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The dinar (Arabic: دينار dīnār) is the currency of Libya. Its ISO 4217 code is "LYD". The dinar is subdivided into 1000 dirham (درهم). It was introduced in September 1971 and replaced the pound at par. It is issued by the Central Bank of Libya, which also supervises the banking system and regulates credit. In 1972, the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank was established to deal with overseas investment. Ali Mohammed Salem, deputy governor of Central Bank of Libya stated the exchange rate of Libyan dinar would be pegged to special drawing rights for one to three years, according to an interview to Reuters on 27 December 2011.
Until 1975, old coins denominated in milliemes (equal to the dirham) circulated. In 1975, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dirhams which bore the coat of arms of the Federation of Arab Republics. These were followed in 1979 by a second series of coins, in the same denominations, which bore a design of a horseman in place of the arms. ¼ and ½ dinar coins were issued in 2001 and 2004, respectively. In 2009, new 50, 100 dirhams, ¼ and ½ dinar coins were issued. 1, 5, 10, and 20 dirham coins are rarely used as units of exchange. However, they still retain their status as legal tenders.
In 1971, banknotes were introduced in denominations of ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 dinar. 20 dinar notes were added in 2002. On August 27, 2008, the Central Bank of Libya announced a new 50 dinar note and that was scheduled to enter circulation on August 31, 2008. The note is already in circulation and features Muammar Gaddafi on the obverse.
The subjects depicted on the banknotes have not changed since series 2 except for the portrait of Muammar Gaddafi which became the new obverse design of the 1 dinar note in series 4.
After the 2011 revolution overthrew Gaddafi's government, Central Bank Governor Gasem Azzoz said that notes with the ousted strongman's face on them were still in circulation and would be used by the National Transitional Council to pay the salaries of public servants and government employees. The bank is holding a contest for redesigned banknotes that will likely eventually replace the Gaddafi-emblazoned bills.
The central Bank started withdrawing the 50-Dinar note on January 14, 2012. Libyans have until March 15 to hand the note in to banks. Issam Buajila, the media manager of the central bank said that the 1 and 20 Dinar notes will be withdrawn from circulation soon. Omar Elkaber, governor of the central bank, stated that the bank has already started printing new notes.
The Central Bank of Libya has issued a revised 10-dinar banknote with revised features, one example is the removal of the reference of the Gaddafi era "Jamahiriya" from upper right back, plus the use of English on the notes for the first time in two decades. Furthermore, the serial number prefix system has apparently been reset to "1". Two versions of the revised 10-dinar banknote were issued, one with the central bank's name rendered with initial-capitals, which were printed by De La Rue of the U.K. and the other with the central bank's name in all capital letters were printed by Oberthur Technologies of France. Another notable differences for the two notes is both the holographic patch, the symbols on the top left corner on the notes and the date. The De La Rue version is identical to its previous issue, but the only notable difference is the serial number prefix, identified as "7A". The Oberthur Technologies issue has a different holographic patch, the addition of the crescent and star symbol on the top left corner of the note, the serial number prefix as "1" and the date 17.02.2011 (February 17, 2011, the date of the 2011 Libyan revolution and civil war) added below.
A revised 5-dinar banknote was issued with altered features similar to the revised 10-dinar banknote. The English text has replaced the Arabic text on the back, the removal of the Gaddafi era "Jamahiriya" from the front and upper right back of the note, and the Gaddafi era falcon crest has been removed from the monument to the Battle of Al-Hani.
On February 17, 2013, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Libyan civil war, the Central Bank of Libya issued a 1 dinar banknote, its first issue following the 2011 Libyan revolution and civil war. The front of the note depicts Anti-Gaddafi protesters with the flag of the Libyan rebels. The back of the note depicts the flag of Libya and peace doves.
On March 31, 2013, the Central Bank of Libya issued a 20 dinar banknote. The predominantly orange-colored note features a school in Ghadames on the front and the Al-Ateeq mosque and the oasis of Oujla on the back.
In June 2013, the Central Bank of Libya issued a 50 dinar banknote. The green-colored note features the Italian lighthouse in Benghazi on the front and the Rock formation in the Tadrart Acacus mountains on the back. This is the first note in Libya to utilize Crane's "Motion" thread.
Popular nomenclature and denominations
The Libyan dinar is commonly called jni, [ʒni] (western Libyan Dialect) or jneh [ʒneh] (eastern Libyan dialect). The name dinar is rarely used outside official circles. The authorized fractional unit, the dirham, is never mentioned in everyday conversation. Garsh - a variant of the word qirsh - is employed instead, with 1 garsh = 10 dirhams. One thousand dinars is stylishly called a kilo [kiːlu]. Similarly, five dinar notes and ten dinar notes are sometimes nicknamed, in the younger generation male slang, faifa [faːifa] and tsena [tseːna] respectively, which are playful feminizations of the English words five and ten, but may also be remnants of British slang words 'fiver' and 'tenner' for five and ten pound notes respectively. Libyan currency is nicknamed by Libyans ʿOmar El-Mokhtar after the Libyan freedom fighter who is featured on the obverse of the 10 dinar note.
Eastern Libyan dinar
Since 2016, the Central Bank of Libya allied with the House of Representatives and issued its own Libyan dinar, with banknotes for 20 and 50 dinars and a 1 dinar coin, which was printed and coined by Goznak in Russia. They were issued in response to a shortage of cash in the eastern half of the country, reflecting the disunity of Libya that has two rival governments in the east and west.