Solomon Islands - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Solomon Islands, a sovereign state in Oceania consisting of nearly thousand islands located East of Papua New Guinea has a total land area of 10,965 square miles and a population of around 523,000. Solomon Islands archipelago consists of several active and dormant volcanoes. Volcano enriched soil are ideal for orchids and more than 200 varieties have been identified here. It is classified as a lesser-developed nation – fishing, agriculture, and mineral resources are the major sectors of its economy.

Travel Resources: 

Tourism is a sector that is yet to take off completely. The major attractions of the Islands include World War 2 Memorials, Morovo Lagoon, Lake Te’Nggano, Langa Langa, Lilisiana Village, Mataniko Falls and Rennel Island. Their cuisine while not elaborate is delicious with taro and seafood being their staple.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands978-1741045802$22Solomon Islands is covered in about 80 pages starting at page 246. Includes sub-sections on the provinces, directory, health, and transport.
Solomon Islands Travel Map978-1553414032$111:900,000 Scale.
Solomon Islands Grounded Adapter Plug Kit – GUC and GUDB0016ZS3BG$14

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Solomon Islands were a set of seven stamps released on February 14, 1907 showing a war canoe. The set (Scott #1 to #7) catalogs for around $310 mint and around $360 used. Between imperforate horizontal and vertical pairs of numbers #3, #4, and #6 exist but without a certificate of authenticity by a competent philatelic authority, the pairs have limited value as counterfeits are common. A slightly different war canoe design along with a King George V design and several common design types formed the stamp issues of Solomon Islands during the period till 1939. The war canoe and KGV sets (Scott #8 to #18, #28 to #41, and #43 to #56) are pretty valuable cataloging in the few hundreds of dollars range. Solomon Islands became a protectorate of the United Kingdom between 1893 and 1900.

Solomon Islands released a set of thirteen stamps showing KGV and local scenes between 1939 and 1951. The set (Scott #67 to #69) catalogs for around $90 MNH and around $50 used. The designs show spears and shield, policeman and chief, Artificial Island at Malaita, Canoe House of New Georgia, Roviana war canoe, View of Munda Point, Meeting House at Reef Islands, coconut plantation, breadfruit, Tinakula Volcano of Santa Cruz Islands, Scrub fowl, and Malaita canoe.  Solomon Islands were the site of intense fighting in 1942 during the Second World War between Allied Forces and the Japanese Imperial Forces. The battle of Guadalcanal fought between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943 and resulted in the death of 31,000 Japanese and 7,100 Allied service men. The Allied Victory marked the transition by the Allies from a defensive to an offensive position in the Pacific theatre. Solomon Islands gained self government in 1976 and independence from the United Kingdom on July 7, 1978.

Other issues of Solomon Islands enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A long set of seventeen stamps released between 1956 and 1960 showing Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) and local scenes. The set (Scott #89 to #105) catalogs for around $100 mint and around $50 used. The designs show Ysabel canoe, Roviana canoe, Artificial Island of Malaita, canoe house, Malaita canoe, map, trading schooner, Henderson Field of Guadalcanal, Chart of Solomons and H.M.S. Swallow, recalling Capt. Philip Carteret’s voyage of 1767, Tinakula Volcano, Meeting House of Reef Islands, Alvaro de Mendana de Neyra and Caravel, constable and chief, and Coat of Arms.
  2. A long set of sixteen stamps released in 1976 showing Cowries. The set (Scott #316 to #331) catalogs for around $25 MNH or used. The designs show golden whistler, river kingfisher, red-throated fruit dove, button quail, willie wagtail, glory-of-the-sea cones, rainbow lory, pearly nautilus, venus comb murex, commercial trochus, melon or baler shell, orange spider conch, Pacific triton, Duchess lorikeet, and great frigate bird.
  3. A set of five stamps released on December 5, 1990 in the Birds theme. The set (Scott #678 to #682) catalogs for around $8 MNH and around $5 used. The designs show purple swamphen, rufous brown pheasant dove, superb fruit dove, cardinal honey-eater, and pigmy parrot.
  4. A set of four stamps released on November 30, 2000 depicting the East Rennell Island World Heritage Site. The set (Scott #897 to #900) catalogs for around $6 MNH or used. The designs show a Map of the Island on the left pane (perforation between) and pictures of Rennell Island, Lake Tegano, Rennell shrikebill, and endemic orchid on the right panes.
  5. A set of eight stamps released in July of 2005 in the Pope John Paul II theme. The set (Scott #1013 to #1020) features a striking embossed gold color design and catalogs for around $10 MNH or used. The set was released to mark the death of the Pope. Solomon Islands released a souvenir sheet the previous year to mark the 20th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II. That sheet (Scott #970) catalogs for around $5 MNH or used. The people of Solomon Islands are 97% Christian with Roman Catholics at around 19%.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Solomon Islands were Commonwealth Standard Coinage (100 Cents = 1 Dollar) Bronze Cents in the FAO series issued in 1977 showing QE bust in Obverse and Food Bowl and Value in Reverse. The issue is very common and catalogs for well under a dollar. The first gold coin was a 0.1006 troy ounce 10 Dollars Gold Proof issued in 1991 to mark the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The design shows Crowned QE bust in Obverse and Map of Pearl Harbor in Reverse. It has very low mintage (500) but remarkably catalogs close to bullion value.

Numismatic items of Solomon Islands include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$2 and upRecent UNCs starts around $2. Commemorative Proofs, Colored Olympic Commemorative Proofs from 2000, etc starts around $10. Silver Commemorative Proofs starts around $30. Silver Proof Sets start around $50.
Paper Money$2 and upRecent UNC Dollars starts around $2. Low Serial Number UNCs, Continuous Serial Number UNCs with 5-pieces or more, etc start around $10. High Value UNCs, Year Sets, and Bundles start around $50 and go well into the 100s.

Collectible Memorabilia:


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Art$10 and up19th century original photos start around $10. Costume Art from the 19th century start around $50.
Antiques$10 and up19th century maps start around $10. Inlaid authentic masks, 18th century maps, Chest Ornament Shells, etc start around $100.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$3 and upFridge Magnets, Beer Labels, Postcards, etc start around $3. Mother Pearl Inlay Figurines start around $20.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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