The Serbian dinar is celebrating its 146th birthday today, as a stable currency, which, according to the world’s leading investment banks, is neither overvalued nor undervalued, which is a guarantee for citizens’ confidence in the national currency.
A major step in the establishment and elaboration of the monetary system of Serbia occurred in 1873, when, during the reign of the prince and later Serbian king, Milan Obrenovic (1868–1889), the Law on Forging of Serbian Silver Coin was passed.
This law was adopted by the Assembly on November 29, 1873, according to the old or December 12, according to the new calendar, and was approved by Prince Milan the very next day.
In accordance with this law, in 1875 the first dinar in silver was stamped with the image of Prince Milan on the obverse, in denominations of 50 pairs, 1 and 2 dinars.
The monetary system under this law was based on the principles and provisions of the Paris Monetary Convention of 1865, on the basis of which the Latin Monetary Union was created.
Although Serbia did not formally accede to the Convention, the first dinar, according to its provisions, had the same silver content, weight and dimensions as the franc, the corresponding silver coin of France and other member states of the Convention.
The significance of the law is that it introduced, for the first time since the Middle Ages, the independence of the monetary system in the country, although Serbia was still formally vassal to the Ottoman authorities, the National Bank of Serbia recalled.
The first banknote issued in Serbia is related to the commencement of the work of the Privileged National Bank of the Kingdom of Serbia, which was marked on July 2, 1884, by the issuance of a 100 dinars banknote, payable in gold, made under the cliche for a reserve banknote of 100 francs of the National Bank of Belgium.
The series of banknotes that preceded the said issue, printed in 1876 with the consent of the Principal State Treasury of the Principality of Serbia, were intended to finance the Serbo-Turkish War but were never released.
However, it was only with the issuance of the 10-dinar banknote in 1885, payable in silver, that the citizens gained confidence in paper money, the use of which, ever since, gradually introduced into circulation new banknotes of different nominal values, has become a practice.
The dinar was the currency in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, socialist Yugoslavia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with Serbia replacing it with the Serbian dinar, while Montenegro the euro.
During the period of hyperinflation, in 1993, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia issued a large number of banknotes with enormous nominal values.
After the reform in early 1994, a period of unrestrained inflation ended.
From 2000 to 2002, the National Bank of Yugoslavia issues and publishes a new series of banknotes of modified and improved design, created using state-of-the-art technology.
During this period, the dinar was returned to the international scene, as it became convertible again after more than a decade.
With the disappearance of the new state union of Serbia and Montenegro, the National Bank of Yugoslavia grew into the National Bank of Serbia, which issues notes intended for circulation on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.
The tradition of using money in the territory of present-day Serbia is very long and goes back to the distant past. The oldest specimens date from the 6th-5th centuries p.n.e.
The first mention of “Serbian dinars” is in the archival documents at the end of 1214, at the time of Stefan the Firstborn. However, studies to date point to King Radoslav (1227–1234), who is considered the first Serbian ruler to forge his own money.
Today, banknotes and coins with prominent figures from our culture, science and art, such as Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic, Petar Petrovic Njegos, Nikola Tesla … are in circulation, and poet and painter Djura Jaksic was one of the famous Serbs who painted the banknotes as well as Paja Jovanovic.