Not to be confused with the Somaliland 5 shilling coin.
5 shillings/scellini
Somalia 5 shillings 2002
Coin from 2002
General information

Flag of Somalia Somalia


5.00 shillings



Measurements and composition
  • 27.85 g (1970)
  • 1.3 g (1999-2002)
  • 5 g (2013)
  • 38 mm (1970)
  • 21 mm (1999-2002)
  • 19 mm (2013)
  • 3.5 mm (1970)
  • 2 mm (1999-2002)


  • reeded (1970)
  • plain (1999-2002)
v · d · e

The 5 shilling/scellino coin is a coin of the Federal Republic of Somalia and former Somali Democratic Republic that has been issued in three types, two for circulation and one for collectors. The first coin, a circulating commemorative celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), was introduced in 1970 by the Somali Democratic Republic. Nearly thirty years later in 1999, after the establishment of the current Federal Republic of Somalia, a second type also commemorating the FAO was issued and later minted again in 2000 and 2002. This type was then followed in 2013 by a non-circulating legal tender piece included as part of a five coin collectors' set.

While the 1970 5 shilling piece has been demonetized, the coins made from 1999 to 2002 and in 2013 continue to hold a legal tender face value equivalent to 5.00 Somali shillings. However, the 2013 pieces are intended primarily for collectors and do not see any circulation. The later two coins were distributed under the authority of the Central Bank of Somalia.


"Grow More Food" circulating commemorative (1970)

Somalia 5 shillings 1970

1970 FAO commemorative coin

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of the United Nations (UN) tasked with combating world hunger, was established in 1945 in Quebec City, Canada. Somalia, which joined the UN upon independence in 1960, introduced a commemorative 5 shilling piece in 1970 for circulation, made in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the FAO, and according to Krause's Standard Catalog of World Coins, an FAO conference. A crown-sized coin, it is composed of cupronickel, weighs approximately 27.85 grams, and measures 38 millimeters in diameter and 3.5 millimeters in thickness. The piece has coin alignment and a reeded edge, and like most coins, is round in shape.

Displayed in the middle of the obverse, designed by Italian British artist Michael Rizzello (1926–2004), is the coat of arms of Somalia – which consists of a central escutcheon containing a single five-pointed star, surmounted by a battlement of Moorish style and supported by two African leopards (Panthera pardus pardus). Below this escutcheon are a ribbon wrapped around two crossing lances and two palm fronds. "SOMALI DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC" is written along the upper periphery of the piece, extending clockwise from the left to right rims of the piece, followed by the Gregorian date of minting in Western Arabic numerals, "1970". The Arabic equivalent of the state title, "الجمهورية الديمقراطية الصومالية" (Romanized: al-Jumhūrīyah ad-Dīmuqrāṭīyah aṣ-Ṣūmālīyah) is inscribed in the same direction from the right to left of the piece, followed by the date in Eastern Arabic numerals, "١٩٧‎٠". The English and Arabic legends are separated from each other by small dashes. Engraved in the middle of the coin's reverse is an illustration of three farm animals – a Somali goat, a sort of zebu (Bos taurus indicus), and a Somali sheep – the latter two standing and the goat resting on the ground. In the background of the image are some grains, including corn stalks, and on the ground before the livestock are some local fruits. Curved upward above the depiction is the coin's face value in English, reading "5 shillings". Printed below the central illustration on two lines is the Arabic equivalent, "شلنات ٥" ‎(5 šilīnāt), the number displayed in a larger font than the following word, which arches toward the bottom of the coin. The Arabic text "أرفعوا محصول م الزراعي" (Arfā'wū māsūl mā al-zirā'í), roughly translating as "raise the agricultural yield", appears in a counterclockwise direction along the upper rim of the piece, commencing at the right periphery and concluding at the left. "GROW MORE FOOD", an alternate English translation for the Arabic, is written in the same direction along the bottom rim, extending from the left to right sides of the obverse. Both texts are separated from each other by two small points. The rims on both the obverse and reverse are raised and not decorated.

In total, approximately 101,000 examples of the 1970 piece were struck, including 100,000 general issue coins and around 1,000 proofs.

Food Security circulating commemorative (1999–2002)

Somali 5 shillings 2000

Coin from 2000

One of the goals of the Food and Agriculture Organization is global food security, a condition in which all people have access to a sufficient amount of food for nourishment. In 1999, in celebration of the FAO, Somalia issued commemorative 5 and 10 shilling coins for circulation focusing on food security. Both pieces were later produced into 2000 and 2002. The 5 shilling coin is composed of aluminum and has a mass of approximately 1.3 grams, a diameter of 21 millimeters, and a thickness of 2 millimeters. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape.

Featured in the middle of the obverse is the coat of arms of Somalia as it appears on the 1970 circulating commemorative, albeit taller and less stylized. Above this central illustration, the English state title, "REPUBLIC OF SOMALIA", is written from the upper left to upper right peripheries of the piece in a clockwise direction. A large numeral "5" appears at the bottom of the obverse, which is accompanied along the left rim by the word "SHILLINGS" and along the right by the Italian equivalent, "SCELLINI". Both of these texts are written in a counterclockwise direction, and are separated from the state title by small points. Displayed in the center of the coin's reverse is an illustration of an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) walking to the right. Such an animal, rarely seen in Somalia, occasionally appears in the country around the border with Kenya. The text "XXI CENTURY", identifying the 21st century, is engraved upward along the left rim of the piece, followed near the top of the reverse by the Gregorian date of minting in Western Arabic numerals. Printed downward along the right periphery of the coin is the legend "FOOD SECURITY". The date and the two accompanying texts are separated by two small points. "FAO" appears horizontally at the bottom of the reverse, below the depiction of the elephant. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised.

The total mintage of the 5 shilling coin issued from 1999 to 2002 is currently unknown. Only business strikes are known to have been made.

  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2002

Non-circulating legal tender coin (2013)

Somalia 5 shillings 2013

Coin from 2013

In 2013, the Central Bank of Somalia commissioned the United Kingdom-based Commonwealth Mint to produce a set of five Somali non-circulating legal tender coins. The series, consisting of denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 shillings, features the big five game animals of Africa, most of which live in Somalia. The 5 shilling piece, the smallest of the coins in face value, is composed of copper-plated nickel and has a mass of 5 grams, a diameter of 19 millimeters, and a thickness of 2 millimeters. It has medallic alignment and is round in shape.

The coat of arms of Somalia is displayed in the center of the obverse. It is designed similarly to the image on the food security commemorative, albeit with the leopards' tongues visible, the battlements more rounded and distinct, and the lances slanted upward. "SOMALI REPUBLIC" is engraved clockwise along the upper rim of the piece, above the illustration of the arms. Meanwhile, the Gregorian date of minting is written in Western Arabic numerals as "2013" at the bottom periphery of the coin, in the opposite direction. Featured on the reverse is a depiction of a cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer) standing in a field of grass, its horned head looking ¼ right. The animal, a large bovine native to portions of Southern and East Africa, can be found in parts of southwestern Somalia. The face value "FIVE SHILLINGS" is engraved into the grass at the bottom of the coin, written counterclockwise along the rim. The rims of both the obverse and reverse are raised and decorated with a beaded border. On the reverse, this border encompasses all of the piece's periphery except for the space occupied by the face value.

The total mintage of the 2013 5 shilling coin is currently unknown, but was reportedly made in limited quantities. Only uncirculated specimens were struck.


Template:Somali shilling

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.