Like all countries, Afghanistan has an official currency through which all transactions are undertaken within the country’s borders. Unlike some other currencies, such as the Euro (EUR) or Dollar (USD), Afghanistan has a currency that’s unique to the nation: The Afghan Afghani (AFN) also known as the Afghani. Issued by the central bank of Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank, the currency benefits from a rich history, eventually resulting in its officiation and popular use today. While the current state of the currency may be in flux, the Afghan Afghani is expected to return to stability soon as the Afghanistan economy heals following the resurgence of the Taliban.
In this article, we’ll cover everything there is to know about the Afghani, including its history, security features, tender, and current exchange rate (as of March 2023.).
- The History of Afghanistan Currency
- What is the Currency of Afghanistan?
- How is the Afghan Afghani Divided?
- Trade with the Afghan Afghani
- The Afghan Afghani Today
- The Afghan Afghani Exchange Rate
The History of Afghanistan Currency
While there is little documented history about what legal tender was used in Afghanistan prior to the introduction of the Afghan rupee in 1891, there is some evidence that points toward a culture of bartering (trading goods) that still persists, though to a lesser scale, today.
Before the rupee, silver rupees coins with copper “falus” and gold “mohur” were in circulation. Interestingly, all three metal coins had no fixed exchange rate between them, with little cooperation from region to region within the country.
The rupee itself was first issued as an attempt to codify and universalize Afghanistan’s currency. Introduced by Pashtun monarch Sher Shah Suri, the rupee was officialized during his rule of northern India in the sixteenth century. To this day, India (and Pakistan) still uses a variant of the rupee, whereas Afghanistan does not. Instead, the original Afghani (AFA) was introduced in 1925. This was done during the era of Ghazi Amanullah Khan.
The currency survived with relatively little turbulence until the rise of the Taliban in 1996. The Taliban took control of the country’s institutions, and in December 1996, the chairman of the Taliban’s Central Bank declared most Afghani notes in circulation to be worthless. As a result, he canceled further issuing of the currency, essentially bringing the rupee and the Afghanic economy to a halt.
Once the Afghani government regained control of the country’s institutions, it became clear that the Afghan currency would need a revival. The Afghan Afghani (AFN) was introduced in 2003 as the new currency of Afghanistan. Two distinct rates were established: the government issue of 1000 and the northern alliance of 2000.
What is the Currency of Afghanistan?
As of 2003, the official currency of Afghanistan is the Afghan Afghani (AFN.) The symbol of the currency is ؋, and it is subdivided by puls. Like other currencies, Afghanistan’s currency is also divided into bills and coins of varying value that can be used as legal tender to purchase goods and services.
How is the Afghan Afghani Divided?
Like the Euro is subdivided by 100 cents, the Afghani is divided into 100 puls. In terms of bills, the Afghani is issued in bills of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 Afs. When it comes to coins, the Afghani features 1, 2, and 5 Afs.
Trade with the Afghan Afghani
Uniquely, Afghanistan is one of the two sovereign states in the world without a stock exchange, alongside Andorra. As a result, there is no stock market within the country. Money lending, as well as foreign exchange, is done through money bazaars. This means the Afghan economy can be hard to keep track of for analysts, making the Afghani a rather hard currency to pin down. Moreover, Afghanistan is almost a wholly cash-only economy, with very few transactions being undertaken digitally or electronically. However, as the country returns to stability following the resurgence of the Taliban, some analysts expect the country to follow the worldwide trend of moving toward electric transactions.
The Afghan Afghani Today
After the Taliban took over in 2021, Afghan’s foreign assets were frozen. As a result, the value of the Afghani Afghan plummeted in comparison with other country’s currencies. The Afghan economy spiraled into freefall leading the Taliban to ban all foreign currencies to encourage the use of Afghani as national tender. Consequently, the value of the Afghan Afghani has begun to rise once again as the state of the nation’s economy begins to heal.
The Afghan Afghani Exchange Rate
Like most official currencies, the Afghan Afghani can be exchanged with other currencies. Currency exchange works by giving the relative value of one currency against another currency. As a currency’s value rises or falls, this value fluctuates, meaning that a set amount in one currency could be worth more or less than another currency at any given time.
Our currency rankings show that the most popular Afghan Afghani exchange rate is the AFN to USD rate. As of now, 1 USD converts to 88.0316 AFN, while 1 AFN converts to 0.0113596 USD.
1 EUR converts to 93.7581 AFN, while 1 AFN converts to 0.0106646 EUR.
1 GBP converts to 106.018 AFN, while 1 AFN converts to 0.00943408 GBP.
1 INR converts to 1.07361 AFN, while 1 AFN converts to 0.931435 INR.
Of course, these figures are subject to change as the subsequent economies fluctuate. However, as of now, Afghanistan is in the process of returning to more stable economic conditions despite the presence of the Taliban. The Afghan Afghani also maintains an exchange rate with all other official currencies, allowing for worldwide trading. As a result, the exchange rate’s volatility is relatively minimal at the moment.
The Bottom Line
Issued by the Afghanistan Bank, the Afghan Afghani is the official currency of Afghanistan. The currency has a rich history that’s still unfolding today. In this article, we’ve covered how the Afghan Afghani compares to other currencies such as USD, EUR, GBP, and INR through their exchange rate while covering the basics of the currency. The Afghani, while still a somewhat volatile currency, is currently plateauing and growing steadily in value which is a promising indicator of the country’s economic future.
If you would like to send money to Afghanistan to your loved ones check today our website or mobile app. We update our exchange rates daily to make sure you get the most out of your money and your first online transaction is fee-free!