Written on May 19, 2017 • Last edit: March 16, 2019
See the French article

The Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија / Republika Srbija) is a sovereign state situated at the crossroads between Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. The capital of Serbia, Belgrade, is one of the largest cities in Southeast Europe. Serbia numbers around 7 million residents.

Serbian coinage

The dinar (Serbian: динар/dinar; paucal: динара/dinara) is the currency of Serbia.
The earliest use of the dinar in Serbia dates back to 1214.

Medieval dinar

The first mention of a "Serbian dinar" dates back to the reign of Stefan Nemanjić in 1214. The first Serbian dinar replicated Venetian grosso. For many years it was one of the main export articles of medieval Serbia. Most of the Serbian rulers minted silver dinar coins.

First modern dinar (1868–1920)

Rule of Prince Mihailo Obrenović
After the Principality of Serbia was formally established (1817) there were many different foreign coins in circulation.

After the last Ottoman garrisons were withdrawn in 1867, Serbia was faced with multiple currencies in circulation. Thus, prince Mihailo Obrenović ordered a national currency be minted. In 1868, bronze coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 paras. The obverses featured the portrait of Prince Mihailo Obrenović III.

The subdivision of the dinar, the para, is named after the Turkish silver coins of the same name (from the Persian پاره pāra, "money, coin").

Rule of Prince Milan Obrenović
The first silver coins were introduced in 1875 and gold in 1879.
In 1882, The Kingdom of Serbia was declared thus both 10 and 20 dinars were struck in gold.

Rule of King Aleksandar Obrenović
When King Aleksandar was on the throne, silver dinars were minted with his portrait.

The first pattern coins were minted in 1890.
After the final design was chosen, 7 years later, the coins were minted.

Rule of King Petar I Karađorđević
After King Aleksandar Obrenović was killed in 1903, King Petar I took the throne. First coins minted with his portrait was in 1904. After that, the coins were minted in 1912 and 1915 with the same design.

In 1904, the commemorative silver 5 dinars coins was issued celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Karađorđević Dynasty.

Rule of King Aleksandar I Karađorđević
King Aleksandar Karađorđević came on throne in 1921 after King Petar died.
In 1925, The King of Serbs, Croats and Slovens (The King of Yugoslavia) ordered to mint the coins. The 50 para, 1 and 2 dinars were struck in copper-nickel, 10 dinars in silver and 20 dinars in gold.
With the merger of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was declared in 1918.

Rule of King Petar II Karađorđević
When King Aleksandar I was assassinated in 1934, his minor son Petar II took the throne. In 1938, Aluminium-bronze coins were introduced in denominations of 1 and 2 dinars, nickel in denomination of 10 dinars and silver in denominations of 20 and 50 dinars.
During the start of WW2 the king fled to London.
After the war, the communists started to rule over Yugoslavia.

Second modern dinar (1941–1944)

In 1941, the Yugoslav dinar was replaced, at par, by a second Serbian dinar for use in the German occupied Serbia. The dinar was pegged to the German reichsmark at a rate of 250 dinars = 1 Reichsmark. This dinar circulated until 1944.
In 1942, zinc coins were introduced in denominations of 50 paras, 1 and 2 dinars, with 10 dinar coins following in 1943.

Yugoslavian Dinar (1944-1993)

After the WW2, the communists started to rule and the Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY - Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) was declared.
The Yugoslavian Dinar was reintroduced by the Yugoslav Partisans, replacing the Serbian dinar at a rate of 1 Yugoslav dinar = 20 Serbian dinars.

Dinar during the Yugoslav Wars (1990–2003)

Convertible dinar, YUN (1990–1992)
During this period, the constituent republics began to leave the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Four of the six republics declared independence and issued their own currencies shortly after. This was the last dinar that bore the coat of arms and the name of the "Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" in multiple languages.

Reformed dinar, YUR (July 1992 – September 1993)
Hyperinflation began to occur during this currency's period of circulation. This dinar was issued in the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which consisted of the remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro. People started to use foreign hard currency, such as Deutschmarks, to mitigate some of the problems of hyperinflation.

October–December 1993 dinar
Yugoslavia re-denominated the dinar for the fourth time on 1 October 1993, at a ratio of 1 million dinars to 1 USD. This did not mitigate the hyperinflation, and the 1993 dinar (ISO 4217 code: YUO) lasted for only three months.

1994 dinar
Yugoslavia re-denominated the dinar for the fifth time on 1 January 1994, at a ratio of 1 billion dinars to 1 USD.

Hyperinflation continued to intensify, and only one coin (1 dinar) was issued for it.

Novi dinar, YUM (1994–2003)
On 24 January 1994, the novi dinar was introduced. This was not a revaluation of the dinar. Instead, the novi dinar was pegged at par to the Deutsche Mark. On the day of the introduction of the novi dinar, the exchange rate of the previous dinar to the Deutsche Mark, and, hence, to the novi dinar, was approximately 1 DM = 13 million dinara. Despite not being pegged to the newest currency, the previous dinar did not fall further in value, remaining at about 12 million "1994" dinar to the novi dinar.

The "novi" portion of the name was abandoned in 2000.

Third modern dinar (2003–present)

After the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 90s, The Serbian dinar replaced the Yugoslav dinar at par in 2003, when Yugoslavia was transformed into the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro (FRY - Federal Republic of Yugoslavia).

Montenegro had already adopted the Deutsche Mark and later the euro when the mark was replaced by it.
Montenegro gained independence in 2006, when Yugoslavia ceased to exist.

In 2005, the 1, 2 and 5 dinars coins were re-designed and on the back was the Serbian coat of arms (previously they where bearing the FRY coat of arms) and the "old" design coins ceased to be valid (Fun fact, these "old" design coins can still be found in circulation, because people barely see the difference in coins when paying).

Coins currently in circulation are 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 dinar coins. All coins feature identical inscriptions in Serbian, using the Cyrillic and Latin scripts. The 10 and 20 dinar coins are uncommon in circulation, as banknotes of the same value are used instead.
The 20 dinar coin come in variants of Ivo Andrić, Nikola Tesla, Đorđe Vajfert, Dositej Obradović, Milutin Milanković and Mihajlo Pupin portraits (See those coins).

National symbol

The coat of arms consists of two main heraldic symbols which represent the national identity of the Serbian people across the centuries, the Serbian eagle (a white double-headed eagle adopted from the Nemanjić dynasty) and the Serbian cross (or cross with fire-steels).

Bibliography and more info