Afghan afghani

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Afghan afghani
افغانۍ (Pashto); افغانی (Persian)
Afghānestān paper money.JPG
1 Af, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Afs banknotes
ISO 4217
Code AFN
Denominations
Subunit
 ​1100 pul
Symbol ؋ (U+060B) or Af (sing.) or Afs[1]
Banknotes 1 Af, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 Afs
Coins 1 Af,[1] 2, 5 Afs
Demographics
User(s)  Afghanistan (alongside the US dollar)
Issuance
Central bank Da Afghanistan Bank
 Website www.centralbank.gov.af
Valuation
Inflation 13.8%
 Source The World Factbook, 2011 est.

The afghani (sign: Afs;[1] code: AFN; Pashto: افغانۍ; Dari افغانی) is the currency of Afghanistan, issued by the central bank Da Afghanistan Bank. It is nominally subdivided into 100 pul (پول), although there are no pul coins currently in circulation.

History[edit]

1925–2002[edit]

The original afghani (ISO 4217 code: AFA) was introduced in 1925, replacing the Afghan rupee that was used from 1891 and other Indian currencies. In addition to being subdivided into 100 pul, 20 afghani were equal to one amani. The rate of conversion from the rupee is sometimes quoted as 1 afghani = 1 rupee 6 paisa,[2] based on the silver contents of the last rupee coins and the first Afghani coins. The Afghani initially contained 9 grams of silver.[3] The rupee was still in circulation until 1978.

The first afghani banknotes were introduced in 1935.

Except during World War I Afghanistan's foreign exchange rate has been freely determined by market forces.[4] However, for some periods, a dual exchange rate regime existed in Afghanistan: an official exchange rate which was fixed by the Afghan Central Bank, and a free market exchange rate which was determined by the supply and demand forces in Kabul's money bazaar called Saraye Shahzada.[5] For example, in order to avoid the seasonal fluctuations in the exchange rate, a fixed exchange rate was adopted in 1935 by the Bank-e Milli, which was then responsible for the country's exchange rate system and official reserves.[5] Bank-e Milli agreed to exchange afghanis at 4 Afs against 1 Indian rupee in 1935. After the establishment of Da Afghanistan Bank as the Central Bank of Afghanistan, such a preferential official fixed exchange rate continued to be practiced. Although Da Afghanistan Bank tried to keep its official rate close to the Saraye Shahzada's exchange rate, the gap between the official and free-market exchange rates widened in the 1980s and during the civil war thereafter.

The afghani traded at 67 AFA to the U.S. dollar in 1973, whereas by 1992 a dollar bought 16,000 afghanis.[6]

Banknotes from the period of King Zahir Shah's monarchy ceased to be legal tender by 1991.

After the creation of a dysfunctional government and the start of civil war, different warlords and factions, foreign powers and forgers each made their own afghani banknotes to support themselves financially, with no regard to standardization or honouring serial numbers.

In December 1996, shortly after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan's institutions, Ehsanullah Ehsan, the chairman of the Taliban's Central Bank, declared most afghani notes in circulation to be worthless (approximately 100 trillion Afghani) and cancelled the contract with the Russian firm that had been printing the currency since 1992. Ehsan accused the firm of sending new shipments of afghani notes to ousted president Burhanuddin Rabbani in northern Takhar province. The exchange rate at the time of Ehsan's announcement was 21,000 afghani to the US dollar. It was then devalued to 43 afghani to the dollar. The Northern Alliance then had banknotes produced in Russia which were sold on the markets of Kabul at half their value.[citation needed]

Abdul Rashid Dostum, who controlled a self-declared autonomous region in northern Afghanistan until 1998, also printed his own issues for the region.

Following the United States invasion of Afghanistan, the currency became highly destabalized. The afghani traded at 73,000 AFA per USD in September 2001, steeply soaring to 23,000 AFA after the fall of Kabul in November 2001, before plunging again to 36,000 AFA in January 2002.[7] Around seven different versions of the currency were in circulation by that time. A former governor said at the time that maybe "trillions" of banknotes are in circulation as a result.[8]

In April 2000, the afghani traded at 6,400 AFA per USD. By mid-2002, the afghani was valued at 43,000 AFA per USD, and 52,000 AFA by September 2002.

Since 2002[edit]

In 2002, the afghani was denominated, and it received new ISO 4217 code AFN. No subdivisions were issued. It replaced the previous afghani at two distinct rates - issues of the government of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani (de jure 1992-2001) were replaced at a rate of 1,000 to the new afghani, whilst the issues of warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum (1992–1997 in northern Afghanistan) were replaced at a rate of 2,000 to the new afghani. It was created in an effort to stabilize the economy and stop the rapid inflation. The notes were printed in Germany.[9]

The new currency was announced by President Hamid Karzai on September 4, 2002, and was introduced to the market on October 8, 2002.[10] This monetary reform was well received by the public as it was a sign of security and stability, especially the country's rebuilding effort. People also no longer had to carry many bags of money for ordinary things. It was the first time in many years that a sole currency was under the control of the central bank instead of warlords.[6] Most old banknotes were destroyed by the end of 2002. Prior to the reissue, there were more than 15 trillion afghani in circulation after unrestrained printing under Taliban rule and during wars and occupation.[citation needed]

Da Afghanistan Bank has adopted a floating exchange rate regime and has let the exchange rate to be determined freely by market forces.

The new afghani was valued at 43 afghani to the U.S. dollar.

After depreciating during the last quarter of 2003/04, the afghani has been appreciating steadily, gaining 8 percent against the U.S. dollar between end-March 2004 and end-July 2004. This appreciation, at a time of increasing inflation, appears to reflect a greater willingness by the population to use the afghani as a medium of exchange and as a store of value. This trend appears to be attributable to the relative stability of the exchange rate since the introduction of the new currency, administrative measures aimed at promoting its use, such as the requirement that shopkeepers must price goods in afghani. Donors are increasingly making payments in afghani instead of U.S. dollars and this appears to be widely accepted.

By 2009, the afghani was valued at 45 AFN per USD.

Coinage[edit]

In 1925, bronze and brass 2, 5 and 10 pul, billon 20 pul, silver ​12 and 1 afghani, and gold ​12 and 1 amani coins were introduced, followed by silver ​2 12 afghani and gold ​2 12 amani in 1926.[citation needed] In 1930, bronze and brass 1 and 25 pul were added, along with bronze 3 pul and cupro-nickel 10 and 20 pul in 1937.[citation needed]

In 1952, aluminium 25 pul and nickel-clad steel 50 pul were introduced, followed by aluminium 2 and 5 afghani in 1958. In 1961 nickel-clad steel 1, 2 and 5 afghani were minted; the 1 and 2 afghani coins show years of SH 1340 and the 5 Afghani coin shows the year AH 1381.[11] In 1973, the new Republic of Afghanistan issued brass-clad-steel 25 pul, copper-clad steel 50 pul and cupro-nickel-clad steel 5 afghani coins.[citation needed] These were followed, between 1978 and 1980, by issues of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan consisting of aluminium-bronze 25 and 50 pul and cupro-nickel 1, 2 and 5 afghani.[citation needed] A number of commemorative coins were also issued by the Islamic State of Afghanistan between 1995 and 2001.

On 11 April 2005, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2 and 5 afghanis.[12]

Banknotes[edit]

Closeup of a 500 afghanis note issued in 1990, featuring a picture of men playing Buzkashi

Between 1925 and 1928, Treasury notes were introduced in denominations of 5, 10 and 50 afghanis. In 1936, 2, 20 and 100 afghani notes were added. The Bank of Afghanistan (Da Afghanistan Bank) took over paper money production in 1939, issuing notes for 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 afghanis. The 2 and 5 afghani notes were replaced by coins in 1958. In 1993, 5000 and 10,000 afghani notes were introduced.

"A 'pothole cave' or 'mouth of a shaft' (or Pit cave) is said to be visible on the 10,000 afghanis banknote from 1993 as a limited dark area in the hillside above the ancient 'pol' or gateway at the ruins near Lashkar Gah. This is possibly the entrance to one of the man-made undergrounds at Qal'a-i-Bost."[13]

1978 Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of printing
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
AFG0055ao.jpg AFG0055ar.jpg 10 afghani 115 × 52 mm Green Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank Salang Pass 1979
20 Afganis of Afghanistan in 1979 Obverse.png 20 Afganis of Afghanistan in 1979 Reverse.png 20 afghanis 125 × 56 mm Orange DRA coat of arms Band-e Amir park 1979
50 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Obverse.png 50 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Reverse.png 50 afghanis 134 × 58 mm Turquoise DRA coat of arms Darul Aman Palace 1978
100 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Obverse.png 100 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Reverse.png 100 afghanis 142 × 62 mm Pink Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank, peasant Dam, hydroelectric power station 1979-1991
̀500 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Obverse.png 500 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Reverse.png 500 afghanis 151 × 66 mm Purple Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank, Buzkashi players Bala Hissar fortress 1979-1991
1000 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Obverse.png 1000 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Reverse.png 1000 afghanis 160 × 70 mm Brown Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank, Shrine of Ali mosque Paghman Gardens and triumphal arch 1979-1991
5000 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Obverse.png ̀5000 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Reverse.png 5000 afghanis 165 × 74 mm Purple Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank, Pul-e Khishti Mosque Tomb of Ahmad Shah Durrani 1993
10000 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Obverse.png 10000 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 1979 Reverse.png 10,000 afghanis 170 × 77 mm Turquoise Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank, Great Mosque of Herat Qal'a-i-Bost fortress of Lashkar Gah 1993

On 7 October 2002, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 afghanis. The 1, 2 and 5 afghani notes were replaced by coins in 2005. In 2004 and 2008, the security features on several denominations were improved. In 2014 a new 1000 afghanis note was introduced to prevent counterfeit notes.

2002 Series [1]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse printing issue
1 Afghani of Afghanistan in 2002 Obverse.png 1 Afghani of Afghanistan in 2002 Reverse.png 1 afghani 131 × 55 mm Pink Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank with Eucratides I-era coin. Mosque in Mazari Sharif 2002
(AH 1381)
October 7, 2002
2 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Obverse.png 2 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Reverse.png 2 afghanis Blue Paghman Gardens
5 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Obverse.png 5 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Reverse.png 5 afghanis Brown Bala Hissar
10 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Obverse.png 10 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Reverse.png 10 afghanis 136 × 56 mm Yellow green Ahmed Shah Durrani mausoleum, Kandahar Paghman Gardens
20 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Obverse.png 20 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Reverse.png 20 afghanis 140 × 58 mm Brown Mahmud of Ghazni's Tomb Arg King's Palace
50 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Obverse.png 50 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Reverse.png 50 afghanis 144 × 60 mm Dark green Shah Do Shamira Mosque Salang Pass
100 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Obverse.png 100 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Reverse.png 100 afghanis 148 × 62 mm Violet Pul e Khishti Mosque Arch of Bost
500 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Obverse.png 500 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Reverse.png 500 afghanis 152 × 64 mm Blue Great Mosque of Herat Kandahar Airport tower
1000 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Obverse.png 1000 Afghanis of Afghanistan in 2002 Reverse.png 1000 afghanis 156 × 66 mm Orange Mazar Sharif Shrine of Ali Tomb of Ahmad Shah Durrani Baba

Exchange rate[edit]

The Afghani exchange rate vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar since 1950 has been shown in the following table:

Afghani exchange rate (LCU in USD)[14]
Date Free-market exchange rate Official exchange rate
1950 39.0
1960 40.8 17.7
1970 84.8 39.9
1980 39.2
2003 49.0 49.0
2010 45.2 45.2
Current AFN 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: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD
From OANDA: 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. ^ a b c Da Afghanistan Bank. "Capital Notes Issuance and Auction Archived 2013-05-13 at the Wayback Machine.." Accessed 26 Feb 2011.
  2. ^ Schuler, Kurt. "Tables of Modern Monetary History: Asia". Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  3. ^ Krause, Chester L.; Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501. 
  4. ^ Fry, Maxwell J. (1976) "A Monetary Approach to Afghanistan's Flexible Exchange Rate", Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Vol. 8 (2): 219-225
  5. ^ a b Fry, Maxwell J. (1974) "The Afghan Economy: Money, Finance, and the Critical Constraints to Economic Development", Brill Publications, Leiden, Holland
  6. ^ a b https://www.mediamonitors.net/perspectives/all-change-for-afghan-currency/
  7. ^ "Chaos in Kabul amid currency rumours". 22 May 2018 – via news.bbc.co.uk. 
  8. ^ "Dollar could be Afghan stopgap". 22 May 2018 – via news.bbc.co.uk. 
  9. ^ "Afghanistan redenominates currency". 4 September 2002 – via news.bbc.co.uk. 
  10. ^ wires, Staff and. "CNN.com - Afghanistan banks on new currency - Oct. 5, 2002". edition.cnn.com. 
  11. ^ "Afghanistan coins". Numista. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Coining Hope In Afghanistan". CBS News. Retrieved 9 November 2017. 
  13. ^ Gebauer, Herbert Daniel. 2004. Resources on the Speleology of Afghanistan. Berliner Hoehlenkundliche Berichte. Band 14. ISSN 1617-8572. Page 81.
  14. ^ Sources: Fry, Maxwell (1976); and "World Development Indicators" database of the World Bank

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]