- This article is about the Yugoslav coins struck in various types from 1925 to 1996. For the Serbian coins issued since 2003, see Serbian 20 dinar coin. For the gold Serbian coins struck in 1879 and 1882, see Serbian 20 dinar coin (1879-1882).
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The 20 dinar coin is a circulation and commemorative piece of Yugoslavia, a former Southeast European country that existed during the 20th and early 21st centuries. It was produced in nine types from 1925 to 1996: one under the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; two under the Kingdom of Yugoslavia; one under the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (FPR Yugoslavia); four under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFR Yugoslavia); and one under the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FR Yugoslavia; later known as Serbia and Montenegro).
The first coin, a circulation piece of King Alexander I (1888–1934; r. 1921–1934), was produced in two varieties in 1925 and released in 1927. After the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was renamed to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the coin was followed in 1932 by another piece (dated 1931) depicting King Alexander. The final monarchical 20 dinar coin, dated 1938, was released in 1939 under Alexander's successor, Peter II (1923–1970; r. 1934–1945), and his regent, Prince Paul Karađorđević (1893–1976). All three pieces had a value equivalent to 20.00 Yugoslav Serbian dinara. By the time Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers during the spring of 1941, both coins of Alexander had already been withdrawn from circulation. The 20 dinar piece of Peter II, however, continued to see use in the Serbian region of occupied Yugoslavia until 1942, holding a value of 20.00 Serbian dinara, or 2⁄25 of a Reichsmark.
During the existence of the proclaimed Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (DF Yugoslavia) from 1943 to 1945, no new coins of the denomination were introduced. The next 20 dinar piece (dated 1955) would not be released until 1957, under the short-lived Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia. It was followed in 1964 by the first piece of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (dated 1963). Both initially held a legal tender face value equivalent to 20.00 Yugoslav Federation dinara. Although this currency was replaced in 1966 by the hard dinar, the two coins continued to be valid for 20.00 hard dinar until their demonetization in 1985.
Three pieces of the denomination were then introduced under the new Yugoslav currency, each equivalent in value to 20.00 hard dinar. The first, a non-circulating commemorative dated 1968, was introduced in 1969 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the second session of the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) in 1943. A circulating 20 dinar piece was then struck from 1985 to 1987, followed by another minted from 1988 to 1989. These three pieces were eventually demonetized in late 1989 before the introduction of the Yugoslav convertible dinar in 1990.
No 20 dinar coins were issued for the convertible dinar, reformed dinar, 1993 dinar, or 1994 dinar. The next, a non-circulating commemorative piece celebrating Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla (1856–1943), would not be issued until 1996. It held a face value of 20.00 novih dinara until its demonetization in 2003.
All of the coins were distributed by the National Bank of Yugoslavia (now the National Bank of Serbia) and its precursors, the National Bank of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and National Bank of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The 1925 type was struck at the Monnaie de Paris in France, the 1931 coin was produced at Kovnica A.D. in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (in modern Serbia), and the 1968 piece was manufactured jointly at the Gori & Zucchi Mint in Arezzo, Italy, and at the Institute for Manufacturing Banknotes and Coins (Serbo-Croatian: Zavod za izradu novčanica i kovanog novca; abbreviation: ZIN) in Belgrade. All other issues were minted at the ZIN in Belgrade.
Coins of the Serbian dinar (1925–1938)
Coins of Alexander I (1925–1931)
Gold coin (1925)
On December 1, 1918, nearly a month after the conclusion of World War I (1914–1918), the Kingdom of Serbia was unified with Montenegro and the State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs to form the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (colloquially known as "Yugoslavia"). Peter I Karađorđević (1844–1921; r. 1918–1921), the previous Serbian monarch, was proclaimed king of the newly formed nation, and his dynasty, the House of Karađorđević, was established as the country's royal family. After Peter's death in 1921, his second oldest son, Alexander Karađorđević, was installed as the next King of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. Upon becoming king, he adopted the monarchical name "Alexander I" (Serbo-Croatian: Aleksandar I).
Because of the change in leadership, in 1925 the National Bank of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes authorized the production of a new coin series in denominations of 50 para and 1, 2, and 20 dinara. These were intended to be used alongside the 5, 10, and 25 para pieces already in circulation. While the lower denominated coins of the new series were released in 1925, the 20 dinar piece was not issued until 1927. It did not circulate very long, though, and was formally withdrawn on June 28, 1931. The piece was struck under commission at the Monnaie de Paris and designed by Henri-Auguste Patey (1855–1930), the mint's Graveur général des monnaies (General Engraver of Coins) at the time.
The 20 dinar piece, struck solely in 1925, is composed of .900 fine gold; 90 percent of the coin is gold, while the remaining 10 percent is either copper (red gold) or silver (white gold). It measures 6.45 grams in mass and 21 millimeters in diameter, and has coin alignment and a reeded edge. The piece, like most coins, is round in shape, and the rims of both sides are raised and decorated with a dentilated border.
A left-facing bust of King Alexander I appears in the middle of the obverse. The Cyrillic caption "АЛЕКСАНДАР I КРАЉ СРБА, ХРВАТА И СЛОВЕНАЦА" (Romanized: Aleksandar I, Kralj Srba, Hrvata, i Slovenaca), which translates from Serbo-Croatian as "Alexander I, King of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes", partially surrounds the monarch's likeness, extending clockwise from the coin's lower left to lower right boundaries. Displayed below the illustration of Alexander is a small five-pointed star and the "A.PATEY" signature of the artist.
The face value "20 DINARA" is written on two lines in the center of the coin's reverse, the numeral displayed in slightly larger print than the following word. Printed below the word "DINARA" is the Gregorian date "1925", which is flanked to the left by a cornucopia mark, indicating its production in France, and to the right by the torch mark of Henri-Auguste Patey. A decorative wreath consisting of two tied branches occupies much of the rim, and the Karađorđević dynastic crown is displayed at the top of the piece, above the numeral in the face value.
According to the Standard Catalog of World Coins, approximately 1,000,000 20 dinar business strikes and a small number of proofs were produced. Ranko Mandić's Catalog of Coins of Yugoslavia and Yugoslavian Lands 1700-1994 (Serbo-Croatian: Katalog metalnog novca Jugoslavije i Jugoslovenskih zemalja 1700-1994), however, reports a higher mintage of 3,825,514 pieces, and does not suggest the existence of any proof examples.
Restrikes and trial strikes
During the 1950s, five platinum restrikes of the 20 dinar piece were ordered by Percy Metcalfe (1895–1970), a prominent English sculptor and coin designer. Each piece is similar to the issued coin in terms of design and size, but measure a slightly smaller 6.3 grams in mass. In recent years, some of the restrikes have been auctioned off by Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers.
A trial strike of the piece in bronze-plated zinc is also known to exist. It measures approximately 23 millimeters in length and 7.14 grams in mass, and as a klippe, it is square in shape. The obverse design and rim of the issued coin are stamped on one side, and the other side is blank. One example was auctioned by Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG in 2006 for a starting price of €500.
Silver coin (1931)
In response to growing separatism in Yugoslavia, in early 1929 Alexander unpopuarly abolished the country's first constitution, prorogued the Yugoslav Parliament, and introduced a personal dictatorship. He also officially renamed the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and redefined the country's internal divisions. From then, he ruled absolutely until his assassination in 1934.
Between 1931 and 1932, the newly renamed National Bank of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia authorized the production of coins in denominations of 10, 20, and 50 dinara. These were intended to be used alongside the Yugoslav coins already in circulation. The 20 dinar piece of the series was first released on July 18, 1932, and remained in circulation until August 16, 1940. It was struck under commission at Kovnica A.D. in Belgrade and designed by English sculptor Percy Metcalfe.
The 20 dinar coin, solely produced in 1931, is composed of a .500 fine silver alloy of 50 percent silver, 10 percent copper, 5 percent nickel, and 5 percent zinc. It measures 14 grams in mass, 31 millimeters in diameter, and 2.4 millimeters in thickness. The piece has coin alignment and a reeded edge, and is round in shape. Both of the rims are raised and decorated with a beaded border.
A left-facing bust of King Alexander I appears in the middle of the obverse. The Serbo-Croatian caption "ALEKSANDAR I. KRALJ JUGOSLAVIJE", which translates as "Alexander I, King of Yugoslavia", partially encircles the monarch's likeness, extending clockwise from the coin's lower left to lower right peripheries. Engraved in small print near Alexander's bust truncation is the inscription "·KOVNICA·A·D·", which identifies the facility at which the coin was produced.
Featured in the center of the reverse is a simplified rendition of the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia – which consists of a double-headed eagle surmounted by the Karađorđević dynastic crown. A shield superimposes the eagle's breast, containing symbols representative of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. The Gregorian date of minting, "1931", is engraved horizontally in the middle of the piece, the first two digits (19) separated from the last two (31) by the coat of arms. Written counterclockwise in Latin script at the bottom of the piece is the face value "20 DINARA".
A total of approximately 12,500,000 examples of the coin were produced, including a large number of business strikes and a small amount of proofs.
Trial strikes and errors
A notable 20 dinar error coin lacks the "·KOVNICA·A·D·" inscription on the obverse.
Coins of Peter II (1938)
After Alexander's assassination in 1934, his first son, Peter II (Serbo-Croatian: Petar II), was declared the second King of Yugoslavia. However, being only 11 years old at the start of his reign, Peter was considered too young to assume the monarchical responsibilities of the kingdom. Because of this, Prince Paul Karađorđević, a first cousin of Alexander, was assigned to govern in the young king's place as regent until he came of age to rule.
On March 25, 1941, despite opposition from Peter and his advisers, Prime Minister Dragiša Cvetković (1893–1969; i.o. 1939–1941) signed the Tripartite Pact, thereby aligning Yugoslavia with the Axis powers. In response, opposition forces supported by the United Kingdom overthrew Cvetković's and Paul's regime two days later, allowing the 17-year-old Peter to seize monarchical power. This initiative led directly to the Axis invasion and subsequent occupation of Yugoslavia later that year.
In 1938, during the regency of Prince Paul, the National Bank of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia authorized the production of a new series of coins in denominations of 25 and 50 para, and 1, 2, 10, 20, and 50 dinara. The 20 dinar piece, which was initially released on August 16, 1939, was produced at the Institute for Manufacturing Banknotes and Coins in Belgrade and designed by Dalmatian sculptor Frano Meneghello Dinčić (1900–1986). It remained in circulation in Yugoslavia until the Axis occupation, and continued to be used in areas of German occupied Serbia until March 3, 1942.
The 20 dinar coin, solely produced in 1938, is composed of .750 fine silver (75% silver, 25% copper) and measures 9 grams in mass, 27 millimeters in diameter, and 1.85 millimeters in thickness. It has coin alignment and is round in shape. The rims of both sides are raised and undecorated, and the edge is plain and bears the Serbo-Croatian inscription "BOG ČUVA JUGOSLAVIJU ***", meaning "God Save Yugoslavia". The direction in which this text is written is inconsistent, and differs from piece to piece.
A right-facing bust of King Peter II appears in the middle of the obverse. The Serbo-Croatian caption "PETAR II KRALJ JUGOSLAVIJE", which translates as "Peter II, King of Yugoslavia", partially encircles the young ruler's likeness, extending clockwise from the coin's lower left to lower right boundaries. Written in small print near Peter's bust truncation is the inscription "F·DINČIĆ", which identifies the author of the design.
The reverse is similar to that of the silver 20 dinar piece of Alexander I. A simplified rendition of the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia is displayed in the center, horizontally dividing the first two digits of the Gregorian date "1938" from the last two. On some coins, there is a slight gap between the necks of the double-headed eagle in the arms, while on others this gap is non-existent. Printed counterclockwise in Latin script along the rim below the arms is the face value "20 DINARA".
A total of 15,000,000 examples of the coin, all business strikes, were manufactured during a single year of production. Mintage figures for particular varieties are currently unknown.
Trial strikes and errors
A copper off-metal strike of the 1938 piece is known to exist.
Coins of the Federation dinar (1955–1963)
Circulation coins (1955–1963)
After being fully liberated from Axis control, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (FPR Yugoslavia), a communist republic, was established on November 29, 1945. Marshal Josip Broz Tito (1892–1980), the leader of the anti-Axis Yugoslav Partisans during World War II, was then instated as the new government's first prime minister, giving him the power of head of government. Along with this position, Tito also held the office of president beginning in 1953, thereby granting him the responsibilities of head of state as well. He remained Yugoslavia's prime minister until 1963, and the nation's president until his death in 1980.
With the ratification of a new constitution on April 7, 1963, FPR Yugoslavia was officially renamed the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFR Yugoslavia). As a result of this change, various coins and banknotes bearing the updated name were introduced in 1964. Yugoslavia continued to use the name SFR Yugoslavia until 1992, when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed.
Having been discontinued during the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav Serbian dinar was replaced by the Federation dinar in 1944. The second series of coins for this currency, which consisted of denominations of 50 para and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 dinara, was minted from 1953 to 1955 at the Institute for Manufacturing Banknotes and Coins in Belgrade. Because of Yugoslavia's name change in 1963, similar coins of the same denominations were also produced that year with updated legends. Both series were designed by Frano Meneghello Dinčić. The 20 dinar piece of FPR Yugoslavia, although dated 1955, was not released into circulation until April 25, 1957. Similarly, the coin of SFR Yugoslavia, dated 1963, was not issued until September 15, 1964. Although part of the Federation dinar, which was discontinued in 1965, both pieces continued to circulate as part of the Yugoslav hard dinar until December 31, 1985.
The two 20 dinar coins, which mostly differ from the legend on the obverse, are composed of an aluminum-bronze alloy of 91 percent copper and 9 percent aluminum and measure 4 grams in mass, 23.2 millimeters in diameter, and about 1.4 millimeters in thickness. They have medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and are round in shape. The rims of both sides of each piece are raised, and the obverse's rim is decorated with a beaded border.
Displayed in the middle of the obverse is the emblem of FPR and SFR Yugoslavia – which consists of five (FPR) or six (SFR) lit torches surrounded by ears of wheat. A ribbon bearing the date "29·XI·1943" bounds the wheat, and a red star symbolizing communism appears above the entire emblem. On coins minted in 1955, the illustration is surrounded by the Serbo-Croatian name of FPR Yugoslavia in Cyrillic, "ФЕДЕРАТИВНА НАРОДНА РЕПУБЛИКА ЈУГОСЛАВИЈА" (Romanized: Federativna Narodna Republika Jugoslavija), which extends clockwise from the lower left to lower right rims. The 1963 piece instead includes the Serbo-Croatian name of SFR Yugoslavia, "СОЦИЈАЛИСТИЧКА ФЕДЕРАТИВНА РЕПУБЛИКА ЈУГОСЛАВИЈА" (Romanized: Socijalistička Federativna Republika Jugoslavija), which curves in the same direction along the outer boundary. A group of four diamonds at the bottom of the obverse separate the beginning and end of the inscriptions.
A right-facing illustration of a Yugoslav man is displayed at the left side of the reverse, a gear (cogwheel) representing industry engraved to the lower right. Written horizontally to the upper right of the man is the face value "20 DINARA". The numeral and word are separated onto their own lines, and the former is displayed in a significantly larger font than the latter. Inscribed in smaller print below the word "DINARA" is the Gregorian date of minting, either "1955" or "1963". The signature of the artist, "DINČIĆ M·F", is engraved in a small font to the left of the man, the surname ("DINČIĆ") featured on its own line and the first two initials of Dinčić's name ("M·F") included on a new line below. All of the reverse text on the 1963 coin is larger than that on the 1955 piece.
A total of 80,858,000 examples of the 1955 piece and 4,503,000 specimens of the 1963 coin were reportedly produced. Because of the large difference in mintage quantities, the latter coin tends to sell at slightly higher prices than the former, but is still relatively inexpensive. Both types were only struck with a standard finish, and a handful of each were sold in official mint sets by the National Bank of Yugoslavia.
Trial strikes and errors
The earliest known trial strike of the 1955 coin, an aluminum piece measuring 2.3 grams in mass and 29.5 millimeters in diameter, was evidently made around 1953. Other off-metal strikes were made again around 1955, including a silver piece weighing 5.22 grams and a nickel coin measuring 4.36 grams.
A notable 1963 error coin is struck on the aluminum-bronze planchet of a contemporary 10 dinar piece. It measures 3 grams in mass, 21 millimeters in diameter, and 1.3 millimeters in thickness. Because the error is struck on a slightly smaller planchet, some of the design on both sides is cut off.
Coins of the hard dinar (1968–1989)
Liberation coin (1968)
During much of World War II, the Partisans led by Josip Broz Tito engaged Axis forces on multiple occasions with the intent of liberating Yugoslavia. To administer territories under their control, on November 26, 1942, the Partisans established the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ). At a session in Jajce on November 29, 1943, the AVNOJ announced several resolutions, including its intention to rebuild Yugoslavia as Democratic Federal Yugoslavia after the war. Many of the principles decided upon at this conference were eventually implemented after Yugoslavia was fully liberated during the spring of 1945.
In 1968, in celebration of the AVNOJ and Yugoslavia's liberation, the National Bank of Yugoslavia authorized the production of six non-circulating commemorative coins in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 dinara. All of the coins were struck at the private Gori & Zucchi Mint in Arezzo, Italy, and the Institute for Manufacturing Banknotes and Coins in Belgrade. The 20 dinar coin of the series was designed by painter Miodrag Petrović (1915–1990) and engraved by sculptors Stanko Jančić (1932–) and Nebojša Mitrić (1931–1989).
The 20 dinar piece, which was issued on June 9, 1969, is composed of .925 fine silver and measures 9 grams in mass and 28 millimeters in diameter. It has coin alignment and a reeded edge, and is round in shape. The rims of both sides of the piece are raised and undecorated.
The emblem of SFR Yugoslavia is engraved inside a solid circular boundary in the middle of the obverse. On pieces minted in Arezzo, it is accompanied by a small mark consisting of an "NI" surrounded by a wreath, which appears to the lower right of the national symbol. The local name of SFR Yugoslavia in Latin and Cyrillic script is displayed outside the border, extending clockwise along the coin's left and right rims. The two alphabets are included on the coin because Serbo-Croatian uses both, depending on the language form. For instance, Serbian uses both Cyrillic and Latin, while Croatian only uses Latin; Bosnian and Montenegrin use both as well, but had yet to be standardized when the coin was introduced. In addition to Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian and Slovene, two other languages spoken in Yugoslavia, respectively use Cyrillic and Latin as well. On the piece, the Latin "SFR JUGOSLAVIJA", shortened for the Serbo-Croatian Socijalistička Federativna Republika Jugoslavija and Slovene Socialistična federativna republika Jugoslavija, is engraved at the left periphery, while the Cyrillic "СФР ЈУГОСЛАВИЈА", abbreviated for the Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian "Социјалистичка Федеративна Република Југославија", is displayed at the right boundary. They are separated from one another by a group of four diamonds at the top of the obverse. Printed in the opposite direction at the coin's lower rim is the numeral "20", flanked to the left by a Latin "D" and to the right by a Cyrillic "Д" (de). The first letter is a shorthand for the Serbo-Croatian "DINARA" and Slovene "DINARJEV", whereas the second is an abbreviation for the Serbo-Croatian "ДИНАРА" and Macedonian "ДИНАРИ" (Romanized: dinari). The coin's face value is separated from the aforementioned Latin and Cyrillic inscriptions by two groups of four diamonds, one at each side of the value.
An illustration of a group of people holding Yugoslav flags is engraved in the middle of the reverse. Representing Yugoslavia's anti-Axis resistance during World War II, these individuals are shown standing near the Pliva Waterfall near Jajce, with the Jajce Fortress illustrated in the background. The dates "29. XI 1943 - 29. XI 1968.", respectively representing the date of the 1943 AVNOJ session and the 25th anniversary of the event, are printed clockwise along the coin's upper rim, while the names of Jajce in Latin and Cyrillic, "JAJCE" and "ЈАЈЦЕ" respectively, are inscribed in the opposite direction at the lower periphery. The two renderings of the town's name are separated from one another by a group of four diamonds, and from the dates by olive branches engraved along the coin's left and right rims.
A total of 21,297 proof examples were manufactured during a single year of production. Of these, an estimated 13,297 were struck by Gori & Zucchi in Arezzo and 8,000 were minted by the Institute for Manufacturing Banknotes and Coins. An unknown number of examples from both mints were included in official proof sets distributed by the National Bank of Yugoslavia.
First circulation coin (1985–1987)
During the early 1980s, high levels of inflation greatly reduced the purchasing power of the hard dinar, which had been in circulation since 1966. As a result, many of the small denomination coins in use at the time began to disappear from circulation. In 1982, partially in response to this problem, the National Bank of Yugoslavia issued a new series of coins in higher denominations of 25 and 50 para, and 1, 2, 5, and 10 dinara. Three years later in 1985, these were joined by new 20, 50, and 100 dinar pieces. By then the 25 and 50 para pieces had become virtually obsolete, and by 1986 production of the 1, 2, and 5 dinar coins had ceased. All of the coins of the series were struck at the Institute for Manufacturing Banknotes and Coins in Belgrade and designed by Serbian artist Dragomir Mileusnić (1943–). The 20 dinar piece was introduced on July 20, 1985, and withdrawn on December 31, 1989, with the release of the Yugoslav convertible dinar.
The 20 dinar piece, which was struck annually from 1985 to 1987, is composed of a copper-nickel-zinc alloy of 61 percent copper, 20 percent zinc, and 19 percent nickel. It measures 6.5 grams in mass, 25 millimeters in diameter, and 1.75 millimeters in thickness. The coin has medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and is round in shape. Both of the piece's rims are raised and decorated with a beaded border.
The emblem of SFR Yugoslavia appears in the middle of the obverse, the Cyrillic legend "СФР ЈУГОСЛАВИЈА" inscribed clockwise along the rim above, and its Latin equivalent, "SFR JUGOSLAVIJA", engraved in the opposite direction at the periphery below. The two legends are separated from one another by two small diamonds, one at each side of the obverse.
A large numeral "20" appears in the center of the reverse. Four representations of the word dinara – the Serbo-Croatian "ДИНАРА" and "DINARA", Slovene "DINARJEV", and Macedonian "ДИНАРИ" (dinari) – are printed clockwise in that order from the coin's lower left to lower right peripheries. They are accompanied by the Gregorian date of minting, which is written in the opposite direction at the lower rim. The translations of dinara are separated from one another and the date by small circular points.
Over three consecutive years of production, a reported 65,449,000 examples of the coin were manufactured, all with a standard finish. Of these, an unknown number were sold in official mint sets by the National Bank of Yugoslavia.
Second circulation coin (1988–1989)
Because of continuously rising inflation, all Yugoslav coins valued between 25 para and 5 dinara had been withdrawn and demonetized by the end of 1988, leaving only 10, 20, 50, and 100 dinar coins in circulation. On November 15 of that year, the National Bank of Yugoslavia issued a new series of coins in those denominations to supplement the pieces already in circulation. They were used very briefly before being demonetized on December 31, 1989. All of the four coins were struck at the Institute for Manufacturing Banknotes and Coins in Belgrade and designed by Serbian artist Dragomir Mileusnić.
The 20 dinar coin, which was struck into 1989, is composed of a brass alloy of 75 percent copper, 21 percent zinc, and 4 percent nickel. It measures 3.2 grams in mass, 19 millimeters in diameter, and approximately 1.5 millimeters in thickness. The coin has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. Both of the piece's rims are raised and undecorated.
The emblem of SFR Yugoslavia appears in the middle of the obverse, the Cyrillic "СФР ЈУГОСЛАВИЈА" curved clockwise above the national symbol, and its Latin equivalent, "SFR JUGOSLAVIJA", arched in the opposite direction below the emblem. These inscriptions are separated from one other by two small diamonds, and form the outline of a circle inside a raised square field. Written in smaller print below this field is the Gregorian date of minting, "1988" or "1989".
A large incuse "20" is engraved inside a raised square area in the middle of the reverse. Written by each of the square's sides is a local translation of the word dinara. At the top of the square, the Serbo-Croatian translation is displayed in Latin as "DINARA", and at the bottom it is rendered in Cyrillic as "ДИНАРА". The Slovene "DINARJEV" is printed vertically upward at the square's left side, while the Macedonian "ДИНАРИ" (dinari) is inscribed vertically downward at the right side.
Over two consecutive years of production, approximately 42,769,000 examples of the coin were manufactured, all with a standard finish. Of these, a small number of uncirculated pieces were sold in official mint sets by the National Bank of Yugoslavia.
Trial strikes and errors
At least three trial strikes of the 1988–1989 circulation coin are currently known. One is struck on a brass planchet and measures a slightly larger 3.1 grams in mass. The other two are composed of copper-plated and brass-plated zinc, the latter weighing about 3 grams.
Errors with a reeded edge are also known to exist.
Coins of the novi dinar (1996)
Nikola Tesla coin (1996)
During the 1990s, Yugoslavia faced a number of political crises. From 1991 to 1992, four of the six constituent republics of SFR Yugoslavia broke away from the South Slavic country, becoming what are now the independent nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia. As a result, the remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro united to form the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992. In addition, unresolved ethnic conflicts in former Yugoslavia escalated into a series of wars during this time period.
Economic problems also impacted Yugoslavia during the 1990s. In an attempt to combat the weakening of the nation's currency, the National Bank of Yugoslavia replaced the beleaguered hard dinar with the convertible dinar in 1990. This strategy proved largely ineffective, however, as unchecked hyperinflation caused the failure of four incarnations of the dinar from 1990 to 1994. On January 24, 1994, the novi dinar was introduced in another attempt to reform Yugoslavia's currency. Initially volatile, the currency eventually began stabilizing around 1999. It was replaced in Montenegro by the Deutsche Mark later that year, and in Serbia by the Serbian dinar in 2003.
During the production of the novi dinar, several circulation and commemorative Yugoslav coins were introduced. Among these was a series of pieces denominated at 20, 200, 300, and 1,000 dinara commemorating the 140th anniversary of the birth of Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla. All four coins were issued by the National Bank of Yugoslavia on October 11, 1996, and were struck at the Institute for Manufacturing Banknotes and Coins in Belgrade. They were designed by Serbian artist Dragomir Mileusnić.
The 20 dinar coin of the series is composed of a copper-nickel-zinc alloy of 70 percent copper, 18 percent zinc, and 12 percent nickel, and measures 9.32 grams in mass and 29 millimeters in diameter. It has medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and is round in shape. The rims of both sides of the piece are raised and undecorated.
Featured in the middle of the obverse is the coat of arms of FR Yugoslavia – which consists of an escutcheon bearing a double-headed eagle in its center. A shield superimposes the eagle's breast, containing symbols representative of the Serbs and Montenegrins. The Gregorian date of minting, "1996", is written horizontally in small print above the arms, while the face value "20 НОВИХ ДИНАРА" (Romanized: 20 novih dinara) is displayed below the national symbol. The numeral in the face value is engraved on its own line in a large horizontal font, and the following words are inscribed counterclockwise in smaller print along the rim. The Serbo-Croatian state title of FR Yugoslavia, "САВЕЗНА РЕПУБЛИКА ЈУГОСЛАВИЈА" (Romanized: Savezna Republika Jugoslavija) partially encircles the arms, traveling clockwise from the coin's lower left to lower right peripheries.
A portrait of Nikola Tesla appears in the center of the reverse. This illustration, which is similar to a photograph of Tesla taken by Napoleon Sarony (1821–1896) in 1890, shows the mustached inventor facing ¾ left and wearing a collared shirt and jacket. Engraved near the collar of his jacket is a symbol consisting of two triangles and a diamond inside a larger triangle. The caption "НИКОЛА ТЕСЛА", Romanized as "Nikola Tesla", is inscribed clockwise at the coin's left boundary. Printed in the same direction at the upper rim is the legend "СМИЉАН 1856" (Romanized: Smiljan 1856), which indicates the Serbian-American inventor was born in Smiljan, Croatia, in 1856. It is accompanied at the right periphery by the inscription "NEW YORK 1943", which communicates Tesla died in New York City in 1943. All three of these inscriptions are separated by small horizontal lines.
An issue limit of 10,000 coins was set in 1996 by the National Bank of Yugoslavia, and a total of 9,734 pieces were ordered by the time production ceased. All examples were struck with a proof finish.
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|Coins|| 1 p • 5 p • 10 p • 20 p • 25 p • 50 p • 1 D • 2 D • 5 D • 10 D • 20 D • 50 D • 100 D • 150 D • 200 D • 250 D • 300 D • 350 D • 400 D • 500 D • 600 D • 1,000 D • 1,500 D • 2,000 D • 2,500 D • 3,000 D • 5,000 D • 6,000 D • 10,000 D • 20,000 D • 40,000 D • 50,000 D • 100,000 D • 2,000,000 D|
|Miscellaneous||Dinar • Hyperinflation • Institute for Manufacturing Banknotes and Coins • Languages and currency • National Bank of Yugoslavia • Para • Yugoslav leaders on currency • Yugoslav mint sets • Yugoslav proof sets|