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The peculiar Mozambique 100 Escudos banknote

Mozambique 100 Escudos

We exchange people’s leftover currency. Therefore we know about the type of old money in a typical drawer. And one banknote keeps on turning up: the Mozambique 100 Escudos. All over Britain, banknotes of 100 Mozambique escudos are found, again and again. Seems strange, doesn’t it? If you wonder why so many Britons have a Mozambique 100 Escudos note in their drawers? Here’s the answer…

Why Mozambique?

The southern African nation of Mozambique is a long way from the UK: 5300 miles. It was never a British colony, nor has it ever been a popular destination for British tourists. Then why do banknotes of Mozambique 100 escudos keep on appearing in British drawers?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that the Mozambique 100 escudos note lost its legal tender value abruptly in 1980. The exchange period was very short: three days only. As a result, many ‘Cem Escudos’ bills were never exchanged and became worthless from one day to another. And this was exactly what one British firm was looking for: Worthless banknotes available in large quantities.

Money of the World

In the 1990’s, before the Internet found its way into our daily lives, magazines were big. One of those magazines was ‘Money of the World’. Every two weeks a new issue was available for £2.50. It came with free banknotes and coins so the reader could ‘Collect the money, Discover the world’.The first edition of Money of the World came with a free Mozambique 100 Escudos banknote, amongst other banknotes and coins. It was heavily promoted and sold for 99p in newspaper shops and supermarkets.

Money of the World became the introduction of many to banknote collecting.In case you wonder why there’s a 100 Peruvian Inti banknote, a 50 Polish Zloty banknote or a 2 Zambian Kwacha banknote in your drawers… you can probably guess the answer.

Mozambique 100 Escudos facts sheet

  • Text on obverse side: Banco Nacional Ultramarino, 100 Mozambique Cem Escudos, Decreto Lei N˚39,221
  • Text on reverse side: Banco Nacional Ultramarino, Pagável em Moçambique, 100 Cem Escudos, Lisboa 1864
  • Dated: Lisboa, 27 de Março de 1961
  • Withdrawn from circulation: 18 June 1980
  • Portrait: Aires de Ornellas (Minister of the Navy)
  • Object on reverse side: Sailing ship
  • Value: no legal tender value

Do we exchange the Mozambique 100 Escudos banknote at Leftover Currency? The banknote has no value unfortunately, therefore we don’t exchange it. But we can help you with the exchange of many other items in your drawers. Here’s a list of all exchangeable currencies and their exchange rates.


Mario Van Poppel

Mario Van Poppel is the founder and director of Leftover Currency. What started as a hobby, collecting world banknotes, evolved into a fulltime job, running a successful online bureau de change. Mario is still a collector of pre-Euro banknotes and a member of the IBNS.