What Is the RSD (Serbian Dinar)?

The RSD (Serbian dinar) is the ISO currency code for the official currency of the Republic of Serbia and is subdivided into 100 para.

Key Takeaways

  • The RSD (Serbian dinar) is the ISO currency code for the official currency of the Republic of Serbia and is subdivided into 100 para.
  • The RSD, nicknamed the "din" and known as the post-Yugoslavia dinar, is recognized by all of Serbia, with the lone exception being Kosovo.
  • The RSD is issued by the Serbia's central bank, with bills being denominated in 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 5,000 din, while coins are minted in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 din increments.

Understanding the RSD (Serbian Dinar)

The RSD (Serbian dinar), nicknamed the "din" and known as the post-Yugoslavia dinar, is recognized by all of Serbia, with the lone exception being Kosovo. The RSD has a long and complicated history along with the region that would one day become the Republic of Serbia. The RSD is issued by the Serbia's central bank, appropriately named the National Bank of Serbia. Bills are denominated in 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 5,000 din, while coins are minted in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 din increments.

The country sits at the crossroads of Europe in the central Balkans, which has long been a route for conquering forces and a key to controlling the territory. Serbia, as a country, has been controlled by various countries, and the history of the dinar closely follows the history of Serbia. The Republic of Serbia realized full independence in 2006 and does not participate in the European Union (EU).

Serbia has a market economy dominated by the service industry. The economy was strong before the financial crisis of the 2000s. However, exports have seen steady growth in the mid-2000s. The region has coal, oil, and natural gas reserves and is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. The country experienced a 4.6% annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2018, with a yearly inflation deflator of 2.0%.

The Complex History of the Serbian Dinar

The first references to the dinar as the Serbian unit of currency are from 1214. Serbian rulers in the medieval period minted silver dinars, and there were many different varieties of not only the dinars but of all money in use. When the Ottomans conquered Serbia, various forms of Turkish currency came into use, including the para. The current subdivision of the dinar gets its name from this coin.

Serbia first attempt at independence came in 1817, but the status did not last long. Also in 1817, the region saw the introduction of non-Turkish foreign currency. All of the various money types saw simultaneous use. The Serbian government-established exchange rates for these different currencies using the groat as the standard money of account. The term "groat" applies to any of the varied types of medieval European coins circulating between 1351 and 1662.

In 1867, the Ottomans left Serbia for good, and the Serbian government ordered a Serbian national currency, the dinar, to be minted. The issuance of dinar coins and banknotes happened over the following nine years. The dinar was pegged to the French franc (F) at par between 1873 and 1894. Serbia also participated in the Latin Monetary Union, which was an attempt to unify European currency between 1865 and 1927. By 1920, the Yugoslavian dinar replaced the Serbian dinar at par.

During World War II, Germany occupied Yugoslavia. A new Serbian dinar substituted for the Yugoslavian dinar in 1941, with pegging to the German Reichsmark at the rate of 250 dinars to one Reichsmark. With the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1944, the Yugoslavian dinar returned to replace the Serbian dinar at the rate of one Yugoslavian dinar to 20 Serbian dinars.

RSD (Serbian Dinar) in Kosovo and Montenegro 

After the end of World War I, the territory that includes present-day Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 2001, Yugoslavia is split into Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbia and Montenegro became independent in 2003 and the Yugoslavia dinar was replaced by the RSD everywhere except Montenegro and Kosovo. Serbia and Montenegro have always operated under different economic policies and currencies. Montenegro participated in the Deutsche mark (D-Mark), and later the euro (EUR), while Serbia replaced the Yugoslavian dinar with the RSD (Serbian dinar) in 2003.

Kosovo is a disputed territory, which declared itself independent from Serbia in 2008 and uses the euro as its unit of currency. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence at this time.