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Jordan Currency Spotlight

In Business and Currency by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

Delve into the history, design, and value of the Jordanian dinar with our in-depth look!

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History and Culture | Travel Guide

  • Currency of Jordan: Jordanian dinar
  • Jordan Currency Code: JOD
  • JOD Symbol: No official symbol
  • JOD Informal Symbol: JD
  • JOD Subunits: 1/10 dirham; 1/100 qirsh (or piastre); 1/1000 fils
  • JOD Notes: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 dinars
  • JOD Coins: ½ qirsh, 1 qirsh, 2 ½, 5, 10, piastres, ¼, ½ 1 dinar
  • Jordanian Central Bank: Central Bank of Jordan
  • Jordanian GDP (nominal): $38.2 billion
  • Pegged To: USD
  • Pegged Rate: USD = 0.708 JOD (buy); USD = 0.710 (sell)

History

Prior to gaining independence on 25 May 1946, Jordan was part of the Transjordan Emirate (albeit with semi-autonomous local administration) which also included Palestine. Following the British Mandate for Palestine (in which the League of Nations charged  Britain with the task of ruling Palestine, which had been the possession of the defeated Ottoman Empire) which came into effect in 1923, Transjordan used both the Ottoman lira and the Egyptian pound. This lasted until 1927 when the British introduced the Palestinian pound on par with the British pound sterling.

After Jordan’s independence in 1946 the country remained on the Palestinian pound, but calls to introduce a national currency grew louder. In 1948 the British Mandate ended and the area controlled under the mandate was split into Israel, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, the Jordanian occupied West Bank and the Egyptian controlled Gaza strip. A year later in 1949 the country passed the Provisional Act No. 35 which created the Jordanian Currency Board (based in London) which then introduced the new currency in 1950.

Coins

Initially coins were denominated differently in English and Arabic. Arabic coins used fils, qirsh, dirham and dinar, while English coins were only issued in fils and dinar. In 1992 this was changed, removing the fils and dirham from Arabic coins, and issuing English denominations in dinar and either qirsh or piastres.

ValueSeriesObverseReverseYear Minted
½ qirshFifth SeriesHussein bin Talal (King of Jordan from 1952-1999)Lattice and Arabic numerals1996
1 qirsh/piastreSixth SeriesAbdullah II (King of Jordan from 1999-Present) Lattice and Arabic numerals2000
2 ½ qirsh Fifth Series Hussein bin TalalLattice and Arabic numerals1992
5 qirsh/piastreSixth SeriesAbdullah IILattice and Arabic numerals2000
10 qirsh/piastresSixth SeriesAbdullah IILattice and Arabic numerals200-
¼ dinarSixth SeriesAbdullah IILeaf design and Arabic numerals2004
½ dinarSixth SeriesAbdullah IILeaf and Arabic numerals2000
1 dinarFifth SeriesHussein bin TalalLeaf and Arabic Numerals1996 & 1998 (1996 coins are larger and heptagonal)

Notes

The first series of notes in 1949 came in ½, 1, 5, 10, and 50 dinars, but now come in 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 dinars. The Central Bank of Jordan took over note printing responsibility in 1959.

ValueObverseReverseColour
1 dinarSharif Hussein bin Ali (Hashemite Arab leader who led the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire) Great Arab RevoltLime and green
5 dinarsAbdullah I bin al-Hussein (first King of Jordan)Ma’an Palaces (an intended palace in Jerusalem never completed, but still owned by the Hashemite Kingdom) Brick orange
10 dinarsTalal bin Abdullah (Second king of Jordan, forced to resign due to health) First Jordanian Parliament buildingBlue
20 dinarsHussein bin TalalDome of the Rock (one of the holiest sites in Islam) Cyan
50 dinarsKing Abdullah IIRaghadan Palace (palace in Amman, Jordan)Pink and brown

Value

Since 1995 the Jordanian dinar has been pegged to the IMF’s SDR (special drawing rights). SDR is not a real currency, it is a reserve asset issued by the IMF to supplement existing official reserves and provide greater monetary stability. The SDR is made up of the world’s four most used currencies. In effect this means that the JOD is pegged to the USD, however over the last 12 months the SDR has fallen 10% against the USD to a rate of 1 SDR to 1.3873 USD due to the USD strength against the other currencies which make up the SDR.

YearUSD Exchange
19800.29 JOD
19850.39 JOD
19900.66 JOD
19950.70 JOD
20050.70 JOD
USD US dollar Jordanian dinar

USD to 1 JOD over the past 5 years (courtesy of Rate Watch)

CAD Canadian dollar Jordanian dinar

CAD to 1 JOD over the past 5 years (courtesy of Rate Watch)

Economy

Jordan’s economy has been on a wild ride since independence. The country’s economy rose 351% in the 70’s, fell 30% in the 1980’s and rose 36% in the 1990’s. Pegging the JOD gave the country greater monetary stability in the 1990’s. King Abdullah’s rule (beginning in 1999) has been characterised by economic liberalisation which has resulted in a healthy growth rate of about 7% per year until 2008.

Jordan has free trade deals with the US, Canada, EU and many regional neighbours. Unfortunately the country is hugely dependent on oil imports for energy, only 10% of its land is arable, and there is limited water supply. However the country is one of the most stable and wealthy in the region, with a well governed liberal market economy based on phosphates, potash, tourism, remittances and foreign aid. In the last few years growth has fallen to about 2% due to global financial issues and regional instability.

The current refugee crisis caused by the conflict in Syria has cost Jordan about 6% of GDP annually, causing the country to be increasingly reliant on foreign aid.

jordanian dinar coins king pile money

The Bottom Line

Despite regional instability, global economic uncertainty, and expensive refugee crisis, Jordan has managed to hang on politically and economically. As long as the situation does not worsen drastically Jordan’s economy will remain strong. A looming interest rate hike for the USD combined with uncertainty in the post-Brexit UK and EU means that the JOD could lose some strength against the USD over time, but it will not come as a sudden spike or drop thanks to the mechanisms behind the SDR.


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