Iraq’s new and improved banknotes and old India connection…

Nice piece on the new banknotes in Iraq, which will have the Governor’s signature and representation of Assyrian community.

As part of the redesign, the new 2018 A.D. and 1440 Hijri-dated banknotes will now feature the title of “Governor of the central bank” underneath his signature, which the central bank has pointed out is compatible with the trend being followed in other countries. The current specifications, in terms of dimensions, remain the same — as well as the current colours — which represent the current series. The 50,000 and 5000-dinar banknotes have not currently undergone an update at present.

However, it is the newly revised 1000-dinar note that seems to be getting the most significant makeover and attention. The previous design of the symbol of the Ikhlas Surah from the Quran in the centre of the current design has been removed and in its place is what appears to be an Assyrian star. The Assyrian people are a predominately Christian minority group concentrated around Northern Iraq. Many of them were displaced or forced to flee abroad during the recent conflict that was initiated by rebel forces seeking a separate caliphate known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

In recognition of the status of the Marshlands, which have been added to the list of endangered and protected regions in 2016, the new 1000-dinar note will also feature the words: “Enlisting the marshes and heritage of Southern Iraq on world heritage list,” which is placed around the Assyrian star motif.

During the regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s marshes were almost completely drained in order to flush out rebel groups. These insurgents were in opposition to his rule, and, as a result, the rich natural habitat and the culture of the marshland’s inhabitants were almost lost. Since the downfall of the Hussein regime, both international and localised efforts have sought to bring the people back to their homelands and revive the culture back to life.

While reading up on Iraqi Dinar, Wikipedia mentions how Indian Rupee was the legal tender in Iraq from WW I to 1931:

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 US 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 15 October 2003, and 15 January 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority issued new Iraqi dinar coins and notes, with the notes printed by the British security printing firm 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’.[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.[citation needed]

Also see the images of Dinar Series in the Wikipedia post. How much history one can figure profiling and figuring these banknotes…


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