Did you know that in Japan, banknotes are printed with the images of famous scientists and writers? The recent debate in the United States regarding a woman on a major bill made everyone take a good look at what currency means to a country. That’s why taking a closer look at the art and design on the Iraqi dinar can give us valuable insight into the history, values, ideals, and culture of the country.
The History of the Iraqi Dinar
The Iraqi dinar was introduced in 1932 to replace the Indian Rupee, in circulation in Iraq ever since the British occupation after WWI. Before the Gulf War, dinars were printed in Switzerland, using high-quality printing methods. However, in 1991, UN sanctions prevented these Swiss-printed dinars, and Iraqi currency was instead printed locally, or in China, using inferior methods and quality. Notes printed between 1991 and 2003 are full of inconsistencies, and printed on wood pulp paper (instead of linen or cotton like most modern notes). This era saw a lot of forgery, sometimes of a better quality than the officially printed notes. The previously printed notes became known as Swiss dinar, and though they were disendorsed by the government, they held their value better than official dinars, and remained in high circulation in the Kurdish region of the country.Read More