A Brief History of the Dinar

In the history of the Muslim world, gold and silver have been the leading currency. Valued based on their weight, the Persians were the first to turn these metals into coins (called dinar and dirhams), which included an Arabic inscription of either the name of Allah or parts of the Qur’an. These types of coins remained the official currency until the fall of the Khalifate in 1258. While different nations and empires were colonizing that area of the world, the currency tended to reflect the ruling power. It wasn’t until 1931 that the dinar returned as the official currency of Iraq. Replacing the Indian rupee (which was, at the time, the official currency of the area due to the British occupation), the dinar remained on par with the British pound until 1959. At that time, the world market switched the comparison (or the peg) of the dinar from the pound to the dollar. The dinar has gone through several different types of printing. The original dinar was a high quality Swiss printed note. After the Gulf War in 1991, due to UN restrictions, the government printed the currency on inferior quality notes in mass quantity, resulting in a devaluation of the dinar. These notes were printed until October of 2013, when the government started to issue new dinar notes and coins. This new currency was printed in order to create one consistent currency throughout the nation that was issued with all the modern anti-forging technologies. Due to its limited circulation, the new dinar currency has achieved a somewhat “exotic” status in the international money exchange market. The main type of dinar is the banknote. While the dinar has been available in coin form, with the newest currency printed, coins proved to be extremely popular and have been withdrawn from circulation. Since the newest printing in 2003, the denominations of dinar printed are 50, 250, 500, 1000, 5000, 10000, and 25000. The images on the bank notes depict different scenes from Iraqi lifestyle.

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