Iraqi dinar

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Iraqi dinar
دينار عراقي (Arabic)
Dinar-25000.jpg
25,000-dinar banknote
ISO 4217
Code IQD
Denominations
Subunit
11,000 fils
Symbol ع.د
Banknotes
 Freq. used 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, 50,000 dinars
 Rarely used 250, 500 dinars
Demographics
User(s)  Iraq
Issuance
Central bank Central Bank of Iraq
 Website www.cbi.iq
Valuation
Inflation 1.79%
 Source Central Bank of Iraq, May 2015.

The Dinar (Arabic pronunciation: [diːˈnɑːr]) (Arabic: دينار, [(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 since 1990.

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 than the official rate.[1]

After the Gulf War in 1991, due to UN sanctions, the previously used Swiss printing method was no longer available so new, inferior quality, notes were produced. The previously produced notes 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 along with excessive government printing, the new dinar notes devalued quickly. By late 1995, US$1 was valued at 3,000 dinars at the black market.

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 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". Multiple trillions of Dinar were then shipped to Iraq and secured in the CBI for distribution to the masses in exchange for the 'Saddam dinar' ./ of [2] 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. At this point, the UN, IMF, WB and US combined to limit the value of the dinar to less than 1/10 of a cent to prevent looting and counterfeiting. The US Treasury was commissioned to print multiple billions of US currency, specific to Iraq so as to easily identified as different from that used elsewhere in the world. This new currency was then wrapped and stacked on pallets and shipped in dozens of USAF transports to Iraq. There it was transferred covertly to the CBI, where it was stored in very secure vaults. In exchange, UST officials separated an estimated 7 trillion dinar which was transferred to the US Treasury in Washington, DC, where it is store in a special vault. This dinar exchange was to guarantee the US costs of the war would be recovered when the dinar is revalued. (E.O. 13303)

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 multimillion-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. As of January 2016 the dinar is pegged to the dollar at a rate of 1182/1180 (sell/buy) dinars per dollar.[3] The current exchange rate is published by the Central Bank of Iraq on its English-language home page. The exchange rate reportedly available on the streets of Iraq is around 1,300 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"[4] 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]

In response to the growing concerns with fraud and scams related to investment in the Iraqi dinar, State agencies such as Washington state,[5] Utah,[6] Oklahoma,[7] Alabama[8] and others have issued statements and releases warning potential investors. Further alerts have been issued by news agencies.[9]

The Better Business Bureau has included Dinar Investments in its list of top 10 scams.[10] There has also been a book written on the subject.[11]

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]

10 Fils (1967)
[[|250px|alt=]]
Obverse: Lettering: ١٣٨٧ ١٩٦٧ Reverse: الجمهورية العراقية, ١٠& فلوس
Made of Copper-nickel, coin was engraved by Geoffrey Colley. 25,400,000 coins minted in 1967 & 1971.

Coins were introduced in 1931 and 1932 in denominations of round 1, and 2 fils in bronze, and scalloped 4, and 10, fils in nickel. 20, 50, and 200 fils were 50% silver. The 200 fils coin is also known as a rial. Bronze substituted nickel in the 5 and 10 fils from 1938 to 1943 during the World War II period and reverted to nickel in 1953. Silver 100 fils coins were also introduced in 1953. These coins first depicted King Faisal I from 1931-1933, King Ghazi from 1938, and King Faisal II from 1943 until the end of the kingdom.

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 this series an allegorical sun replaced the image of the king, shapes and sizes remained the same with the exception of the 1 fil which was decagon shaped. This image was then replaced by three palms in 1968. In 1970, 250 fils pieces were introduced, followed by 500 fils and 1 dinar coins in 1982. A number of the coins for 1982 were a commemorative series celebrating Babylonian achievements. During this period, many of the coins were identified by their shape due to being made of similar composition metals, as from 1980 onward 250 fils were octagonal, 500 fils square, and 1 dinar decagon shaped. Coin production ceased after 1990 due to the emergency conditions generated by Gulf War and international sanctions.

In 2004, new 25-, 50- and 100-dinar coins were introduced in bronze, brass, and nickel-plated steel respectively. They are sparse in design and depict an abstract map of Iraq and the main rivers.

Value Diameter Weight Composition Obverse Reverse
25 dinars 17.4 mm[12] 2.5 g[12] Copper plated steel[12] Inscriptions: "Central Bank of Iraq" and "25 dinars" Outline map of Iraq
50 dinars 22 mm[12] 4.34 g[12] Brass plated steel[12] Inscriptions: "Central Bank of Iraq" and "50 dinars" Outline map of Iraq
100 dinars 22 mm[12] 4.3 g[12] Stainless steel[12] Inscriptions: "Central Bank of Iraq" and "100 dinars" Outline map of Iraq

Banknotes[edit]

Old banknote featuring Saddam Hussein

In 1931, banknotes were issued by the government in denominations of 14, 12, 1, 5, 10 and 100 dinars. The notes were printed in the United Kingdom by Bradbury, Wilkinson & Co.[13] 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, however, the same denominations were used until 1978, when 25 dinars notes were introduced. In 1991, 50 dinars were introduced and 100 dinars reintroduced, followed in 1995 by 250 dinar notes and 10,000 dinars notes in 2002.

Banknotes that were issued between 1990 and October 2003, along with a 25-dinar 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).

The primitive printing techniques resulted in a limitless variety in coloration and detail, one layer of the printing would be too faint while another would be too dark. Counterfeit banknotes often appeared to be of better quality than real notes[citation needed]. Some notes were very poorly cut, and some notes even lacked serial numbers. 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.[14][15][16][17]

In February 2015, the Central Bank of Iraq announced on their website the removal of the 50-dinar notes from circulation on April 30, 2015. Citizens holding these banknotes were immediately advised to redeem them at their nearest bank for the 250 and higher denomination dinar notes at a one-to-one rate at no charge.[18]

In November 2015, the Central Bank of Iraq announced the introduction of a new 50,000-dinar banknote. This is the first new denomination banknote since the new series was started in 2003, and also the largest ever printed by the CBI. The current notes no longer depict the picture of Saddam Hussein and now feature both the Arabic and Kurdish languages.[19] The banknotes are printed using new security features from Giesecke & Devrient & De La Rue and measure 156 × 65 mm. They feature an outline map of Iraq showing the Euphrates & Tigris rivers as well as the Great Mosque of Samarra.

Swiss Dinar Series (1978–1990)[edit]

Swiss Dinar
Image Value Main Color Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
14 dinar Green silo of basra Date palms
12 dinar Brown the arabic astrolabe Spiral minaret of the Great Mosque of Samarra
1 dinar Blue-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 14 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 12 dinar (1993) Violet Astrolabe Great Mosque of Samarra
1 dinar (1992) Pink and 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) Blue-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) Green-brown Saddam Hussein & Qādisīyah battle Al-Shaheed Monument
25 dinars (2001) Green Saddam Hussein 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 and 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
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 Blue-green Dukan Dam on the Little Zab river Lamassu, Assyrian carving of a winged bull
1,000 dinars Brown A gold dinar coin Mustansiriya Madrasah, Baghdad
5,000 dinars Dark blue Geli Ali Beg Waterfall Al-Ukhaidir Fortress
10,000 dinars Green Abu Ali Hasan Ibn al-Haitham Great Mosque of al-Nuri (Mosul)
25,000 dinars Red A Kurdish farmer holding a sheaf of wheat, a tractor and a gold dinar coin Carving of the Code of King Hammurabi
2013-2015 Series
Image Value Main Color Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
10,000 dinars Green Sculptor Jawad Saleem’s Freedom Monument in Baghdad Al-manara al-hadba fi al-Mawsil (the hunchbacked tower of the Great Nurid mosque in Mosul)
25,000 dinars Red A Kurdish peasant holding a jug, a tractor and a gold dinar coin Carving of the Code of King Hammurabi
50,000 dinars Brown Water wheel on the Euphrates river, palm trees, Gali Ali Beg waterfall (Kurdistan) Fishermen,traditional reed house of mesopotamian marshes , rivers Euphrates and Tigris rivers on map

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: 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. ^ Wheeler, Tony. West Asia on a Shoestring. 2nd. Hawthorn, Australia: Lonely Planet, 1990.
  2. ^ Coalition Provisional Authority. "Iraq Currency Exchange". Archived from the original on May 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  3. ^ "Central Bank of Iraq home page". CBI.iq. 28 January 2016. Indicative rates. 
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Consumer Alert: Iraqi Dinar Scams". 
  6. ^ "Utah Division of Securities identifies Top Ten Investment Alerts for 2011" (PDF). 
  7. ^ "PRESS RELEASE - IRAQI DINAR SCAMS". 
  8. ^ "INVESTOR ALERT - Understanding high-risk investments What you don't know CAN hurt you!" (PDF). 
  9. ^ "Iraqi Dinar Investment - Fact or Fiction". 
  10. ^ "Top Ten Scams 2013". 
  11. ^ "The Iraqi Dinar Scam: Why Buying the Dinar is for Dummies". 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Iraq". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com. 
  14. ^ New Iraqi Dinar banknotes feature stronger security features, May 11, 2014
  15. ^ Iraq new 250- and 500-dinar notes confirmed BanknoteNews.com. October 6, 2014. Retrieved on 2014-11-30.
  16. ^ Iraq new 1,000-dinar note confirmed BanknoteNews.com. October 5, 2014. Retrieved on 2014-11-30.
  17. ^ Iraq new 5,000- and 25,000-dinar notes confirmed BanknoteNews.com. November 29, 2014. Retrieved on 2014-11-30.
  18. ^ 2015 Central Bank Of Iraq To Remove 50 Dinar Banknotes From Circulation On April 30, 2015
  19. ^ Central Bank Of Iraq Introduces New 50,000 Iraqi Dinar Banknotes Into Circulation

External links[edit]