header Notes Collection

5 Dollars 2007, Solomon Islands

in Krause book Number: 26
Years of issue: 2007
Signatures: Governor: Mr. Rick N. Houenipwela, Secretary Finsnce: Mr. Luma Darcy
Serie: 2006 Issue
Specimen of: 2006
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 144 x 72
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 Dollars 2007




The Sanford's sea eagle catching fish.

The Sanford's sea eagle (Haliaeetus sanfordi), sometimes listed as Sanford's fish eagle or Solomon eagle, is a sea eagle endemic to the Solomon Islands. The "sea eagle" name is to be preferred, to distinguish the species of Haliaeetus from the closely related Ichthyophaga true fish eagles. The species was described in 1935 by Ernst Mayr who noticed that earlier observers had overlooked it, thinking it was a juvenile of the white-bellied sea eagle.

The Sanford's sea eagle was discovered by and named after Dr Leonard C. Sanford, a trustee for the American Museum of Natural History. The first description was by Ernst Mayr in 1935. It can reach a length between 70-90 cm. (28-35 in.) and a weight between 1.1-2.7 kg. (2.4-6.0 lb.). The wingspan is between 165-185 cm. (5.41-6.07 ft.). It is the only large predator on the Solomon Islands. The eagles inhabits coastal forests and lakes up to an altitude of about 1500 m. asl.

The plumage is whitish brown to bright brown on the head and the neck. The underparts are brown to reddish brown and dark brown. The upperparts are darkish brown to gray-black. The eyes are bright brown. Uniquely among sea eagles, this species has an entirely dark tail throughout its life.

The breeding season is from August to October. The nest consists of two eggs.

The diet consists of mainly of tideline carrion, fish, molluscs, crabs, tortoises, and sea snakes, and more rarely birds and megabats snatched from the rainforest canopy. It has also been reported to feed opportunistically on the northern common cuscus.


5 Dollars 2007


Solomon Islands Coat of Arms .

The magnificent Coat of Arms was a further development of symbols used during the Protectorate days, which are still displayed on the Crest. The official description from the British College of Arms uses archaic English but is here recorded in modern English. At the summit of the Coat-of-Arms is a sun in splendour, which rests on a Solomon Islands war canoe, which in turn rests on a 'wreath azure and argent' (i.e., silver/white and blue, respectively). Below this is a helmet and mantling, again argent and blue with a gules (red) visor opening to the helmet. The central Crest consists of two diagonal bands of vert (green) each of which contains a double-headed arrow forming an 'x' shape which is split by a Melanesian dancing shield fronting a bow and arrows. The background of (gold/yellow) is split in four by the above mentioned bands and contains in the left and right segments a turtle. Above this is a deep band of azure containing a Sanford Eagle resting on a branch, which has a frigate bird on each side of it. The left hand support (dexter side) is a crocodile and on the opposing side, the right hand support (sinister side) is a shark. Below this is a double-headed frigate bird of traditional artistic design of the Solomon Islands which rests on the motto 'To Lead Is to Serve' on a banner scroll of gold/yellow, with gules shadow. (Solomon Islands Historical Encyclopaedia 1893-1978)


On the left side is the flag of Solomon Islands.

The national flag of Solomon Islands was adopted officially on 18 November 1977 by John Hazeldine from New Zealand.

The five main island groups are represented by the five stars. The blue is supposed to represent the surrounding ocean, while the green represents the land. The yellow stripe is symbolic of the sunshine.

The civil ensign (for merchant ships) and state ensign (for non-military government vessels) are red and blue flags, respectively, with the national flag in the canton.

The naval ensign (for police vessels) is based on the British white ensign, a red cross on a white field, also with the national flag in the canton.

On left side is a stylized image of the Frigate bird, in local traditions (emblem element and symbol of freedom).

Right are two Hornbills looking in different directions - Barava.

Barava are ornate openwork plaques hand-carved from semi-fossilized giant clam shell. Every tribe and clan in the Western Solomon Islands, in the ancient days, had a barava. It established the tribal identity and the ownership of land. The designs refer to tribal origins and the overall wealth of the tribe (butubutu). The Barava was sacred and was kept in the Tambu house.

The intricate openwork of these reticulate carvings is a lost art. No one alive today has ever seen one being created. The fossilized shell was taken from a quarry high on Mt. Kela (2283 feet) on the remote island of Ranongga. The location of the quarry was known to only a few, as it is today. (

At lower right are three fish.


On the right side and top right are the Solomon Islands jewelry.

Kap kap white shell disc with dark brown turtle shell filigree overlay, probably flower/plant motifs.

On banknote, probably, is Dala kapkap. It is still worn as a head or breast ornament on Malaita and Guadalcanal. The intricate overlay design is cut by hand. All photographs courtesy of a private collection.

Shell disk ornaments overlaid with filigree turtle shell are typical of the Solomon Islands. Commonly known as kapkaps, they were worn westward to New Ireland and on into the Papuan Gulf in Papua New-Guinea. (Art-Pacific (Carolyn Leigh - Ron Perry): Guide to artifacts)

ceremonial bowl

At the bottom is a Ceremonial, carved, Solomon Islands bowl. I did not find a photo of exactly the same dish as on the banknote. But what I found is very close to what is shown.

Denominations in numerals are in top and lower right corners, in words centered.


5 Dollars 2007

Native man of the Solomon Islands with traditional martial canoe (Traditional Solomon Islands War Canoe).

On the background is a hut on the beach.

The War Canoe of the Western Province.

The war canoe from Western Province was once a revered sight in the waters of the Western Solomon Islands.

It comes from the people of Roviana in the Western Province, known as "Tomoko" in their native mother tongue. The Tomoko was used during the head hunting days to carry war raiding parties.

The maximum the Tomoko can carry depends on the size of the boat, but an average sized Tomoko could fit fifty to two hundred warriors.

Often, when these warriors were paddling, they call on their gods and deities for strength. "They were all possessed by the gods, who makes their body strong during travel, it also prepares them for fighting".

This ancient god is called Tiola, when the warriors go out to war, they call on him because they regarded it as the god of the province. Even now, when there is an escort in the Western province for a celebration, they still use the war canoe, some still pray to the Tiola to paddle the canoe.


This photograph shows warriors alongside their war canoes on the beach at Vella Lavella, one of the Solomon Islands. The photograph was taken by Edward A. Salisbury (1875-1962), an American explorer, writer, and early producer of travel films who in the 1920s published many accounts of his expeditions to the South Pacific in Asia: The American Magazine of the Orient. Salisbury’s article, “A Napoleon of the Solomons”, which appeared in the September 1922 issue of Asia, was a portrait of Gau, the warrior king of Vella Lavella. Salisbury described the war canoes as “magnificent pieces of workmanship, 35 to 50 feet long, holding from 40 to 100 men, and though without outriggers, seaworthy…. The sides of the canoes were beautifully inlaid with pearl shells in fantastic designs. At both stem and stern were twelve-foot beaks decorated with conch-shells.” (inkbluesky)

Nguzu Nguzu

At lower left side and in top right corner are the figureheads from the canoes.

On the photo is followed figurehead:

Date: late XIX - early XX century.

Geography: Solomon Islands, New Georgia Island possibly, Western province.

Culture: New Georgia Island.

Medium: Wood, paint, shell.

Dimensions: H. 5 1/2 x W. 4 1/2 in. (14 x 11.4 cm).

Classification: Wood-Sculpture.

Credit Line: Gift of Morris J. Pinto, 1976.

On banknote is Canoe Figurehead (Nguzu Nguzu, Musu Musu, or Toto Isu).

Canoes in the western Solomon Islands were essential to transportation, fishing, and warfare. In former times, they were lavishly adorned. The centerpiece of the prow was a distinctive figurehead, known variously as a nguzu nguzu, musu musu, or toto isu. Attached at the waterline so that it dipped in the sea as the canoe rode the waves, the figurehead reportedly served as a supernatural protector, ensuring safe passage and a successful expedition. The images are typically busts depicted with large heads wearing circular ear ornaments and small arms with the hands raised to the chin or clasping a head or bird. The jutting jaws of the images were reportedly attributes of spirits, and nguzu nguzu are sometimes said to depict, or

afford protection from, dangerous sea spirits called kesoko. (The metropolitan Museum of Art)

On the elft side are, again, the Solomon Islands jewelry.

Denominations in numerals are in top and lower left corners, in words and in numeral in lower right corner.