The 95 banknotes of Suriname

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The 60th country to join the Numizon catalog ...

Your Numizon catalog of world banknotes began in spring 2019 and here we are now with 60 countries displayed on the counter, i.e. 2422 different banknotes! We try to progress quickly in order to always offer you more choices in your research for new banknotes.

The continent of South America having been, by choice, a little too neglected, we therefore decided to carry out a very large research work on the banknotes of Suriname. This country started issuing banknotes from the beginning of the 19th century around 1826. It was therefore an opportunity to research and collect the greatest number of banknotes and to bring them together in one and the same catalog. We relied on the work of our predecessors recognized for the seriousness of their studies and we thank them (1). But despite our good will, we have not made progress on certain issues which are still incomplete or sometimes entirely non-existent:

  • Banknotes of General Netherlands Society: Pick 3, 5 to 9,
  • Banknotes of the West-Indische Bank: Pick 11 to 24 and 28 to 33,
  • All Treasury Note for the Colony of Surinam: Pick 34 to 44,
  • Banknotes of the Bank of Suriname (De Surinaamsche bank): Pick 45, 49 to 53, 55 to 67, 69, 70, 72 to 76 and 78 to 82.

We can say that issues from the 19th and early 20th centuries are very rare, because in the space of a century, from 1826 to 1926, we were only able to find 14 banknotes! It was not until the early 1930s to observe all the references of the Suriname ...

Banks of Suriname

It was in 1826 that the first banknotes were printed by the Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij (General Netherlands Society). The bills are quite austere and printed in black monochrome with a so-called "musical" border, several handwritten signatures, the date and the number. Between 1828 and 1848, the West-Indische Bank in turn issued banknotes for the Netherlands Antilles. After the abolition of slavery in 1863, a period of monetary chaos ensued. A certain Simon Abendanon, captain and judicial officer stationed in Suriname, sees an opportunity. On January 19, 1865 in Paramaribo, he founded a private institution called De Surinaamsche Bank (DSB) which opened its doors to the public on July 18, 1865.

With the Bank of Suriname, banknotes take on a new artistic and graphic dimension. However, from 1865 to 1925, the isssues follow one another, without graphic evolution and without fundamental questioning. But history is on the move ... Under British, then French and finally Dutch domination since 1667, Suriname obtained autonomy in 1954, the Netherlands retaining control over the two fields of defense and foreign affairs. In 1957, the DSB renounced its right to issue banknotes. The Central Bank of Suriname was then created and became the new official monetary institution.


Above: front of 100 gulden Type 1920. 212 x 105 mm. Printer: Johan Enschedé en Zonen (JEZ), Haarlem.


(1) British Museum Collection, Numismondo, Banknote Museum, Colnect, RealBanknotes and Banknote Index.

Our sources

  • « The Banknote Book: Suriname » by Owen W. Linzmeyer.
  • « Suriname » Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, 1368-1960, 12th edition (pages 1105 to 1110).
  • « Suriname » Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, 1961-present, 17th edition (pages 933 to 939).
  • Encyclopedie van Munten en Papiergeld (EMP) : Suriname.
  • Photos from British Museum Collection.
  • Photos from sales archives.
  • Photos from Heritage Auctions sales archives.
  • Photos from ebay sales archives.

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