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Thursday, 30 April 2015

183) Currencies of the Middle East (3): Kuwait: Kuwaiti Dinar & Fils:



183) Currencies of the Middle East (3): Kuwait: Kuwaiti Dinar & Fils:

Kuwait is a small, rich country with Oil Reserves which account for almost 10% of the World reserves. It has the third largest Oil Reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Kuwait exports mainly Oil, Refined Products and fertilizers. Its imports constitute mainly of Food, Construction material, Vehicles and vehicle parts and clothing.

The Kuwaiti Dinar denoted by KWD is the official currency of Kuwait. The Kuwait dinar is among the World’s strongest currencies, thanks to its oil revenue.

The KWD, which is sub-divided into 100 Fils was introduced in Kuwait in 1961 as a replacement for the Gulf Indian Rupee.

Kuwait was under British protection since 1899, when Sheikh Mubarak of the ruling Al-Sabah family entered into an agreement, to thwart the ambitions of the Ottoman Empire to annex Kuwait.

In 1961, this agreement/arrangement was terminated and Kuwait became a fully Independent country.

Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, which is when, the Iraqi Dinar replaced the Kuwaiti dinar as the circulation currency in Kuwait and huge amounts of Kuwaiti currency were stolen by Saddam’s Invading Forces.

In 1991, after the liberation of Kuwait, the Kuwaiti dinar was again restored as the circulation currency in Kuwait. The previously circulating Kuwaiti banknotes were demonetised, so as to render the currency stolen by the Iraqi Forces, worthless and a new Banknote Series was circulated in its place.

Banknote issues of the Kuwaiti Dinar:

In all Six Series of Banknotes of the Kuwaiti Dinar have been issued so far:

First Series of Banknotes (01.04.1961-01.02.1982):

The First Series of Banknotes was issued after the enactment of the Kuwaiti Currency Law in 1960 in accordance with the Amiri Decree (41) of 1960, which established the Kuwaiti Currency Board. This Law also stipulated that the Kuwaiti Dinar would henceforth be the National Monetary Unit.

The denominations issued in this series included ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 Dinars.

Second Series of Banknotes (17.11.1970 -31.05.1982):

The Central Bank of Kuwait was set up in 1969 which took over the functions of the erstwhile Kuwaiti Currency Board.

On 17.11.1970, the Central Bank of Kuwait issued a Second/new Series of Banknotes in the denominations of ¼, ½, and 10 Dinar Banknotes.

Later, on 20.04.1971, new 1 and 5 Dinar Banknotes were issued under this Series.

The Second Series of Banknotes were withdrawn on 01.02.1982 and ceased to be legal tender wef 31.05.1982.

Third Series of Banknotes (20.02.1980 – 24.03.1991):

Following the ascencion of Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah to the Kuwaiti throne, the Third Series of Banknotes was issued by the Central Bank of Kuwait on 20.02.1980.

This Series contained Banknotes in the denominations of ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 Dinars.

On 09.02.1986, a 20 Dinar Banknote was circulated.

After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, several of these Banknotes were looted by the Iraqi forces.

As such, the Third Series of Banknotes were withdrawn from circulation effective from 24.03.1991 and ceased to be legal tender after 45 days from that date so as to safeguard the country’s economy.

These Banknotes could still be exchanged at the Central Bank of Kuwait Branches for value at par till 30.09.1991.

 Fourth Series of Banknotes (24.03.1991 – 16.02.1995):

Soon after the Liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi Occupation, the Fourth Series of Banknotes was issued on 24.03.1991 for the purpose of ensuring a swift economic recovery for the country. At the same time, there was an urgent need for demonetising the previous Series which had been looted in huge quantities by the invading Iraqi Armed Forces, continuing with which would have destabilised the country’s economy leading to inflationary pressures.

 The denominations issued in this Series included ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 and 20 Dinars.

This interim currency ceased to be legal tender on 16.02.1995 and the right of exchanging these Banknotes at the Central Bank of Kuwait expired on 16.08.2004.

Fifth Series of Banknotes (03.04.1994 – still in circulation alongside the Sixth Series) :

The Fifth Series of Banknotes was introduced on 03.04.1994. This Series has utilised high tech Security features so as to prevent counterfeiting of Banknotes. These Banknotes have been issued in the denominations of ¼, ½, 1, 5, 10 and 20 Dinars.
 The Front of a ¼ Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote shows the Kuwaiti Dhow “Al-Mouhaleb”. There is also a depiction of a Kuwaiti Chest
 The Back of a ¼ Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts young girls playing a traditional game.

The Size of this Banknote is 110mm x 68 mm and its colour is predominantly Brown.

There is a Water Mark of the Head of a Falcon, visible on the Front when the Banknote is held up against a light source.

A Security Thread is visible on the Front, which is in the shape of a shiny metallic thread appearing as a series of vertical disconnected dashes. When the Banknote is held against a light source, the thread appears as a solid line.

Micro-lettering: A micro-text line in which the title “Central bank of Kuwait” is repeated in Arabic is visible on the Front and in English at the Back of the Banknote.

Latent image: A depiction of a Kuwaiti chest is used as a supporting ornament to carry the latent image which represents the denominational value “1/4”. It becomes visible on the Front when the Banknote is held up against a light source and is tilted up and down at an acute angle at eye-level.
 The Front of a ½ Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts the Kuwaiti Money Changer’s Stalls. There is also a depiction of a Kuwaiti Coffee Pot.
 The Back of a ½ Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts young boys playing a traditional game with marbles.

The Size of this Banknote is 120mm x 68 mm and its colour is predominantly Green.

The Watermark, Security Thread, Micro-lettering are essentially similar to the ¼ Dinar banknote, except for the latent image:

A depiction of a Kuwaiti Coffee Pot is used as a supporting ornament to carry the latent image which represents the denominational value “1/2”.
 The Front of a 1 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts the Kuwait Towers. There is also a depiction of a Traditional Oil Lamp.
 The Back of a 1 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts the Mina Al-Shuwaikh. Thre is also an image of a traditional Water storage Vessel on a Stand.

The Size of this Banknote is 130mm x 68 mm and its colour is predominantly Greenish Blue.

The Watermark, Security Thread, Microlettering are essentially similar to the above  Dinar Banknotes, except for the latent image:

A depiction of a Traditional Oil Lamp  is used as a supporting ornament to carry the latent image which represents the denominational value “1”.



The Front of a 5 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts the the New Telecom Tower “Liberation Tower”. There is also a depiction of a Traditional Grinding Stone.



The Back of a 5 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts an image of an Oil Refinery, the A’Zour Power Plant, the Kuwaiti water Tanks and Electricity Pylons.

The Size of this Banknote is 140mm x 68 mm and its colour is predominantly Pinkish Red.

The Watermark, Security Thread, Microlettering are essentially similar to the above Dinar banknotes, except for the following differences:

There is a Hologram on the Front of the Banknote. The outline shape represents the Head of a Falcon containing a group of alternating images of Dhows and the denominational value of the Banknote in Arabic figures.

A depiction of a Traditional Grinding Stone   is used as a supporting ornament to carry the latent image which represents the denominational value “5”.
 The Front of a 10 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts the the Great State Mosque. There is also a depiction of a Traditional Water Vessel.
 The Back of a 10 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts  images of a Dhow under full sail, a Traditional Kuwaiti Door, a Pearl Diving Scene and a Kuwaiti Incense Burner.

The Size of this Banknote is 150mm x 68 mm and its colour is predominantly Maroon.

The Watermark, Security Thread, Microlettering and the Hologram are essentially similar to the above 5 Dinar banknotes, except for the latent image:

A depiction of a Traditional Water Vessel is used as a supporting ornament to carry the latent image which represents the denominational value “10”.
 The Front of a 20 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts the Red Fort at Jahra. There is also a depiction of a Cannon at the Red Fort.
 The Back of a 20 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts  images of the Central Bank of Kuwait Building and a Gateway in the Old Wall of Kuwait City.

The Size of this Banknote is 160mm x 68 mm and its colour is predominantly Khaki Green.

The Watermark, Security Thread, Microlettering and the Hologram are essentially similar to the above 5 & 10 Dinar banknotes, except for the latent image:

A depiction of a Cannon is used as a supporting ornament to carry the latent image which represents the denominational value “20”.

Sixth Series of Banknotes (29.06.2014 – onwards) :

The Sixth Series of the Kuwaiti Dinar Banknotes was unveiled on 19.05.2014 and put into circulation on 29.06.2014.

This Series of Banknotes employs a clear and elegant structure throughout the entire Series, using visual representations on nationally significant elements and economic accomplishments that are all grounded on one unified background that is of the Kuwaiti Flag.

The Banknotes issued under this Series feature iconic and culturally significant buildings on the front while the Back illustrates Kuwait’s accomplishments and economic milestones throughout history.

These Banknotes were designed independently, so as to feature the diverse factors that Kuwait is comprised of including its desert and marine life, historical elements, such as the ancient Greek ruins in Failaka to the first Kuwaiti coin, cultural items like the traditional wooden Kuwaiti door, industrial features including an oil tanker and refinery, elements that reflect Kuwait’s past commercial activities such as sailing vessels and pearl diving, as well as, Architectural landmarks that symbolize Kuwait including the Seif Palace, Kuwait National Assembly Building, Kuwait Towers, Liberation Tower, Grand Mosque and Central Bank of Kuwait’s building.

Every new Banknote has a unique background design that is inspired from Islamic Art, an element that asserts a sense of originality and familiarity, both of which further the new Banknote’s aesthically pleasing designs and innovation.

The new Banknotes were also designed keeping the visually impaired persons in mind – the Banknote’s values are larger in size and have raised prints which help the visually impaired persons in distinguishing each Banknote from the other.

Each Banknote’s theme dictates its colour. For example, the KD 20 Banknote’s predominant colour is blue because the featured theme includes elements of Kuwait’s marine life. The KD 10 Banknote’s predominant colour is orange and light brown so as to reflect the desert theme that runs throughout the Banknote.

This Series of Banknotes includes the most advanced security measures such as innovative printing processes, colour changing features and visual elements that become when the Banknote is tilted.

The Banknotes issued under the Fifth Series will continue to be legal tender and circulate alongside this Series till such time they are demonetised by the Central Bank of Kuwait.

The Front of the ¼ Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote has a theme of Kuwait’s Liberation & Heritage. On this face is depicted the striking Liberation Tower, a massive 372 metre structure that is one of the main landmarks in Kuwait City as well as one of the tallest buildings in the World. This has been a symbol of Kuwait’s Liberation since its erection in 1996.

The Back of the ¼ Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts a Traditional Wooden Kuwaiti Door, a Plaster Carving and the first Kuwaiti coin used locally.

The size of this Banknote is 110 mm x 68 mm and its colour is Brown.

Security features:

Optically Variable Ink: When tilted at the front, waves shape changes colour.

Spectrum: When tilted at the Front, one can see circles in the Solid Art Print.

Watermark: The Falcon Watermark can be seen both on the Front & Back when held up against a light source.

Security Thread: This can be seen at the Back & changes colour when the banknote is tilted.

See Through: When the Banknote is held up against the light, on both Front & Back, one can see incomplete shapes that combine to form the Banknote’s denominational value.

Raised Ink: One can feel the raised ink of the numeral on both sides of the Banknote. Also, raised ink of symbols for the visually impaired persons can be felt.

Ultra Violet Elements: Under a UV lamp, fluorescent elements become visible on both sides.

The Front of the ½ Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote has a theme of Kuwait’s Icons and its Environment. On this face is depicted the most familiar and iconic Kuwaiti landmark, the Kuwait Towers standing tall into the sky.

The Back of the ½ Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts Kuwait’s marine life and the significance of preserving it such as the endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle and the silver Pomfret (Al Zubaidi), Kuwait’s most popular fish.

The size of this Banknote is 120 mm x 68 mm and its colour is Green.

The Security features on this Banknote are the same as the ¼ Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote



 The Front of the 1 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote has a theme of Kuwait’s History and Islam. This Face has a superb illustration of the Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in Kuwait as well as a symbol of Kuwait’s Islamic identity.



The Back of the 1 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts a real-life illustration of an iconic column, one of the many influences of ancient Greek Civilization that swept across and settled in Kuwait’s island of Failaka.

The size of this Banknote is 130 mm x 68 mm and its colour is Grey.

The Security features on this Banknote are the same as the above Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote.



The Front of the 5 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote has a theme of Kuwait’s Economy, Finance and the Oil Industry. This Face portrays Kuwait’s powerful Pyramid Steel Structure, and the Central Bank of Kuwait’s newly constructed Building.



The Back of the 5 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts one of Kuwait’s Oil refineries and a Tanker as a testament to Kuwait’s precious source of prosperity.

The size of this Banknote is 140 mm x 68 mm and its colour is Purple.

The Security features on this Banknote are the same as the above Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote, except for:

a SPARK which is visible on the Front of the banknote and when tilted, the waves shape changes colour with the orbital effect.



The Front of the 10 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote has a theme of Kuwait’s Democracy and the Desert. This Face portrays the glorious Kuwait National Assembly Building, a symbolic pillar of Kuwait’s Democratic Constitution.


The Back of the 10 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts Kuwait’s diverse Desert Life with a captivating illustration of a Falcon and a seated Camel dressed regally in a traditional Sadu Saddle.

The size of this Banknote is 150 mm x 68 mm and its colour is Reddish Orange.

The Security features on this Banknote are the same as the 5 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote.
The Front of the 20 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote has a theme of Kuwait’s Rulers and the Sea. This Face portrays the illustrious Seif Palace, which is a symbol of Sovereignty and ruling power to all of Kuwait’s erstwhile Rulers from where the country’s affairs are governed/administered.

The Back of the 20 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknote depicts the Boom, which is the largest and most popular Traditional Kuwaiti Dhow, an element that alludes to Kuwait’s modernisation as well as its rich economic and commercial history, that is linked across Seas. Also, seen is a Pearl Diver, one of the earliest professions that enabled Kuwaiti’s to earn a living before the discovery of Oil.

The size of this Banknote is 160 mm x 68 mm and its colour is Blue.

The Security features on this Banknote are the same as the 5 and 10 Kuwaiti Dinar Banknotes.

The Central Bank of Kuwait:

The Central Bank of Kuwait was established on 30.06.1969. The bank regulates the issue & Supervision of the Currency circulation as well as the Kuwaiti Stock market along with the Kuwaiti stock Exchange and the industry and the Ministry of Finance. It has its Headquarters in Kuwait City.


The above is an image of the Emblem of the Central Bank of Kuwait.

The Coat of Arms or Emblem of the State of Kuwait:


The Emblem of Kuwait was adopted in 1962, and consists of the Shield of the flag design in colour superimposed on a Golden Falcon (symbolising the hawk/falcon of Quraish – which is a symbol of the Banu Quraish line, to which Prophet Muhammad belonged & is also depicted on many Coats of arms of the Arabian Peninsula) with its wings displayed. The falcon supports a disk containing a boom sailing ship, a Dhow with the full name of the State written in Arabic at the top of the Disk.


The Dhow is a symbol of the maritime tradition of the country.

Commemorative Banknotes:

Commemorative Banknotes celebrating the 2nd Anniversary 91 Kuwaiti dinar) and the 10th Anniversary of Liberation Day of the State of Kuwait were issued by the Central Bank of Kuwait, among others.

Coinage of Kuwait:

In 1961, when Kuwait became a fully Independent country, coins in the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Fils were introduced.

On the Obverse, all denominations of these coins bear the denominational value of the coin in the centre, with the name of the issuing country “The State of Kuwait” (in Arabic) on the top & “Kuwait” (in English) on the bottom.

On the Reverse, all denominations of coins depict a “Sambuke” or a two-masted Arab Dhow or a Kuwaiti sail ship popularly called “Boom” along with the date of issue in both Hijri (1380) and the Gregorian date (1960) with the double dates in Arabic numerals.

Eastern & Western Arabic numerals:

The value and numbers on the coins are written in Eastern Arabic numerals and the text is Arabic. The Eastern Arabic Numerals (also called “Arabic-Indic numerals” and “Arabic Eastern Numerals” are the symbols used to represent the Hindu-Arabic numeral system in conjunction with the Arabic alphabet in Arabian countries and has its own variations. These numbers are known as “Indian numbers” in Arabic or “Indic numbers” in English. However, these numbers are not to be confused with the Hindi numerals/numbers used in India. In most of present day Middle-East or North-Africa, “Western Arabic numerals” (i.e.0 to 9) are used except in the Magreb countries i.e. Egypt and Sudan, as also in the UAE.


Take a look at the undernoted Obverse & Reverse coin images of a coin issued in 1979 (Gregorian) as an illustration:



On the Obverse of a 100 Fils coin,  the denominational value of the coin “100” is inscribed in the centre, with the name of the issuing country “The State of Kuwait” (in Arabic) on the top & “Kuwait” (in English) on the bottom.



The above is an image of the Reverse of a 100 Fils coin  issued in “1979”. If you read the Eastern Arabic numerals chart given above, you can easily read the year given on the left hand side below the figure of the “Dhow” reading from left to right. On the right of “1979” is mentioned the Islamic year “1399”. (The present Gregorian calendar year 2002 corresponds to the Islamic years 1423-24 AH – Anno Hegiri).
This coin has been struck in cupro-nickel.

Specifications of the other denominations of Kuwaiti coins:

The specifications of the 1 Fils coin are: Diameter: 17.00 mm; Weight: 2.00 gms. These coins are however, no longer issued.

The specifications of the 5 Fils coin are: Diameter:19.50 mm; Weight: 2.50 gms.

The specifications of the 10 Fils coin are: Diameter: 21.00 mm; Weight: 3.75 gms.

The specifications of the 20 Fils coin are: Diameter: 20.00 mm; Weight: 3.00 gms.

The specifications of the 50 Fils coin are: Diameter: 23.00 mm; Weight: 4.50 gms.

The specifications of the 100 Fils coin are: Diameter: 26.00 mm; Weight: 6.50 gms.

Commemorative Coins:

Since 1976, several commemorative coins have also been issued by the Central Bank of Kuwait in both Gold & Silver. The first coin struck in 1976 was a Silver Double Dinar which commemorated the 15th Anniversary of the National Day of the State of Kuwait (1961-1976) or Kuwait’s Independence Day, with portraits of Abdullah ibn Salim (1950-65) and his successor Sabah ibn Salim (1965-77) side by side.

Some other Commemorative coins issued are:

In 1981, Gold and Silver coins marked the 15th Hijra Century.

In the same year, Gold & Silver coins were issued to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the National Day of the State of Kuwait (1961-1981).

In 1986, Gold & Silver coins were issued to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the National Day of the State of Kuwait (1961-1986).

In 1987, Gold & Silver coins were issued to celebrate the 5th Islamic Summit Conference (26-29th January 1987).

In 1991, Gold & Silver coins were issued to commemorate the 1st Anniversary of Liberation Day of the State of Kuwait (on 26.02.1991).

In 1994, Silver coins were issued to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the Central Bank of Kuwait (1969-1994).

In 1995, Silver coins were issued to commemorate the 50th United Nations anniversary (1945-1995).

In 1996, Gold & Silver coins were issued celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the National Day of the State of Kuwait (1961-1996).

In the same year, Gold & Silver coins were issued celebrating the 5th Anniversary of Liberation Day of the State of Kuwait (1991-1996).

Also, in the same year, Gold & Silver coins were issued commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Exporting the First Oil shipment (1946-1996) and silver coins commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Founding of Kuwait University (1966-1996).

In 2000, Gold & Silver coins were issued welcoming the Advent of the 21st Century.

In 2001, Gold & Silver coins were issued celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the National Day of the State of Kuwait (1961-2001).

In 2006, Gold & Silver coins were issued celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the National Day of the State of Kuwait (1961-2006).

Also, in the same year, Gold & Silver coins were issued celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Liberation Day of the State of Kuwait (1991-2006).

In 2011, Gold & Silver coins were issued celebrating the 5th Anniversary of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al sabah as the Amir of the State of Kuwait (2006-2011).

Also, in the same year, Gold & Silver coins were issued celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Day of the State of Kuwait (1961-2011) and the 20th Anniversary of Liberation Day of the State of Kuwait (1991-2011). Gold & Silver coins were also issued commemorating the 50th anniversary of launching the National currency Unit of the state of Kuwait (01.04.2011).

In 2012, Gold & Silver coins were issued commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of the State of Kuwait’s Constitution (11.11.2012).









(The above Banknotes are from the collection of Jayant Biswas. The 1979 100 Fils Coin was brought to India by my Late Brother-in-Law Prabir Chowdhry from when he was residing in Kuwait. Images scanned & Article researched and written by Rajeev Prasad)




Links:

1) Currencies of the Middle East (1) : The United Arab Emirates: Dirham

2) Currencies of the Middle East (2): Sultanate of Oman : Rial & Baisa


5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your appreciative comment.

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  2. Another detailed post Rajeev. The coins of Kuwait have a pretty simple design and have not been modified since they were introduced. :-(

    A small change is that since 2012, the coins are now magnetic and have a steel core.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing this information, Rahul.

      Delete