Iraqi dinar

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Iraqi dinar
دينار عراقي (Arabic)
Dinar-25000.jpg
25,000 dinars banknotes
ISO 4217 code IQD
Central bank Central Bank of Iraq
 Website www.cbi.iq
User(s)  Iraq
Inflation 1.66%
 Source Central Bank of Iraq, June 2010.
Subunit
 1/1,000 fils
Symbol ع.د
Coins 25, 50, 100 dinars (none are in circulation)[1]
Banknotes 50, 250, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000 dinars

The dinar (Arabic pronunciation: [diːˈnɑːr]) (Arabic: دينار, Kurdish: دینار) (sign: د.ع; code: IQD) is the currency of Iraq. It is issued by the Central Bank of Iraq and is subdivided into 1,000 fils (فلس), although inflation has rendered the fils obsolete.

History[edit]

The dinar was introduced into circulation in 1932, by replacing the Indian rupee, which had been the official currency since the British occupation of the country in World War I, at a rate of 1 dinar = 11 rupees. The dinar was pegged at par with the British pound until 1959 when, without changing its value, the peg was switched to the United States dollar at the rate of 1 dinar = 2.8 dollars. By not following the devaluations of the U.S. currency in 1971 and 1973, the dinar rose to a value of US$3.3778, before a 5 percent devaluation reduced the value of the dinar to US$3.2169, a rate which remained until the Gulf War, although in late 1989, the black market rate was reported at five to six times higher (3 dinars for US$1) than the official rate.[2]

After the Gulf War in 1991, due to UN sanctions, the previously used Swiss printing was no longer available. A new, inferior quality notes issue was produced. The previous issue became known as the Swiss dinar and continued to circulate in the Kurdish region of Iraq. Due to sanctions placed on Iraq by the United States and the international community and excessive government printing of the new notes issue, the dinar devalued quickly, and in late 1995, US$1 was valued at 3,000 dinars.

Following the deposition of Saddam Hussein in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi Governing Council and the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance began printing more Saddam dinar notes as a stopgap measure to maintain the money supply until new currency could be introduced.

Between October 15, 2003, and January 15, 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority issued new Iraqi dinar coins and notes, with the notes printed by De La Rue using modern anti-forgery techniques[3] , to "create a single unified currency that is used throughout all of Iraq and will also make money more convenient to use in people’s everyday lives".[4] Old banknotes were exchanged for new at a one-to-one rate, except for the Swiss dinars, which were exchanged at a rate of 150 new dinars for one Swiss dinar.

Since Iraq has few exports other than oil which is sold in dollars there is little demand for Dinars and they remain in "exotic" status. However the new currency has sparked a multi-million dollar industry in selling dinars to speculators. These so-called "money service" companies will sell Dinar to speculators at an inflated price and push the idea that the dinar will "RV" or be revalued to greatly increase the exchange rate against the dollar. The Dinar is currently pegged to the dollar at a rate of 1166/1164 (sell/buy) dinars per dollar as can be seen on the Central Bank Of Iraq's home page. The exchange rate reportedly available on the streets of Iraq is around 1,200 dinars per U.S. dollar.

There is considerable confusion (perhaps intentional on the part of Dinar sellers) around the role of the International Monetary Fund in Iraq. The IMF as part of the rebuilding of Iraq is monitoring their finances and for this purpose uses a single rate (not a sell/buy) of 1170 dinars per dollar. This "program rate"[5] is used for calculations in the IMF monitoring program and is not a rate imposed on Iraq by the IMF. For a wider history surrounding currency in the region, see British currency in the Middle East.

Speculation[edit]

On May 3, 2007, the IMF released a statement in relation to the international compact with Iraq, which has turned the tide in regards to speculation on the Iraq dinar. The contents of the article discuss changes made in Iraq on the economic front of how the Iraq government had eliminated fuel subsidies. The article also stated that the Central Bank of Iraq had raised interest rates in an attempt to allow a gradual appreciation of the dinar in an attempt to fight dollarization of the Iraq economy. Although there are claims of widespread optimism of some language used later in the press release among some dinar speculators, there have been no publicly released statements or analysis by any news sources or governments.[6]

In response to the growing concerns with fraud and scams related to investment in the Iraqi Dinar, State agencies such as Washington state,[7] Utah,[8] Oklahoma,[9] Alabama[10] and others have issued statements and releases warning potential investors. Further alerts have been issued by news agencies.[11]

The Better Business Bureau has included Dinar Investments in its list of top 10 scams.[12] There has also been a book written on the subject.[13]

These alerts warn potential investors that there is no place outside of Iraq to exchange their Dinar, that they are typically sold by dealers at inflated prices and that there is little to substantiate the claims of significant appreciation of their investment due to revaluation of the currency.

Coins[edit]

Coins were introduced in 1931 and 1932 in denominations of 1, 2, 4, 10, 20, 50 and 200 fils. The 200 fils coin is also known as a rial. The 20, 50 and 200 fils were minted in silver. In 1953, silver 100 fils coins were introduced.

Following the establishment of the Iraqi Republic, a new series of coins was introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 fils, with the 25, 50, and 100 fils in silver until 1969. In 1970, 250 fils pieces were introduced, followed by 500 fils and 1 dinar coins in 1982. Coin production ceased after 1990.

In 2004, new 25-, 50- and 100-dinar coins were introduced. However, these coins proved to be unpopular and were withdrawn from circulation.[citation needed]

Value Diameter Weight Composition Obverse Reverse
25 dinars 17.4 mm[14] 2.5 g[14] Copper plated steel[14] Inscriptions: "Central Bank of Iraq" and "25 dinars" Outline map of Iraq
50 dinars 22 mm[14] 4.34 g[14] Brass plated steel[14] Inscriptions: "Central Bank of Iraq" and "50 dinars" Outline map of Iraq
100 dinars 22 mm[14] 4.3 g[14] Stainless steel[14] Inscriptions: "Central Bank of Iraq" and "100 dinars" Outline map of Iraq

Banknotes[edit]

Old banknote note featuring Saddam Hussein

In 1931, banknotes were issued by the government in denominations of ¼, ½, 1, 5, 10 and 100 dinar. The notes were printed in the United Kingdom by Bradbury, Wilkinson & Co.[15] From 1931 to 1947, the banknotes were issued by the Iraqi currency board for the government of Iraq and banknotes were convertible into pound sterling. From 1947, the banknotes were issued by the National Bank of Iraq, then after 1954 by the Central Bank of Iraq.

100 dinars notes ceased production in the 1940s but otherwise, the same denominations were issued until 1978, when 25 dinars notes were introduced. In 1991, 50 and 100 dinars were introduced, followed by 250 dinars notes in 1995 and 10,000 dinars notes in 2002.

Banknotes that were issued between 1990 and October 2003, along with a 25-dinars note issued in 1986, bear an idealized engraving of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Following the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq's currency was printed both locally and in China, using poor grade wood pulp paper (rather than cotton or linen) and inferior quality lithography (some notes were reputedly printed on presses designed for printing newspapers).

Counterfeit banknotes often appeared to be of better quality than real notes.[citation needed] Despite the collapse in the value of the Iraqi dinar, the highest denomination printed until 2002 was 250 dinars. In 2002, the Central Bank of Iraq issued a 10,000-dinars banknote to be used for "larger, and inter-bank transactions". This note was rarely accepted in practice due to fears of looting and counterfeiting. This forced people to carry around stacks of 250-dinars notes for everyday use. The other, smaller bills were so worthless that they largely fell into disuse. This situation meant that Iraq, for the most part, had only one denomination of banknote in wide circulation.

Currency printed before the Gulf War was often called the Swiss dinar. It got its name from the Swiss printing technology that produced banknotes of a considerably higher quality than those later produced under the economic sanctions that were imposed after the first Gulf War. After a change-over period, this currency was disendorsed by the Iraqi government. However, this old currency still circulated in the Kurdish regions of Iraq until it was replaced with the new dinar after the second Gulf War. During this time the Swiss dinar retained its value, whilst the new currency consistently lost value at sometimes 30 percent per annum.

In 2003, new banknotes were issued consisting of six denominations: 50, 250, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 25,000 dinars. The notes were similar in design to notes issued by the Central Bank of Iraq in the 1970s and 1980s. A 500 dinars note was issued a year later, in October 2004. In the Kurdish regions of Iraq, the 50 dinar note is not in circulation.

In March 2014, the Central Bank of Iraq began replacing banknotes with anti-counterfeiting enhanced versions that include SPARK optical security features, scanner readable guarantee threads in addition to braille embossing to assist vision-impaired persons.[16][17][18][19]

Swiss Dinar Series (1978–1990)[edit]

Swiss Dinar
Image Value Main Color Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
1/4 dinar Green Building Date palms
1/2 dinar Brown An astrolabe Spiral minaret of the Great Mosque of Samarra
1 dinar Bluish-Green A gold dinar coin Mustansiriya School, Baghdad
5 dinars Brown-Violet and Deep Blue Gelî Ali Beg and its waterfall Desert fortress at Al-Ukhether
10 dinars Purple on Blue and Violet Abu Ali Hasan Ibn al-Haitham Al-manara al-hadba fi al-Mawsil (the hunchbacked tower of the Great Nurid mosque in Mosul)
25 dinars Green and Brown Horses Abbasid Palace
25 dinars (1986) Brown, Green and Black on Blue Saddam Hussein with Battle of al-Qādisiyyah in background Al-Shaheed Monument

1990–2003 Series[edit]

1990-2002 Series
Image Value Main Color Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
Quarter dinar front.jpg Quater dinar back.jpg 1/4 Dinar (1993) Green Palm trees Al-Bab al-wastaniy li-sur Baghdad (middle gate of the town wall of Baghdad)
Half Dinar front.jpg Half Dinar back.jpg 1/2 Dinar (1993) Violet Astrolabe Great Mosque of Samarra
1 Dinar (1992) Pink & Green A gold dinar coin Mustansiriya Madrasah
5 Dinars (1992) Red Saddam Hussein The Monument to the Unknown Soldier, King Hammurabi with the sun god Shamash
10 Dinars (1992) blueish-green Saddam Hussein and Ishtar gate Lamassu
25 Dinar Horses front.jpg 25 Dinar Horses back.jpg 25 Dinars (1990) Green Horses Abbasid Palace
25 Dinars (1986) Brownish-Green Saddam Hussein & Horses Al-Shaheed Monument
25 Dinars (2001) Green Saddam Hussein & Ishtar gate Ishtar gate
50 Dinars (1991) Pink and Green Saddam Hussein Great Mosque of Samarra
50 Dinars (1994) Brown and Blue Saddam Hussein and the Al-Shaheed Monument Saddam Bridge
100 Dinars (1991) Green & Purple Saddam Hussein Hands of Victory (Swords of Qādisīyah)
100 Dinars (1994) Blue Saddam Hussein and the Hisn al-Ukhaydir (Ukhaidir fortress) Baghdad Clock
100 Dinars (2002) Blue Saddam Hussein Old Baghdad
250IraqidinarOldbanknote(SaddamHussein) 02.JPG 250IraqidinarOldbanknote(reverse) 01.JPG 250 Dinars (1995) Violet Saddam Hussein and the Qadisiya hydroelectric dam Liberty Monument friese
250 Dinars (2002) Violet Saddam Hussein Dome of the Rock
10,000 Dinars (2002) Pink / Violet Saddam Hussein, The Monument to the Unknown Soldier Mustansiriya Madrasah, Arabic astrolabe

2003–present[edit]

2003 Series
Image Value Main Color Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
50 dinars 50 dinars 50 dinars Purple Grain silos at Basra Date palms
250 dinars Blue An astrolabe Spiral minaret of the Great Mosque of Samarra
500 dinars Bluish-Green Dûkan Dam on the Al Zab river Assyrian carving of a winged bull
1,000 dinars Brown A gold dinar coin Mustansiriya School, Baghdad
5,000 dinars Dark blue Gelî Ali Beg and its waterfall Desert fortress at Al-Ukhether
10,000 dinars Green Abu Ali Hasan Ibn al-Haitham Al-manara al-hadba fi al-Mawsil (the hunchbacked tower of the Great Nurid mosque in Mosul)
25,000 dinars Red A Kurdish farmer holding a sheaf of wheat, a tractor, a gold dinar coin Carving of the Code of King Hammurabi

Exchange rate[edit]

Current IQD exchange rates
From Google Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD
From Yahoo! Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD
From XE.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD
From OANDA.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD
From fxtop.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Central Bank of Iraq coins
  2. ^ Wheeler, Tony. West Asia on a Shoestring. 2nd. Hawthorn, Australia: Lonely Planet, 1990.
  3. ^ Iraqi Dinar Security Features
  4. ^ Coalition Provisional Authority. "Iraq Currency Exchange". Archived from the original on 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  5. ^ International Monetary Fund, [Iraq: Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies, and Technical Memorandum of Understanding http://www.imf.org/external/np/loi/2011/irq/030311.pdf], March 3, 2011, p. 17.
  6. ^ Takatoshi Kato (2007-05-03). "International Compact with Iraq". Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  7. ^ "Consumer Alert: Iraqi Dinar Scams". 
  8. ^ "Utah Division of Securities identifies Top Ten Investment Alerts for 2011". 
  9. ^ "PRESS RELEASE - IRAQI DINAR SCAMS". 
  10. ^ "INVESTOR ALERT - Understanding high-risk investments What you don’t know CAN hurt you!". 
  11. ^ "Iraqi Dinar Investment - Fact or Fiction". 
  12. ^ "Top Ten Scams 2013". 
  13. ^ "The Iraqi Dinar Scam: Why Buying the Dinar is for Dummies". 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cuhaj, George S., ed. (2011). Standard Catalog of World Coins, 2001-Date (5th ed.). Krause Publications. p. 253. ISBN 978-1-4402-1160-7. 
  15. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Iraq". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com. 
  16. ^ New Iraqi Dinar banknotes feature stronger security features, May 11, 2014
  17. ^ Iraq new 250- and 500-dinar notes confirmed BanknoteNews.com. October 6, 2014. Retrieved on 2014-11-30.
  18. ^ Iraq new 1,000-dinar note confirmed BanknoteNews.com. October 5, 2014. Retrieved on 2014-11-30.
  19. ^ Iraq new 5,000- and 25,000-dinar notes confirmed BanknoteNews.com. November 29, 2014. Retrieved on 2014-11-30.

External links[edit]