A catalogue of Zambian money illustrates the varied and interesting range of coins and paper money that have been used at different times in this part of Africa.
The history of Africa reveals that Zambia was a former colony of Great Britain. Zambia (Northern Rhodesia), Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia and Malawi (Nyasaland) later briefly formed the Federation Of Rhodesia And Nyasaland. They used the same currency as a federation until Zambia and Malawi split off as independent countiries in 1964. This became the diversion point for the currencies in the three separate countries.
Rhodesia And Nyasaland Coinage (1953-1964)
Rhodesia And Nyasaland Paper Money (1953 – 1964)
After Zambia attained independence from Great Britain in 1964 a new (decimal) currency was introduced. The Pound sterling was replaced by the Kwacha and the penny was replaced by the Ngwee. A hundred Ngwee make 1 Kwacha.
In some Zambian languages “Kwacha” means “Sunrise” or “Dawn” (e.g. Bemba and Nyanja languages) and Ngwee means “Bright.” This alluded to the vision of a bright emergence and future for the new Zambian nation.
Zambian Paper Money
Zambian currency has suffered from inflation. Over time, the exchange rate has changed from K2 to the British pound to somewhere betwee K7,000 and K8,000.
Coins and lower denomination notes are not commonly used and are only of interest as collectors items and tourist souvenirs. The lowest denomination in common use is the K50 note and the highest is the K50,000 note.