On October 7, 2002, for the first time since 1939, the Bank of Afghanistan launched a new currency. The event coincided with the anniversary of the start of the US-led bombing campaign that brought about the fall of the Taliban regime. At that time of the change over, the largest denomination old note—10,000 Afghanis—was worth less than 20 U.S. cents, the result of an economy devastated by more than 23 years of war and internal strife.
The new currency is still denominated in Afghanis, but these new notes were exchanged at the rate of 1000 old to 1 new Afghani. Holders of the old currency were given two months to convert old banknotes into new ones in denominations of 50, 100, 500, 1,000, and 10,000. The central bank printed 27 billion new Afghanis and took out of circulation about 15 trillion old ones. About 1,800 tons of the old Afghanis were burned or recycled. Fortunately some crisp, uncirculated examples of those attractive old banknotes were preserved here and have quickly become scarce collector items. Today, most small, day-to-day transactions are still carried out in the Afghani; however people have resorted to the Pakistani rupee and the U.S. dollar for most large deals.
These are genuine banknotes, in uncirculated condition, that were legal tender in Afghanistan until December 7, 2002. They were issued beginning in 1990, until the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001. The value of these old Afghani notes declined from 60 Afghanis to the US dollar during Soviet rule in 1989 to 43,000 Afghanis to the dollar at the time of the change over to the new Afghani—an inflation of 71,000%!
AFGH57 (U) -50 AFGHANI
Obverse: Arms with horseman at upper left of center, denomination Reverse: Dar - al - Aman palace in Kabul at center
Actual size: 133mm * 58mm
AFGH58 (U) - 100 AFGHANI
Obverse: Arms with horseman at top center, farm worker in wheat field at right, denomination Reverse: Hydroelectric dam in mountains at center
Actual Size: 142mm * 62mm
AFGH60 (U) -500 AFGHANI
Obverse: Arms with horseman at upper left of center, horsemen competing in Buzkashi at right, denomination Reverse: Fortress at Kabul at left center
Actual size: 152mm * 66mm
AFGH61 (U) – 1000 AFGHANI
Obverse: Arms with horseman at top center, denomination, Mosque at Mazar - e- Sharif at right Reverse: Victory arch near Kabul at left center
Actual size: 160mm * 71mm
AFGH63 (U) – 10,000 AFGHANI
Obverse: Arms with horseman at upper left of center, denomination, gateway between minarets at right Reverse: Arched gateway at Bost in center
Actual size: 170mm * 78mm
Album open measures: 10 Album folded measures: 5
13/16 6/16” ” x 7 6/16