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The Afghan afghani (Pashto/Persian: افغانۍ; symbol: Afs; code: AFN) is the currency of Afghanistan, circulating alongside the United States dollar. It is divided into 100 pul (پول). The currency was first introduced in 1925.

First afghani[]

AfghanistanP2a-5Rupees-SH1298(1919)-donatedfvt f

The rupee was replaced by the afghani.

The first afghani (code: AFA) was introduced in 1925. In addition to being divided into 100 pul, 20 afghani also equaled one amani. The currency replaced the Afghan rupee at a quoted 1 afghani = 1.1 rupees, which was based on the silver content of the last rupee coins and the first afghani coins. The afghani originally contained 9 grams of silver.

Afghanistan's foreign exchange rate was freely determined by market forces, except during World War II. However, during some periods, a dual exchange rate regime existed in Afghanistan: an official exchange rate fixed by the Afghan Central Bank, and a free market exchange rate determined by the supply and demand forces in Kabul's money bazaar, Saraye Shahzada. For example, to avoid seasonal changes in the exchange rate, a fixed exchange rate was adopted in 1935 by the Banke Millie Afghan, which introduced the banking system in Afghanistan. The bank agreed to an exchange rate of 4 afghanis equaling 1 Indian rupee in 1935. After Da Afghanistan Bank became the central bank of Afghanistan in 1939, this official exchange rate continued to be practiced. Though Da Afghanistan Bank attempt keeping its official rate close to that of Saraye Shahzada's exchange rate, the gap between the official and free market exchange rates widened during the 1980s and the Afghan civil war.

Before the United States invasion of Afghanistan, warlords, political parties, foreign powers, and forgers each printed their own banknotes, without regard to standardization or using serial numbers. In December 1996, only a few months after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan's institutions, the chairman of the Taliban's Central Bank, Ehsanullah Ehsan, declared most afghani notes in circulation worthless (approximately 100 trillion afghani) and cancelled the contract with the Russian firm that printed the afghani since 1992. Ehsan accused the firm of sending afghani notes to the former president, Burhanuddin Rabbani in the Takhar Province, located in northern Afghanistan. The exchange rate at the time of Ehsan's announcement was 21,000 afghani = 1 United States dollar. The Northern Alliance then had banknotes produced in Russia, and were sold for half their value.


Afghan 2 pul 1937

An Afghan 2 pul coin from 1937.

In 1925, brass and bronze 2, 5, and 10 pul, billon 20 pul, silver ½ and 1 afghani, and gold ½ and 1 amani coins were introduced, followed by silver afghani and gold amani in 1926, bronze and brass 1 and 25 pul in 1930, and bronze 3 pul and cupronickel 10 and 20 pul in 1937.

In 1952, the composition of the coins were altered. The 25 pul coin was changed to aluminum and the 50 pul coin to nickel-clad-steel. A few years later, in 1958, the 2 and 5 afghani coins were introduced in aluminum, which were changed in composition to nickel-clad-steel in 1963 along with the 1 afghani coin. In 1973, the 25 pul became composed of brass-clad-steel, and the 50 pul and 5 afghani coins became composed of cupronickel-clad-steel. These were followed by issues of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan from 1978 to 1980, consisting of aluminum-bronze 25 and 50 pul coins, and cupronickel 1, 2, and 5 afghani coins.

Several commemorative coins were also minted by Afghanistan from 1925 to 2003.


Afghanistan 5 afghanis 1926-28 obv

A 5 afghani note from around 1926 to 1928.

From 1925 to 1928, treasury notes were introduced in denominations of 5, 10, and 50 afghani, followed by 2, 20, and 100 afghani notes in 1936. Da Afghanistan Bank took over banknote production following its establishment in 1939, issuing notes denominated in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 afghani. In 1958, the 2 and 5 afghani notes were replaced by coins. During 1993, 5000 and 10,000 afghani notes were introduced.

Second afghani[]

Between October 7, 2002, and January 2, 2003, the second afghani was introduced, and is currently circulated within Afghanistan. No subdivisions have been issued. It replaced the previous afghani at two rates. Issues from the government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani were replaced at a rate of 1000 afghani = 1 new afghani, whilst issues of Abdul Rashid Dostum (Northern Alliance) were replaced at a rate of 2000 afghani = 1 new afghani. The second afghani was valued at 43 afghani = 1 United States dollar.

During October 2003, Da Afghanistan Bank governor, Anwar ul-Haq Ahady, announced that Afghans should use the afghani currency in daily transactions rather than the United States dollar or Pakistani rupee. This was in preparation for October 8 when all Afghan prices were to be specified in afghani.

After the reduction of the afghani's value during the last quarter of 2003/2004, it has been appreciating steadily, gaining eight percent against the United States dollar between March 2004 and July 2004. This increase in value, at a time of increasing inflation, appeared to reflect a greater willingness by the Afghan people to use the afghani as a medium of exchange and as a store value.


In 2005, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, and 5 afghani. No commemorative coins have been produced since the introduction of the second afghani in 2003.


In 2002, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 afghani. In 2005, the 1, 2, and 5 afghani notes were replaced by coins.

Exchange rates[]

Afghani exchange rate (LCU in USD)
Year Free-market exchange rate Official exchange rate
1950 39
1960 40.8 17.7
1970 84.8 39.9
1980 39.2
2003 49 49
2010 45.2 45.2
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Current AFN exchange rates
From Google Finance [1]: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD
From Yahoo! Finance [2]: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD


1912 double eagle obv Currency Wiki has 7 images related to the Afghan afghani.
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Afghan afghani
Banknotes 1 Af2 Afs5 Afs10 Afs20 Afs50 Afs100 Afs500 Afs1000 Afs5000 Afs10,000 Afs
Coins 1 p2 p3 p5 p10 p20 p25 p50 p½ Af1 Af2 Afs2½ Afs5 Afs10 Afs½ am20 Afs1 am4 g1 tl8 g50 Afs2½ am100 Afs250 Afs500 Afs5000 Afs10,000 Afs
Miscellaneous Da Afghanistan BankRebel-issued notes