Kuwaiti Dinar is the official currency of Kuwait. Each Dinar comprises of 1000 fils. 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).
History of Kuwait Currency
The first attempt to issue a national currency was during the reign of the fifth Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Abdullah bin Sabah bin Jaber Al-Sabah. In order to reflect the independance of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Abdullah ordered the coining of a national currency. The first coins were made using simple tools like hammers, hence, their shape was irregular and each coin was different than the other. The value of this currency equaled one paisa. After the circulation of only a few hundred pieces of this currency in the markets for few months, it was withdrawn for the following reasons:
• During that period, Kuwait used the Rupee of Queen and Empress Victoria. Among its divisions was the paisa.
• The Indian paisa had the greater share in the market, as result of India’s powerful gold reserve.
• Kuwait had no gold reserve to foster its national currency.
The current Kuwaiti Dinar underwent several changes and developments throughout the Kuwaiti history. After concluding an accord between the Kuwaiti government and the Indian government, the first Kuwaiti Dinar was issued. Hence, all Indian banknotes and coins were withdrawn from the Kuwaiti markets as of April 1961 to be sent back to India. During the following two months, the Kuwaiti Banks and the Post Offices replaced the Indian Rupee with the Kuwaiti Dinar. Since one Dinar equaled 13.33 Indian Rupees, a total of 342 million Indian Rupees were replaced by 25.646.110 Kuwaiti Dinars during these two months.
The first Kuwaiti banknotes carried the photo of the late Amir of Kuwait; Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the signature of the Chief of the Council of Finance at that time; Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and pictures of renaissance landmarks in the State of Kuwait. The phrase "The Kuwaiti Emirate" was engraved on the coins. After one year of dealing with this coin, the phrase was replaced by the word "Kuwait" after independence.
On June 1, 1968, the Law No. 32 was issued to organize banking, the Kuwaiti currency and the Central Bank of Kuwait. Nine years later, the Central Bank released new banknotes for circulation on the following phases:
• The first phase dated November 17, 1970. The new banknotes were of values ten (10) dinars, half (½) of dinar and quarter (¼) of dinar. On April 20, 1971, five (5) dinar and one (1) dinar banknotes were released. They carried the photo of the late Amir of Kuwait; Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah.
• The second phase dated November 20, 1980. In the reign of Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Central Bank of Kuwait issued new banknotes.
• The third phase dated January 27, 1986. The Central Bank of Kuwait issued a new twenty (20) Dinar banknote. It was circulated starting from February 9, 1986.
• The fourth phase dated March 24, 1991. This currency release was characterized by its new and different colours. After the aggressive Iraqi invasion, Kuwaiti banknotes, assets and the gold reserve were robbed from the Central Bank of Kuwait. Hence, this new release came in different shape and colours to prevent the Iraqi invaders from benefiting from the stolen Kuwaiti banknotes. Banks and banking services stopped during the period from August 2, 1990 until the expulsion of the enemy.
• The fifth phase dated April 3, 1994. This release of national banknotes is the currently circulated currency in Kuwait. It is distinguished by the high technology and security techniques used in the domain of manufacturing and printing the banknotes.
After independence, and to mark the achievements reached in Kuwait in all aspects of life, the Central Bank of Kuwait released gold and silver coins and commemorative banknotes on the national occasions for the Kuwaitis and currency collectors.