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Note's Of The Hard Dinar, The Balkan Forger: 10 Dinara (Yugoslavia, 1968)-Article

Updated: Apr 12

This Yugoslavian banknote represents the 2nd denomination of the “Hard Dinar" (Series 1968).The Hard Dinar represented the first post-WWII attempt to re-stabilized the Yugoslavian Dinar. By standardizing exchange rates between the Yugoslavian Dinar and foreign hard currency. Although despite this, it's history was plagued by a number of political events.

The first being the Nixon Shock (1971), which lead to the "Hard Dinar to de-peg from the US Dollar. Followed the 1980 death of Marshal Josip Tito (1892 -1980), further worsening the political and economic situation. On 1 January 1990, the the Convertible Dinar replaced the Hard Dinar.


The observe depicts a young blast furnace operator (Arif Heralić), at a steel mill. This is the 2nd variant of this portrait, which first appeared on the 1,000 "Federation" Dinara note (1955). This version differs from the original, having been physically scaled down and lightened. In addition to being redenominated down by a factor of 100 to 1.

Besides the portrait is the 1963 Emblem of SFR Yugoslavia, featuring 6 torches. These torches are a metaphor for the 6 republics of SFR Yugoslavia. Printed above is multilingual text in Serbian, Slovenian, and Macedonian. All which translates to "National Bank of Yugoslavia".

Below is a large number "10" and quad text, which is read in combination with the number "10". Moving first to last the text alternates from Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, and Macedonian. Thus repeating the note's 10 Dinara face value, in all 4 major national languages.

The text below the number "10" states this note was printed in 1968, in the city of Belgrade (Beograd). Besides this are signatures, representing the Bank Governor and Deputy Governor. The note's red inked serial number can easily be seen further below, it reads "AP 0818320".

At the footer is fine text, it reads "Zavod Za Izradu Novčanica-Beograd". Representing the note's printer (ZIN), which was headquartered in Belgrade. ZIN was the printer all banknotes, issued by the National Bank of Yugoslavia.


The reverse features a large number "10", representing the note's 10 Dinar value. Surrounding it is a ring of text, referencing all six constitute republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The names of the republics are given in various forms, in Latin and Cyrillic script. Surrounding this text are figures holding hands, representing the people of Yugoslavia.

To the left and right are guilloché pattern wings. These list the note's "Ten Dinara" value in Serbian, Croatian, Slovenia, and Macedonia. Which is reinforced by additional number "10"s around the corners. There is counterfeit warning at the footer, it translates to "Forgery is punishable by law". It repeats this warning in all 4 major national languages.

To the note's far right is a partitioned area. This are simply lists the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Croatian, Macedonian, and Slovenian. Below is a separate number "10" backed by a brown-gold guilloché backing. This design can be seen repeated throughout the note's surface.

A Tortured Icon, Arif Heralić

Arif Heralić on the 10 Hard Dinara (1965).
Arif Heralić on the 10 Hard Dinara (1965).

Arif Heralić (1922-1971) was Bosnian Roma steel worker, famous for being photographed in December 1954. His photo was taken by Nikola Bibić, for the Serbian newspaper Borba (struggle). Who met Heralić while visiting Zenica Ironworks, for a story on model workers. Heralić's (then) cheerful nature was held as a popular example, of socialist progress and prosperity.

Unfortunately, he died a disabled worker, who fell into chronic alcoholism and mental illness. He fathered 11 children and lived a life of extrema poverty. In 1967, his family sought to receive compensation for his likeness. Although were barred from doing so, as his famous photo was regarded as property of the state.

Heralić's story became public knowledge after Vojdrag Bercic directed the documentary "Devaluation of a Smile". Which broadcasted in January 9, 1968, on HRT (TV Zagreb). Despite quietly never being rebroadcast. It created a public debate regarding the Yugoslav state and it's treatment of workers. Which portrayed them as heroes, for it's own pollical narratives.

Since the fall of the SFR Yugoslavia, in 1992. Arif Heralić's image has been used to ironically reflect on the societal failures of Yugoslavia.

Hard Dinar Gallery

(Gallery features complete 1968-85 Hard Dinar Series)


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 131 x 63 mm or 5.16 x 2.48 in, smaller than a US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are standard sized protective sleeves.

  • The Hard Dinar ISO code was YUD, it used both din. and дин as symbols.

  • The Hard Dinar was subdivided into 100 Para, coins were in Para and Dinar values.


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