Iraq is a beautiful country with a vibrant culture and rich history. However, when you think of Iraq, images of chaos and destruction likely come to your mind due to US involvement and media saturation. Despite that, it’s a country with an emerging economy.
The base currency of Iraq is the dinar. Current economic volatility and global political instability are driving exchange rates for the Iraqi dinar. However, Iraq has recently continued on a path of relative economic stability, strengthening the Iraqi dinar’s value against the US dollar since 2004.
In this article, we explore the Iraqi dinar, its history, and some interesting facts about this currency. If you’re eager to learn more, just keep reading!
1. The Iraqi Dinar Is Iraq’s National Currency
Represented by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) code IQD, the Iraqi dinar refers to Iraq’s national currency. Iraq’s Central Bank issues the Iraqi Dinar currency. Earlier, the Iraqi dinar consisted of 1000 fils, but they are no longer used because inflation has rendered them obsolete. Now, the dinars have become the smallest currency unit in use.
2. History of the Iraqi Dinar
The Iraqi dinar was originally introduced in 1932, replacing the Indian rupee, which was enforced during the British occupation. In the early 1930s, the government of Iraq issued dinars in denominations of ¼, ½, 1, 5, 10, and 100 dinars, only to introduce 25 dinar banknotes 48 years later. The 50 dinars were introduced, and 100 dinars were reintroduced in 1991, followed by 250 notes in 1995 and 10,000 banknotes in 2002.
The dinar notes issued between 1991 and 2003 feature images of Sadaam Hussein. After the Gulf war, the printing of the dinar banknotes changed and was done both locally and in China. However, the printing quality was poor, with banknotes often having different colors and sizes because of poorly cut paper and fading inks. Naturally, this led to the production of counterfeit banknotes, which were often better quality than the official dinar bills.
The 250 dinar was the largest banknote until 2002. Then, the Central Banks issued 10,000 dinars because of the collapse of the Iraqi dinar in 2003 following the US invasion. However, many people were afraid to carry them because they feared counterfeiting, with locals carrying stacks of 250 noted to conduct business transactions.
Before the Gulf War, the currency printed was often referred to as Swiss notes due to the printing technology that produced higher quality banknotes. Then, in 2004, banknotes and coins were introduced in denominations of 25, 50, and 100 dinars.
3. Current Currency Code, Symbol, and Denominations
As we mentioned, the currency code for the Iraqi dinar is IQD. What you may not know is that the currency symbol is د.ع. Note that the dinar is used as a currency term in many countries influenced by Islamic conquests, but the word itself is derived from the coinage used under the Roman empire - the denarius.
Today, the only denominations in circulation in Iraq are 250, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, and 50,000 banknotes.
4. The Iraqi Dinar Banknotes Feature Interesting Designs
Current Iraqi dinar banknotes feature interesting designs, with some depicting important historical heritages and scientists. Let's explore the Iraqi dinar banknote designs.
The 250 Iraqi Dinar Banknote
This note’s front design features the astrolabe, which is an astronomical instrument invented in the Hellenistic civilization, whereas the reverse side has the image of the Spiral Minaret in Samarra. Its colors are light and dark blue on a multicolor underprint.
The 1000 Iraqi Dinar Banknote
The 1000 note has two different types with different front designs. One features the medieval dinar coin image at the center, whereas the other has an Assyrian star, an inscription enlisting, a man on a boat, the marshes, and the Heritage of South Iraq on the World Heritage List.
The reverse side of the note of both types features the image of the Al-Mustaniriyah University in Baghdad. The note’s colors are tan and brown on a multicolor underprint.
The 5,000 Iraqi Dinar Banknote
The 5,000 banknote’s front design features a waterfall and Gali Ali Beg. Its reverse side features an image of the Al-Ukhether fortress, which is a large, rectangular fortress built in 775 AD. The note’s colors are dark blue on a multicolor underprint.
The 10,000 Iraqi Dinar Banknote
Like the 1,000 note, this note also has two different types of front designs. One features the image of a mathematician, physicist, and astronomer Hasan Ibn Al-Haytham, whereas the other version has the image of the Freedom Monument in Tahrir Square. The reverse side of both designs features the A-Hadbah Minaret.
The 25,000 Iraqi Dinar Banknote
This note’s front design features a lower left-center figure, the coin, and a tractor plowing at the center. Its reverse side has the image of the Code of King Hammurabi, and its colors are tan and red on a multicolor underprint.
The 50,000 Iraqi Dinar Banknote
This banknote features the Gali Ali Beg waterfall at the right, an Assyrian jar at the left, and palm trees at the center. On the reverse side, there’s a fishermen’s image, the rivers Tigris and Euphrates on the map, and the traditional reed house of the Mesopotamian marshes. Like other Iraqi dinar banknotes, this one also has a multicolor underprint mixed with violet and brown.
5. The Iraqi Dinar’s Worth
As of August 2nd, 2022, one US dollar was worth 1,458 Iraqi dinars.
6. The Iraqi Dinar Is a Fixed Currency
The Iraqi dinar’s value is fixed by the Iraqi government and doesn’t change unless the central bank changes the exchange rate, meaning that the government decrees the price for the sale and purchase of this currency.
The Iraqi Dinar Is Full of Surprises
After reading this article, you can see the Iraqi dinar went through a lot. Many things have affected this currency, including the Gulf War, Sadaam Hussein's reign, and the US invasion. Considering all this, it's no surprise this currency has experienced extreme volatility and many changes in value.
Now, the Iraqi dinar's value is fixed, and will likely stay that way soon. Despite all the chaos and changes Iraq is facing, its banknotes are some of the most beautiful bills featuring important people, traditions, and fortresses vital to this country.