|System||1 Tala = 100 Sene|
The tālā is the currency of Samoa. It is divided into 100 sene. The terms tālā and sene are the equivalents or transliteration of the English words dollar and cent, in the Samoan language.
The tālā was introduced in 1967, following the country's political independence from New Zealand in 1962. Until that time, Samoa had used the pound, with coins from New Zealand and its own banknotes. The tālā replaced the pound at a rate of 2 tālā = 1 pound, and was therefore equal to the New Zealand dollar. The tālā remained equal to the New Zealand dollar until 1975.
The symbol WS$ is still used for the tālā, representing the country's previous name Western Samoa, used up to 1997, when the word Western was officially removed and the country became known as just Samoa. Therefore, the symbols SAT, ST and T appear to be in use as well.
Sometimes figures are written with the dollar sign in front, followed by "tālā". e.g. $100 tālā.
The Samoan currency is issued and regulated by the Central Bank of Samoa.
Previous to 1967, New Zealand Coins were used in Western Samoa, circulating alongside locally issued banknotes.
In 1967, four years after independence, new coins and notes were introduced replacing the New Zealand Pound as the official currency. Coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 50 sene and $1 in equal size to the coins of New Zealand. 1 and 2 sene coins were struck in bronze, while the higher denominations were struck in cupro-nickel. All featured the national emblem on the reverse and the Head of State Malietoa Tanumafili on the obverse.
In 1974, a new coin series was introduced, designed by James Bass with a theme centered on locally grown food plants. The edges of the 50 cent coin were also changed from alternating plain and reeded to only reeded. In 1984, a seven sided 1 tala coin was introduced in aluminum bronze to replace the note. The coin depicted the state emblem on the reverse. Although $1 tala pieces had been introduced in earlier years, this coin's bulky size and weight along with the favored use of the equivalent banknote never saw to popular and widespread use.