macedonian denar coinsThe Macedonian denar (MKD) is the official currency of the Republic of Macedonia, issued by the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia. It is divided into subunits of 100 deni for one denar, but this subunit is no longer used. When talking about Macedonian currency, then, you will most often see “denar” and its plural “denari.” Its currency symbol is ден, which are the Macedonian letters for the first three letters of “denar.”

A Brief History

Macedonian denar are a very new currency when compared with other foreign currencies, as these denar were first issued in 1992. This, of course, followed Macedonia’s declaring independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991. The first Macedonian denar—temporary “value coupons” first circulated in April of 1992—were issued by the newly created National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia and formally established Macedonia’s monetary independence from Yugoslavia. These denar were issued only in banknote form and had no corresponding coinage. Then in May of 1993, new and permanent denar in banknote and coin form were introduced to replace the original denar. These second denar are the Macedonian denar in circulation today.

For Macedonia, you could say that the introduction of the denar was very much a political statement of independence from Yugoslavia.

Coins

In 1993, Macedonian denar coins were issued in denominations of 50 deni and 1, 2, and 5 denari. In 2008, 10 and 50 denari coins were introduced, and in 2013, the 50 deni coin was withdrawn for its very low circulation. (50 deni coins were made only in 1993.) Macedonian denar coins are made from a combination of copper, zinc, and nickel metals. They tend to feature the value on the obverse and then a particular animal on the reverse, such as a sheep dog, fish, or lynx.

Banknotes

Newer Macedonian denar banknotes are issued in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 denari, with 200 and 2000 denar notes being the newest additions first issued in August 2014. Macedonian denar today feature various designs on their obverses and reverses depending on when they were issued. Banknotes from 1993 feature prominent sites on the obverses, like the Church of St. Sophia in Ohrid on the 100 denar note or the Monastery of St. Pantelejmon in Skopje on the 50 denar note. Corresponding nearby sites are found on the reverses of these notes. Notes from 1996 feature more artistic imagery, such as the Egyptian goddess Isis, the Archangel Gabriel, a Debar rosette, a peacock mosaic, or a poppy flower.  The newest notes feature artifacts discovered in what is now Macedonia, such as an early medieval bronze fibula or a bronze artifact in the form of cup poppy.