The British Museum's collections, £16.99
Width: 150.000 mm
Height: 71.000 mm
Gift of Z. Stojanovíc
Coins and Medals
500,000,000,000 dinar note
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, AD 1993
Economic crisis in the Balkans
The astonishing denomination of this note - five hundred thousand million dinars - bears witness to the economic chaos that can follow political upheaval.
Until the early 1990s, Yugoslavia consisted of a union of six autonomous republics (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia). Notes for the whole region were issued by the National Bank. However, after the collapse of the union in 1991-92, the newly-independent states began issuing their own notes.
This period of change was marked by severe inflation. In the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (a union of Serbia and Montenegro), repeated attempts were made to devalue the currency, but persistent inflation and spiralling prices forced the government to authorise notes for ever more unimaginable sums. The note shown here was the highest, including eleven zeros in the denomination!
Z. Stojanovíc, Paper money of Yugoslavia, 192 (Beograd, 1994)
A. Pick, N. Shafer and C.K. Bruce (eds.), Standard catalog of world pape (Iola, Wisconsin, annual publication)