The dinar is the official currency of Jordan and an unofficial currency of the West Bank, issued by the Central Bank of Jordan. Read on for a brief history of this relatively new form of currency and an explanation of banknotes and coins.
A Brief History
The area now known as Jordan was recognized as a state under the British Mandate for Palestine and the Transjordan memorandum starting in 1922. In 1927, the Palestine Currency Board began issuing the Palestine pound as the official currency in both Palestine and the Transjordan Emirate. Transjordan then became an independent sovereign kingdom in 1946 when the United Nations approved the end of the British Mandate. King Abdullah became its first king, and prime minister Tewfik Abul Huda announced in 1949 an official name change of the state to the Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan. Then in 1949, after a few years of deliberation, the Provisional Act No. 35 formed the Jordan Currency Board, which was designated as the sole authority for issuing currency in the kingdom. And in 1950, the Jordanian dinar became Jordan’s official form of currency, and the Palestinian pound was phased out as a form of currency. The Central Bank of Jordan, which succeeded the Jordan Currency Board, was formed in the late 1950s.
Jordanian dinar banknotes initially came in denominations of 500 fils and 1, 5, 10, and 50 dinar when they were first issued by the Jordan Currency Board in 1949. The Central Bank of Jordan took over note production in 1959, which led to 20 dinar notes being introduced in 1977, and half dinar notes being replaced by coins in 1999. The obverses of dinar banknotes feature Jordanian kings, and the reverses feature various events and places, such as the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, the First Parliament in Jordan,the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and the Raghadan Palace.
The dinar is divided into 1,000 fils, or 100 qirsh (piastres). So one qirsh (or piastre) is equal to 10 fils. When first introduced by the Jordan Currency Board in 1949, coins were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 fils. 20 fils coins were phased out in 1965, and then in 1968 were replaced by 25 fils coins. Fils coins, however, are being phased out in favor of qirsh and dinar coins. You will now find coins in denominations of 0.5, 1, 2.5, 5, and 10 qirsh (piastres) and in denominations of 0.25, 0.5, and 1 dinar. These coins are made from various metals such as copper, bronze, and nickel plated steel; brass; and a combination of aluminum bronze and cupronickel.
There is a fixed exchange rate of the Jordanian Dinar to the US dollar, with 1 US dollar equaling 0.709 Jordanian dinar. This means that the exchange rate of the Jordanian dinar against the US dollar changes very little, and the only major change will come if the government of Jordan decides to revalue the dinar.