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Independence, Early Notes Of The Croatian Republic: 1 Dinara (Croatia, 1991)-Article

Updated: Jan 11

This Croatian banknote represents the 1st denomination of the Croatian Dinar (Series 1991). Despite their brief circulation (1991-1993) Croatian Dinar notes have a rich and complex history. Beginning with initial calls for democratization and independence from Yugoslavia. Due in part to a rapidly changing world, in Eastern Europe.

Croatia was among the first nations to secede from Yugoslavia. The first nation being Slovenia, after the Ten Day War ( 27 June-7 July 1991). Despite this, the notes of the Croatian Dinar were more orate, than those of the early Slovenian Tolar. Also unlike Slovenia, Croatia introduced it's currency during a prolonged war, spanning from 31 March 1991-12 November 1995.

Although similar to the early Tolar, the Croatian Dinar was considered a transitional currency. Serving as a stop-gap for more permeant currency. This is made more apparent by all initial 1991 notes sharing the same color coded design. On 30 May 1994, the Croatian Kuna replaced Dinar. The Dinar was exchanged at a rate of 1,000 Dinar:1 Kuna.


The observe features a portrait of physicist and astronomer Ruđer Josip Bošković (1711-1787). Bošković is the namesake of scientific institutes in both Zagreb (Croatia) and Belgrade (Serbia). His work includes developing an early form of atomic theory. In addition to devising geometric formulas, for determining and predicting planetary orbits.

Returning to the observe, we can see a number of features and embellishments. At the footer it the text, "1 JEDAN HRVATSKI DINARA", translated as "1 One Croatian Dinar". Reinforcing the note's 1 Dinar value and Croatian origin. To the left of the portrait is a ornate multicolor background, created from guilloché work.

Toward the upper right are formulas and diagrams, related to determining planetary orbit. About this is the note's serial number, "H2359894". The upper-right corner features the Croatian coat of arms, overprinted on a decorative backing.

Moving toward the left is the note's watermark area. Similar to many post-Soviet banknotes the watermark is simple, a repeating rounded lozenge-shape. Around the watermark area is additional text, including a vertical header. The header reads, "REPUBLIKA HRVATSKA" or the "Republic of Croatia". As opposed to all other text, which is arranged horizontally.

Near the portrait's shoulder is text and a signature, it reads "(signature) MINISTAR FINANCIJA". It represents the "Financial Minister" of Croatia. While at the upper left corner is a large number "1", reinforcing the note's 1 Dinar value. To the right are two bars, each with a number 1 inside. Notably this number changes base on denomination.


The vertical reverse features the Zagreb Cathedral. A 13th century Gothic church, located in the Croatian capital. It represents the 2nd largest building in Croatia, the first being the Zagreb TV Tower. This illustration of the Zagreb Cathedral is featured on all notes from 1-1,000 Dinara.

The background of the illustration features complex, multicolor guilloché work. Portions of decorative backing, abstractly resemble arches and windows. Giving the impression the cathedral's interior. At the note's footer, is some Croatian text. It reads "1 JEDAN HRVATSKI DINARA", translated as "1 One Croatian Dinar". Again reinforcing the note's 1 Dinar value and Croatian origin.

While the header reads, "REPUBLIKA HRVATSKA" or the "Republic of Croatia". Below the header is additional text, it reads "ZAGREB, 8. LISTOPADA 1991". This text is a print date, stating the note was printed in the city of "Zagreb", on the "8 October 1991". Nearby this text is a number "1", representing the note "1" Dinar value and a Croatian Coat of Arms.

1991 Croatian Dinar Gallery

(Gallery will be updated as more banknotes are databased)


Additional Notes

  • The note's dimensions are 105 x 55 mm or 4.13 x 2.17 in, smaller than a US Dollar.

  • The Croatian Dinar ISO Code is HRD, it lacked a formal currency symbol.

  • The Croatian Dinar lacked coins and subdivisions, owning to its transitional nature.

  • The Kuna is named after Marten pelts, exchanged by medieval Slavic traders.

  • An older Kuna currency was introduced WWII-era Croatia, then occupied by Germany.

  • The WW-II era Kuna circulated from 1941-1945, under the Ustaše government.

  • Modern Kuna are subdivided in 100 Lipa (lindens), as oppose to Banica (WWII).

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