Notes Of The January Dinar, The Hero: 50,000 Dinara (Yugoslavia, 1994)-Article

Updated: Apr 18

This Yugoslavian banknote represents the 5th denomination of the “January Dinar”. A product of the 1992 dissolution of Yugoslavia. The January Dinar briefly served as the currency of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A union of the republics of Serbia and Montenegro, which opposed the dissolution of the previous SFR Yugoslavia.

On 1 January 1994, the January Dinar replaced the previous October Dinar. It served a brief stop-gap role and reused previous banknote designs. With the exception of the first denomination, most notes are based on the previous October Dinar. The January Dinar was replaced the "Novi Dinar", on 24 January 1994. (SEE: A Brief History of The January Dinar)


The observe features a portrait of Serbian revolutionary hero Karađorđe, who lead the First Serbian Uprising (1804-1813). Karađorđe previous distinguished himself in Serbian Free Corps, fighting on the behalf of the Habsburg Empire. While eventually defeated and exiled by the Ottoman Empire. Karađorđe descendants carried on as the Karađorđević Dynasty.

This is the 2nd variant of this portrait, which first appeared on the 5000 "October" Dinara note (1993). The previous variant of this note was in a turquoise, ochre, and brown color scheme. As opposed to the orange, red, lilac-purple scheme seen on this variant.

Notably besides the portrait is the Central Bank of Yugoslavia logo. Rather then the Emblem of SFR Yugoslavia, featured on previous "Convertible Dinar". Above is dual Serbian and Croatian text, both translates to "National Bank of Yugoslavia". Unlike earlier (pre-October) Dinar notes, January Dinar lack security threads. When present, these threads align with the first letters of the upper text.

Below the central bank logo is a large number "50000 "and dual text. Stating the notes 50,000 Dinara face value. An additional vertical number "50000" and title can be seen, at the left of the portrait. Toward the note's right is the watermark area. Although unlike earlier notes, which feature a mirrored image of their portrait. Most notes of the January Dinar feature a full surface "waffle iron" watermark.

At the top of this watermark area is a number the number 50000, on a decorative "double oval" design. Notably the shape of this design varies, based on the note's portrait. To the far right is vertical text in Serbian, it reads "Фалсификовање је кажњиво по закону". Warning potential counterfeiters that, "Forgery is punishable by law". Unlike previous notes, some January Dinar lack serial numbers.


The reverse depicts the Church of Saint Sava, in Belgrade. Saint Sava infamously had its relics burned by the Ottomans, in response to the First Serbian Uprising. It's said that the left hand of Saint Sava was amongst the relics saved from destruction. Notably Saint Sava is celebrated as the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Just as the observe, the reverse features dual Serbian and Croatian text. Above the illustration the text simply translates to "Yugoslavia". While below is a large number "50000" and additional text, representing the note's Fifty Thousand Dinara value.

The reverse watermark area features Croatian text, on its counterfeit warning. The number "50000" is backed by a "double oval" design, although in a different color scheme. At the lower watermark area is the text "гувернер-Guverner" and a signature, representing the Bank Governor. The text further below states this note was printed in 1994, at the city of Belgrade (Beograd).

At the note's footer is fine text, it reads "Narodna Banka Jugoslavije-Zavod Za Izradu Novčanica I Kovanog Novca-Beograd". The center section represents the note's printer, commonly known a ZIN. The last section refers to Belgrade, were ZIN is headquartered. While the first section refers to the notes being approved by the National Bank of Yugoslavia.

A Brief History of the January Dinar

A 1994 Yugoslavian 10 Dinara ("January").
A 1994 Yugoslavian 10 Dinara ("January").

The "January Dinar" represented the 5th re-denomination of the Yugoslavian Dinar. Since the introduction of the "Hard Dinar", in 1966. To best understand the January Dinar, is to learn the currencies, which preceded it. Beginning with the dissolution of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And ending with the initial draw-down of the Yugoslav Wars, in the mid-90s.

A 1992 Yugoslavian 5,000 Dinara ("Reformed").
A 1992 Yugoslavian 5,000 Dinara ("Reformed").

The Reformed Dinar was introduced 1 July 1992, after the dissolution of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It primarily served as a (10:1) revaluation of the previous "Convertible Dinar". Which was heavily impacted by inflation, due to the sudden dissolution of the SFR Yugoslavia. Leading to period of independence wars and ethnic conflict, known as the Yugoslav Wars (1991-2001).

Notably the Reformed Dinar represented the 3rd revaluation of the Yugoslavian Dinar. Since introduction of the "Hard Dinar", on 1 January 1966. This chronic inflation was a contributing factor to dissolution of the SFR Yugoslavia. The Convertible Dinar was a final failed attempt to counter inflation, prior to Slovenia's and Croatia's succession.

A 1991 Yugoslavian 1,000 Dinara ("Convertible").
A 1991 Yugoslavian 1,000 Dinara ("Convertible").

The Reformed Dinar introduction was also used to invalidated the previous Convertible Dinar. Which the secessionist republics used to back their own transitional currencies. These currencies included the Slovenian Tolar, the Croatian Dinar, the First Macedonian Denar and the First Bosnia-Herzegovina Dinar. Denying them access to convertible currency was a major economic-political objective.

The Reformed Dinar also served as currency in ethnic Serbian enclaves. These enclaves were located along Croatian and Bosnian borders, neighboring Serbia. They formed the proto-states of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (Croatia) and the Republic of Srpska (Bosnia). Their currencies were respectively known as the Krajina and Srpska Dinar.

A 10 Dinara, issued by the Republic of Srpska (1992).
A 10 Dinara, issued by the Republic of Srpska (1992).

The First Krajina and Srpska Dinar were pegged at par (1:1) to the Reformed Dinar. These currencies were meant to provide a degree of legitimacy, to their claims of sovereignty. Although with the initial intent of being annexed by Serbia. Who also produced their currency through the Serbian state printer ZIN. The same printer as the Reformed Dinar and later the "October Dinar".

A 1993 Yugoslavian 5 Billion Dinara ("October").
A 1993 Yugoslavian 5 Billion Dinara ("October").

On 1 October 1993, the Reformed Dinar was replaced by the "October Dinar". Which was a (1 Million to 1) revaluation of the Reformed Dinar. It failed to counter hyperinflation and only remained in circulation to the year's end. The Second Krajina and Srpska Dinar were pegged at par (1:1) to the October Dinar. It was the final Yugoslav currency to serve this purpose.

A 1994 Yugoslavian 10 Million Dinara ("January").
A 1994 Yugoslavian 10 Million Dinara ("January").

The "January Dinar" was briefly issued from 1-24 January 1994". It replaced October Dinar at a ratio of 1 Billion to 1, representing 4th largest re-domination in history. The January Dinar represented the shortest-lived of all the Yugoslavian Dinar. It formed a temporary stop-gap pending the introduction of the "Novi Dinar". It represented the last re-domination of the Yugoslavian Dinar

A 1994 Yugoslavian 100 Dinara ("Novi").
A 1994 Yugoslavian 100 Dinara ("Novi").

On 24 January 1994, the Novi Dinar was issued. Although unlike previous Yugoslavian Dinar, it was pegged at par (1:1) to the Deutsche Mark. Thus finally solving the hyperinflation issue. Similar actions had been undertaken by the the secessionist republics. Which were nearing the end of their respective conflicts, due to peace negotiations.

Notably the Novi Dinar also replaced the Second Srpska Dinar. Despite the Republic of Srpska proto-state disbanding, in 1995. The Novi Dinar remained the de-facto currency within it's former territory. Until the adoption of Bosnia and Herzegovina Convertible Mark, on 22 June 1998. Which was also pegged to the German Deutsche Mark, thus simplifying its adoption.

1994 January Dinar Gallery

(Gallery features complete 1994 January Dinar series)


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 150 x 70 mm or 5.90 x 2.76 in, larger than a US Dollar.

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

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

  • The January Dinar issued only a single coin denomination, valued at 1 Dinar.

  • The German Deutsche Mark was used unofficially alongside the January Dinar.

  • During the January Dinar's circulation prices were set in "bods", equal to the Deutsche Mark.

  • The "bod" (point) system was used to avoid constantly changing store prices daily.

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