Afghan afghani

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Afghan afghani
افغانۍ (Pashto)
1 Af, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Afs banknotes
ISO 4217
Symbol؋ (U+060B) or Af (singular) and Afs (plural) [1]
Banknotes1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Afs
Coins1, 2 and 5 Afs
Central bankDa Afghanistan Bank
PrinterPolish Security Printing Works [pl]
Inflation5% (2018 est.)
 SourceDa Afghanistan Bank
The World Factbook

The afghani (sign: Af (plural: Afs)[1] code: AFN; Pashto: افغانۍ; : افغانی) is the currency of Afghanistan, which traditionally is issued by the nation's central bank called Da Afghanistan Bank. It is nominally subdivided into 100 puls (پول), although there are no pul coins currently in circulation. In September 2021, one U.S. dollar was exchanged for approximately 88 afghanis.[2]



5 Afghan afghani (1961)
Obverse: Portrait of Mohammed Zahir Shah with lettering "* محمد ظاهر * دافغانستان" (Mohammed Zahir Afghanistan) on top and "۱۳۴-۱۳۸۱" (1381 - 1340) at bottom. Reverse: Wheat ear flank on the side and denomination in the centre. Lettering "پنج" (five), "۵" (5) and "افغانی" (Afghanis).
Afghani coin from the reign of Zahir Shah, who was king of Afghanistan from 1933 (Iranian year 1340) to 1973 (Iranian year 1381).
5 Afghan afghani (1973)
Obverse: Emblem of Afghanistan (this emblem was used from 1974 to 1978 only) surrounded by lettering "دافغانستان جمهوريت" (The Republic of Afghanistan) and "۱۳٥۲" (Islamic year 1352). Reverse: Denomination surrounded by grain sprig wreath. Lettering "پنجه" (Five), "۵" (5) and "افغانی" (Afghanis).
This coin was minted only in 1973

The original afghani (ISO 4217 code: AFA) was introduced in 1925, replacing the Afghan rupee that was used from 1891 and other currencies.[3] In addition to being subdivided into 100 puls, 20 afghanis were equal to one amani. The rate of conversion from the rupee is sometimes quoted as 1 afghani = 1 rupee 6 paisas,[4] based on the silver contents of the last rupee coins and the first afghani coins. The afghani initially contained 9 grams of silver.[5]

Except during World War I, Afghanistan's foreign exchange rate has been freely determined by market forces.[6] 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.[7] 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-Millie (National Bank), which was then responsible for the country's exchange rate system and official reserves.[7] Bank-e-Millie agreed to exchange afghani 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 Sarai Shahzada 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 Afs to one U.S. dollar in 1973. After the start of a civil war in 1992, the same U.S. dollar bought 16,000 Afs.[8] Banknotes from the period of Zahir Shah's monarchy ceased to be legal tender by 1991. After the creation of a dysfunctional government and the start of the 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 honoring 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 afghanis to one U.S. dollar. It was then devalued to 43,000 afghanis to the dollar. Abdul Rashid Dostum, who controlled a self-declared autonomous region in northern Afghanistan until 1998, also printed his own money for his region.

Following the United States intervention, the currency became highly destabilized. The afghani traded at 73,000 Afs per one U.S. dollar in September 2001, steeply soaring to 23,000 Afs after the fall of the Taliban regime in November 2001, before plunging again to 36,000 Afs in January 2002.[9] 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.[10]

Since 2002[edit]

In 2002, the afghani was redenominated, and it received a 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 Rabbani (de jure 1992–2001) were replaced at a rate of 1,000 to the new afghani, whilst the issues of warlord 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.[11]

The new currency was announced by President Hamid Karzai on 4 September 2002, and was introduced to the market on October 8, 2002.[12] 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.[8] Most old banknotes were destroyed by the end of 2002.

Da Afghanistan Bank has adopted a floating exchange rate regime and has let the exchange rate be determined freely by market forces. The new afghani was valued at 43 afghanis to one U.S. dollar.

After depreciating during the last quarter of 2003/04, the afghani appreciated steadily, gaining 8 percent against the U.S. dollar between March 2004 and 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 afghanis instead of U.S. dollars and this appears to be widely accepted. By 2009, the afghani was valued at 45 afs per one U.S. dollar. In 2019, the afghani reached 75 afs to a U.S. dollar.[13]


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.[14] A number of commemorative coins were also issued by the Islamic State of Afghanistan between 1995 and 2001.[citation needed]

On 11 April 2005, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2 and 5 afghanis.[15]

Coins of the Afghani
Obverse Reverse Value Technical parameters Description
Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
1 Afghan afghani (1961).jpg 1 Afghani
23 mm 4.0 g Nickel clad steel Reeded Wheat, country name and year.
Lettering "افغانستان" (Afghanistan),
"١٣٤٠" (Year 1340 as per
Iranian calendar i.e. 1961 A.D).
Denomination surrounded
with star at periphery.
Lettering "یوة ١ افغاني"
(One Afghani).
1 Afghan Afghanis Obverse.jpg 1 Afghan Afghanis Reverse.jpg 1 Afghani 20 mm 3.25 g Copper-plated steel Smooth Coat of arms of Afghanistan Denomination and year
2 Afghan Afghanis Obverse.jpg 2 Afghan Afghanis Reverse.jpg 2 Afghanis 22 mm 4.1 g Stainless Steel
5 Afghani (2004).jpg 5 Afghanis 24 mm 5.08 g Brass Reeded


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 Qala-e-Bost."[16]

1978 Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
10 afghanis 115 × 52 mm Green Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank Salang Pass
20 afghanis 125 × 56 mm Orange Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank Band-e Amir National Park
50 afghanis 134 × 58 mm Turquoise Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank Darul Aman Palace
Img531 копия.jpg Img532 копия.jpg 100 afghanis 142 × 62 mm Pink Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank, peasant Dam, hydroelectric power station
Afg01阿富汗的全国性体育活动——马背叼羊比赛Buzkashi中的骑手.jpg 500 afghanis 151 × 66 mm Purple Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank, Buzkashi players Bala Hissar fortress
Img883 - копия (2) ф.jpg Img884 - копия (2)1.jpg Orange and green
Img883 ф.jpg Img884 ф.jpg 1000 afghanis 160 × 70 mm Brown Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank, Shrine of Ali mosque Taq-e Zafar and Lion Gate
Afg02砖桥Pul-e Khishti Mosque清真寺,这是阿富汗首都喀布尔最大的清真寺.jpg 5000 afghanis 165 × 74 mm Purple Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank, Pul-e Khishti Mosque Tomb of Ahmad Shah Durrani
Img481 — копия.jpg Img482 — копия.jpg 10,000 afghanis 170 × 77 mm Turquoise Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank, Great Mosque of Herat Qala-e-Bost

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 Color Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
Img838 а.jpg Img839 а.jpg 1 afghani 131 × 55 mm Pink Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank with Eucratides I-era coin. Mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif
[2] [3] 2 afghanis Blue Taq-e Zafar
[4] [5] 5 afghanis Brown Bala Hissar fortress
[6] [7] 10 afghanis 136 × 56 mm Yellow green Ahmad Shah Durrani mausoleum, Kandahar Taq-e Zafar and Lion Gate
[8] [9] 20 afghanis 140 × 58 mm Brown Mahmud of Ghazni's Tomb Arg King's Palace
50 afgania.jpg [10] 50 afghanis 144 × 60 mm Dark green Shah-Do Shamshira Mosque Salang Pass
[11] [12] 100 afghanis 148 × 62 mm Violet Pul-e Khishti Mosque Qala-e-Bost
[13] [14] 500 afghanis 152 × 64 mm Blue Great Mosque of Herat Kandahar International Airport tower
[15] [16] 1000 afghanis 156 × 66 mm Orange Shrine of Ali, Mazar-i-Sharif Tomb of Ahmad Shah Durrani

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)[17]
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
2019 75[13] 75[13]
2021 85 85
Current AFN exchange rates


  1. ^ a b Da Afghanistan Bank. "Capital Notes Issuance and Auction Archived 2013-05-13 at the Wayback Machine." Accessed 26 Feb 2011.
  2. ^ "XE: Convert USD/AFN. United States Dollar to Afghanistan Afghani". Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  3. ^ "Coins and Banknotes". Da Afghanistan بللبفصکنکبگبککزنرکمب کبنبککبنبنکنوو. 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  4. ^ Schuler, Kurt. "Tables of Modern Monetary History: Asia". Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  5. ^ Krause, Chester L.; Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
  6. ^ Fry, Maxwell J. (1976) "A Monetary Approach to Afghanistan's Flexible Exchange Rate", Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Vol. 8 (2): 219-225
  7. ^ a b Fry, Maxwell J. (1974) "The Afghan Economy: Money, Finance, and the Critical Constraints to Economic Development", Brill Publications, Leiden, Holland
  8. ^ a b "All Change for Afghan Currency". 14 September 2002.
  9. ^ "Chaos in Kabul amid currency rumours". 22 May 2018 – via
  10. ^ "Dollar could be Afghan stopgap". 22 May 2018 – via
  11. ^ "Afghanistan redenominates currency". 4 September 2002 – via
  12. ^ wires, Staff and. " - Afghanistan banks on new currency - Oct. 5, 2002".
  13. ^ a b c "Afghani Falls Against Dollar By 3% In A Month". TOLOnews. April 18, 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  14. ^ "Afghanistan coins". Numista. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  15. ^ "Coining Hope In Afghanistan". CBS News. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  16. ^ Gebauer, Herbert Daniel. 2004. Resources on the Speleology of Afghanistan. Berliner Hoehlenkundliche Berichte. Band 14. ISSN 1617-8572. Page 81.
  17. ^ Sources: Fry, Maxwell (1976); and "World Development Indicators" database of the World Bank

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]