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EUROPEAN LARGEST BANKNOTE 500 Billion Dinara - P.137 - Yugoslavia 1993

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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.

Hyperinflation, which is the period from 1992 to 1994, existed in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is a phenomenon that is the length, intensity and devastating consequences fact is unprecedented in economic history.

Inflation in Yugoslavia was as high as 19,810.2%, the National Bank of the SRJ in late 1993 at the height of hyperinflation has issued a $ 500 billion with the figure of Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj

Prices are doubling every 16 hours. In that period, the German mark became the unofficial currency. Individuals have to pay could buy only two stamps.

A pack of cigarettes cost 1 billion dinars in the morning and evening but that their price was twice as high. Statisticians noted that the plain envelope in December 1993 cost of 3.5 billion dinars. 

Shops were empty, and the pickle jar had to be sorted out 2,100, and for two liters of milk 500 billion.

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)

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