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Currency Information on WST. Currency Information on Samoa - WST- Samoan tālā (WST) - . The foreign exchange currency code for WST represents the Samoan tālā exchange rate. Currency Exchange Rates for Samoan tālā - ؋.

The Samoan Tala

In Samoa, the Tala is the national currency. Each Tala is equivalent to a hundred sene. In English, it is simply the Samoan Dollar, with sene translating to cent. The terms Tala and sene are simply terminologies used in the nat Samoan Talaive Samoan language. It was first used in the 10th of July, 1967. This was shortly after the countrys independent from New Zealand five years before (1962). Its symbol is WS$, sometimes varying to ST, T or SAT. Before the introduction of the tala, Samoa used the pound, originating from New Zealand. To ensure a seamless switch, a rate of two tala per pound was rolled out. These two were used interchangeably up to 1975.

For easier transactions involving hard currency, the tala is available in a range of denominations. For banknotes, we have 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 tala denominations. For coins we have denominations of 10, 20 and 50 sene and only two denominations of 1 and 2 tala. The national currency of Samoa is governed by the Central Bank of Samoa.

With regards to the variety of symbols, historical events contributed. The nation was previously known as Western Samoa up to 1997 when it became simply Samoa, with the Western being removed from the name. This is the main reason we have the WS$ representation. This is concurrently used with ST, SAT and T. 

A currency switch is not easy, and therefore a changing from the New Zealand currency to the tala had to be well executed. Before independence, the New Zealand Pound was locally issued (both coins and banknotes). After independence, bronze 1 and 2 sene were introduced, with the higher denominations being of cupro-nickel. The coins were of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 sene and $1all produced equal in size to the New Zealand currency.

James Bass designed a new series of coins which were introduced in 1974. The main theme of the new coins was the locally grown food plants. The 50 cent coin had its edges changed from plain and reeded to just reeded. A seven sided 1 tala coin was introduced in 1984, made of aluminium bronze and it replaced the previously used note. On this particular coin, the state emblem was depicted in reverse. It was however bulky and never became popular in terms of use.

Regarding the bank notes, the pound and hilling treasury notes circulated from 1920 to 1963, with the Western Samoan pound enjoying a similar value to the New Zealand pound. This was the basis of a seamless changeover with regards to value.

Over time, a lot of commemorative coins have been issued. Like any other currency, some denominations are scrapped over time (like the 1, 2 and 5 sene coins in 2011) as the national treasury works towards cutting costs involved in production and also with reduced use over time. To date, changes to the tala are still taking place with coins released in a new series of designs in 2011. The tala has come a long way historically.


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