ‘Republic of Biafra’; the name of the bank, ‘Bank of Biafra’; the ‘promise to pay on demand the sum of …’; and the value of the note, e.g. ‘five shillings’. The notes are signed by the ‘Governor’ and a ‘Director’ of the Bank of Biafra.

   

5 Shillings P-1; B-101 Color: Blue and lilac Dimensions: 110 x 55 mm

Front: Palm tree and large rising sun (color varies from orange to yellow).
Back: On the back of the 5-shilling note is a picture of four Ibo girls, and surrounding the value of the note to the left is a ‘manilla’. Manillas are a type of primitive money that were in use in Nigeria for hundreds of years. Constructed from copper bars they form an incomplete circle (or oval) having lobes at the ends and are often described as bracelets or armlets. Their use was very popular amongst the Ibos until recent times and they were only demonetised during the 1940’s.
Security thread: Simulated windowed security thread.
Printer: Unknown - possibly in Portugal.
Watermark: None.
Signatures: Sylvester U. Ugoh & William Okefie Uzoaga.

PickTBBDescriptionMintageVFUNC
1101Date: ND. Prefix: A/O - A/P. Intro: 29.01.1968.20 000 0003.0015.00

   

1 Pound P-2; B-102 Color: Gray and orange Dimensions: 140 x 70 mm

Front: Palm tree and large rising sun.
Back: The back of the 1-pound note carries the Biafran coat of arms above a wreath (constructed of two sprigs of unidentified leaves), and a ceremonial spear behind the disc in which the value of the note is held. The spear (which appears to the left of the 1-pound’s back) is called an ‘Alo’ amongst the Ibo people. It is regarded as a sceptre of power and authority, being carried by Ozo titled men, and as well as its symbolic importance it was also used as a weapon when necessary. (Titled men are part of traditional societies or brotherhoods).
Security thread: Simulated windowed security thread.
Printer: Unknown - possibly in Portugal.
Watermark: None.
Signatures: Sylvester U. Ugoh & William Okefie Uzoaga.

PickTBBDescriptionMintageVFUNC
2102Date: ND. Prefix: A/A - A/D. Intro: 29.01.1968.40 000 00020.0070.00

ND (1969) “Second” Issue

The notes of the second series are printed on non-fluorescing paper embedded with red and blue fibres. The use of this paper is the dominant security feature of the issue, however there is a very interesting attempt to use an early form of ‘micro printing’ on all notes of this series. The front of each note has a coloured pattern (around the outside of the central design) which contains very small print repeating the words ‘Bank of Biafra’ followed by the denomination of the note – e.g. the 5-shilling note repeats ‘Bank of Biafra Five Shillings’. The small print appears as continuous lines, however the print is made less easy to detect by being overlaid with a pattern of lines – the pattern being different on each denomination.

   

P-NL; B-103as; Diagonal red S P E C I M E N overprint on front/back; horizontal red # overprint at lower left; serial #0000000

   

5 Shillings P-3a; B-103a Color: Blue Dimensions: 110 x 55 mm

   

P-3b; B-103r; Remainder without serial numbers

Front: Palm tree and small rising sun.
Back: On the back of the 5-shilling note is a picture of four Ibo girls, and surrounding the value of the note to the left is a ‘manilla’. Manillas are a type of primitive money that were in use in Nigeria for hundreds of years. Constructed from copper bars they form an incomplete circle (or oval) having lobes at the ends and are often described as bracelets or armlets. Their use was very popular amongst the Ibos until recent times and they were only demonetised during the 1940’s.
Security thread: None.
Printer: Unknown - possibly in Switzerland.
Watermark: None.
Signatures: Sylvester U. Ugoh & William Okefie Uzoaga.

PickTBBDescriptionMintageVFUNC
NL103asDiagonal red S P E C I M E N ovpt.---------
3a103aDate: ND. Prefix: MA - MZ*. (Red serial #) Intro: February 1969.24 000 0005.0017.50
3a103aPrefix: NA - NR*16 000 0005.0017.50
3b103rRemainder without serial #.---12.5040.00

* Prefixes not used, MI, MO, NI and NO, letters ‘I’ and ‘O’ were not used due to their similarity with the numerals one and zero.
 

   

P-NL; B-104as; Diagonal red S P E C I M E N overprint on front/back; horizontal red # overprint at lower left; serial #0000000

   

10 Shillings P-4; B-104a Color: Blue Dimensions: 125 x 60 mm

Front: Palm tree and small rising sun.
Back: oil refinery.
Security thread: None.
Printer: Unknown - possibly in Switzerland.
Watermark: None.
Signatures: Sylvester U. Ugoh & William Okefie Uzoaga.

PickTBBDescriptionMintageVFUNC
P-NLB-104asDiagonal red S P E C I M E N overprint.---------
P-4B-104aDate: ND. Prefix: GA - GW*.19 000 0001.504.50

* Prefixes not used, GI and GO, letters ‘I’ and ‘O’ were not used due to their similarity with the numerals one and zero.

Note: remainder not known for this denomination.

   

P-NL; B-105as; Diagonal red S P E C I M E N overprint on front/back; horizontal red # overprint at lower left; serial #0000000

   

1 Pound P-5a; B-105a Color: Brown and green Dimensions: 140 x 70 mm

   

P-5b; B-105r; Remainder without serial numbers

Front: Palm tree and small rising sun. Back: Coat of arms with eagle and leopards above wreath. Security thread: None. Printer: Unknown - possibly in Switzerland. Watermark: None. Signatures: Sylvester U. Ugoh & William Okefie Uzoaga.
Pick TBB Description Mintage VF UNC
NL 105as Diagonal red S P E C I M E N ovpt. --- --- ---
5a 105a Date: ND. Prefix: BA - BZ*. Intro: February 1969. 24 000 000 0.25 1.50
5a 105a Prefix: CA - CZ*. 24 000 000 0.25 1.50
5a 105a Prefix: DA - DX*. 22 000 000 0.50 2.00
5b 105r1 Remainder without serial #. --- 5.00 20.00
5b 105r2 Remainder with serial # and horizontal black or blue WASTE NOTE overprint. --- 5.00 20.00
* Prefixes not used, BI, BO, CI, CO, DI and DO, letters ‘I’ and ‘O’ were not used due to their similarity with the numerals one and zero.

   

P-NL; B-106as; Diagonal red S P E C I M E N overprint on front/back; horizontal red # overprint at center left; serial #0000000

 

5 Pounds P-6a; B-106a Color: Purple and green Dimensions: 145 x 75 mm

   

P-6b; B-106r; Remainder without serial numbers

Front: Palm tree and small rising sun.
Back: Coat of arms with eagle and leopards in disc, spear (alo); woman weaving on loom.
Security thread: None.
Printer: Unknown - possibly in Switzerland.
Watermark: None.
Signatures: Sylvester U. Ugoh & William Okefie Uzoaga.

PickTBBDescriptionMintageVFUNC
NL106asDiagonal red S P E C I M E N ovpt.---------
6a106aDate: ND. Prefix: WA - WF. Intro: February 1969.6 000 00017.5070.00
6b106r1Remainder without serial #.---7.0030.00
6b106r2Remainder with serial # and horizontal blue WASTE NOTE overprint.---7.0030.00

   

P-NL; B-107as; Diagonal red S P E C I M E N overprint on front/back; horizontal red # overprint at lower left; serial #0000000

   

10 Pounds P-7a; B-107a Color: Blue Dimensions: 155 x 80 mm

   

P-7b; B-107r; Remainder without serial numbers

Front: Palm tree and small rising sun.
Back: Coat of arms with eagle and leopards; Male carver depicted on its back, as well as having the coat of arms in a white disc to the left.
Security thread: None.
Printer: Unknown - possibly in Switzerland.
Watermark: None.
Signatures: Sylvester U. Ugoh & William Okefie Uzoaga.

PickTBBDescriptionMintageVFUNC
NL107asDiagonal red S P E C I M E N ovpt.---------
7a107aDate: ND. Prefix: ZA - ZC. Intro: February 1969.3 000 00015.0085.00
7b107r1Remainder without serial #.---7.5040.00
7b107r2Remainder with serial # and horizontal blue WASTE NOTE overprint.---7.5040.00