WHAT IS 'KWD'

KWD is the abbreviation and symbol for the Kuwaiti Dinar, the official currency of the State of Kuwait, a small nation located between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Its name derives from the Roman denarius. Sub-divided into 1000 fils, it is the world’s most valuable monetary unit.

BREAKING DOWN 'KWD'

KWD, the Kuwaiti dinar, was introduced in 1960 as a replacement for the gulf rupee. The gulf rupee was a currency which had been pegged at parity to the Indian rupee and which was introduced by the Indian government in 1959 to be used outside of India, specifically in the Persian Gulf region. The gulf rupee was pegged to pounds sterling as was the Indian rupee. When Kuwait became independent from Britain in 1960, the Kuwaiti Currency Law created the Kuwaiti Currency Board with the purpose of establishing a Kuwaiti currency. The Kuwaiti Currency Board introduced its own currency, the Kuwaiti dinar, to replace the gulf rupee. Because of internal economic problems, India devalued the rupee in 1966. Following the Indian devaluation of the rupee, most nations adopted a new national currency, so the gulf rupee went out of use entirely.

From 1975 to 2003, the Kuwaiti dinar was attached to a weighted currency basket, as per the mandate of the Kuwaiti Currency Board, established by the Kuwaiti Currency Law of 1960. However, in 2003, it was officially pegged to the US dollar at precisely 0.29963 dinar to the dollar, although in 2007 it was officially re-pegged to a basket of currencies, and as of December 2016 it was worth about USD $3.28, making it the most valuable currency on Earth.

As of December 25, 2017, the Kuwaiti dinar was reportedly the 4th most circulated currency on Earth, after the US dollar, the Euro, and the Chinese yuan.

Series of Banknotes

There have been six official series of Kuwaiti dinar banknotes issued since 1960, along with two commemorative series. The third series, issued in 1980 upon the crowning of Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, was in use until Kuwait was invaded by Iraq in 1990. Upon invasion, the Iraqi government installed the Iraqi dinar as the official currency, and vast numbers of Kuwaiti dinar banknotes were stolen by invading Iraqi forces. When Kuwait was liberated from Iraq, the third series of banknotes was invalidated and the fourth series replaced the Iraqi dinar as the official currency again.

The sixth series of Kuwaiti dinar banknotes, introduced in 2014, includes bills that are specially textured so blind and vision-impaired people can tell them apart by touch.

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