Since the beginning of the occupation by United States military forces in 2003, there has been an increase in the trade of the Iraqi dinar. Dinar trading is spurred on by the continuing presence of private contractors employed by the American government in order to help the shattered country rebuild its infrastructure. The Iraqi currency has a storied past, brushing up against British colonialism and American imperialism in the last sixty years.
During the British occupation of Iraq during the first World War, the official currency was the Indian rupee, an import from another of Britain’s colonies. Once the cradle of civilization was free of the English, Iraqi dinars became the standard. In 1947, dinars were circulated by the National Bank of Iraq, switching to the Central Bank of Iraq in 1954. Since that time dinar trade has only increased.
To meet this boom in trade and to facilitate ease of exchange the Central Bank started issuing ten thousand dinar notes meant to be used for international trade, larger transactions, and those between banks in 2002. In 2003, they followed suit by introducing new notes in ten, twenty five, one thousand, five thousand, ten thousand, and twenty five thousand denominations. At one time dinar were subdivided into a thousand fils per dinar, however inflation has rendered the fils useless in modern times.
It isn’t hard to imagine that as trade continues to grow in the region, even without a US military presence in the region, there will be a continued need to buy dinar and to trade it. Perhaps then the dinar will continue to change and grow to as dinar trading does.