Kuwait celebrates Dinar's 56th anniversary

Published April 12th, 2017 - 09:02 GMT
The sixth and last series to date began in 2014, with the Kuwaiti Dinar displaying an elegant design both depicting various landmarks and also increasing the size of the font to enable shortsighted individuals to read what’s written on the bill. (Shutterstock)
The sixth and last series to date began in 2014, with the Kuwaiti Dinar displaying an elegant design both depicting various landmarks and also increasing the size of the font to enable shortsighted individuals to read what’s written on the bill. (Shutterstock)

The national currency, the Kuwaiti Dinar (KD), will be celebrating its 56th anniversary as being the financial building block which helped the nation grow and expend.

Before replacing the Indian Rupee in 1961, the initial plans for issuing a national currency began in 1958 during which the highest authorities in Kuwait made it imperative for the country to start steps for independence both politically and economically.

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With the declaration of Amiri decree 41/1960, the Kuwaiti monetary council was established to look into measures to issue the currency and coins.

First edition of the 10 Kuwaiti dinar

In April 1, 1961, the Kuwaiti and Indian governments agreed to withdraw the Gulf Rupee, basically the Indian currency, from the Kuwaiti markets to begin efforts for replacing the banknotes with the new bill.

The first issue of the banknote featured the likeness of then Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah. It also had the signature of head of the monetary council Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who later became the 13th Amir of Kuwait.

The back of the first issued banknotes had various illustrations of Kuwaiti landmarks depicted and they varied according to the value of the bill.

Various issues and values of the Kuwaiti Dinar have appeared since the banknote was issued with the first variation coming after 1968.

The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) issued the quarter, half, and 10 dinars first in November 17, 1970 and then in April 20, 1971 the KD one and five came into circulation.

The second issues of the KD saw the banknote being smaller with the currency featuring the likeness of then Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and the signatures of the Ministry of Finance Abdulrahman Al-Aqtiqi and CBK Governor Hamza Abbas.

Second edition of the one Kuwaiti dinar

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In 1980, the third variant of the currency had replaced the likeness of the ruler of Kuwait with the official seal of the State of Kuwait. In 1986, the CBK issued for the first time the KD 20 bill.

When the Iraqi invasion occurred in 1990, the Kuwaiti government decided to cancel the use of the national currency.

In 1991, the fourth series of the Dinar was issued with the quality and color of the banknotes being superior to previous incarnations.

In 1994, the fifth edition of the Kuwaiti Dinar saw the introduction of a silver line on the bill and other measures to avoid counterfeiting.

The sixth and last series to date began in 2014 with the Kuwaiti Dinar displaying an elegant design both depicting various landmarks and also increasing the size of the font to enable shortsighted individuals to read what’s written on the bill.

Third edition of the five Kuwaiti dinar note

History of Kuwaiti currency

“Necessity is the mother of inventions”. The very same necessity for a common medium of exchange for a better economy gave way to the creation of “Currency”. Worldwide the transition of currency witnessed 2 stages, Coinage and Paper Money. The scenario was not different in Middle East. Archeological excavations in Kuwait which was focused at the Failaka Island brought into picture the first coins used in Kuwait. Most interesting fact is that, Indian Rupee was in circulation in Kuwait before the introduction of Kuwait Dinar in 1961.

Fourth edition of the half Kuwaiti dinar

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Indian Rupee issued from time to time during the reign of various rulers of British Kingdom who controlled the whole economy of India was circulated in Kuwait. Those periods can be classified as 5 stages of Indian Rupee in Kuwait. The 1st Rupee lasted for 7 years from 1830 till 1837, during the reign of King William IV and the 2nd rupee from 1837 till 1901 during the period of Queen Victoria. 3rd rupee in circulation was introduced during King Edward VII which ended up in 1910. Then came the reign of King George V and that epoch also had a new issue of coins which lasted till 1936. It was during this age itself the paper money was introduced in Kuwait, in 1913. After 1936 King George VI took over the empire which ended in 1952.

Even though India got independence in 1947, the use of currencies issued by these British rulers continued for the monetary transactions in Kuwait. Indian Government took steps to introduce a different form of paper money with different color for Kuwait and other Arabian Gulf countries.

Fifth edition of the 20 Kuwaiti dinar

This new rupee system had differences not only in the look, but also in its purchasing power. This shattered the economic atmosphere of Kuwait. Kuwait realized the need for their own national currency which has its own value in the global market. The financial year 1961-62 marked its stamp in the history of Kuwait by introducing Kuwaiti Dinar under the auspicious of late HH Sheikh Abdulla Al-Salem Al-Sabah in April, 1961. Indian Rupee was withdrawn from Kuwait and Kuwaiti Dinar took its place as the national currency with a purchase value of 13.33 Indian Rupees. It took 2 months for the withdrawal procedures and 342 million Indian Rupees were replaced by 25,646,110 Kuwaiti Dinars.

Each Dinar comprises of 1000 fils. Present day Kuwait currency consists of six categories in denominations: Quarter (¼) of Dinar, Half (½) of Dinar, One (1) Dinar, Five (5) Dinars, Ten (10) Dinars and Twenty (20) Dinars. The first Kuwaiti banknotes bare the photo of late Amir of Kuwait HH Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the signature of the Chief of the Council of Finance at that time HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and pictures of renaissance landmarks in the State of Kuwait. Engraved phrase “The Kuwaiti Emirate” added pride to the coins issued. Later on this phrase was swapped by the word “Kuwait”. The Kuwait Dinar banknotes in circulation today got its new form after almost seven phases of renovations under the Central Bank of Kuwait.

Sixth edition of the quarter Kuwaiti dinar

 


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