The Afghani is the official currency of the country of Afghanistan with currency code AFN. An Afghani is equivalent to 100 Pul. In addition, 20 Afghani is equivalent to the Amani. The 1st Afghani was launched in 1925. It was meant to replace the rupee at a rate of 1.1 rupee = 1 Afghani. It is still, however, common to hear an Afghan use the word rupee when referring to the Afghani. This should not be confused with the Pakistani rupee for until 1925 Afghanistan’s currency is the Afghan rupee.
Between 1925 and 1993 several denominations of Afghani coins and banknotes were in circulation. Coins issued during this period consisted of 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 25 pul in bronze, brass, copper nickel, and aluminum-bronze; silver ½, 1, and 2½ Afghani; and gold ½, 1, and 2½ amani. Banknotes issued were in the following denominations: 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000, and 10000 Afghani. In 1958 bank notes worth 2 and 5 were switched with coins.
Afghanistan’s currency history was marked with a lack of standardization, forgery, and currency revaluation. Before the Afghanistan invasion by the US in 2001, political parties, warlords, forgers, and foreign powers came up with their own banknotes that were tradable. There was no system or standard that was followed. When the Taliban seized government control in 1996, the Taliban’s central bank proclaimed most active Afghan bank notes worthless.
They terminated the contract the previous government had with a Russian firm responsible for printing the Afghani notes in an attempt to eradicate its circulation. The Northern Alliance, however, continued to have notes printed in Russia. These were then sold in the Kabul marketplace at 50% off their value. By this time the Afghani’s value depreciated sharply and by 2001, 1 USD = 73,000 Afghani.
After the U.S. Invasion and the toppling of the Taliban government, a new currency or Afghani was launched in 2002. The new Afghani has no subdivision and replaced the old one at 2 different rates. The ones issued under the term of President Burhanuddin Rabbani were substituted at a rate of 1,000 to 1 new Afghani while those issued by Abdul Rashid Dostum of the Northern Alliance were traded at a rate of 2,000 to 1 new Afghani.
Coins were issued in 2005 at denominations of 1, 2, 5 Afghani. Bank notes were issued in 2002 in these denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Afghani. In 2005, the 1, 2 and 5 notes were swapped with coins. The new Afghani was valued 43 Afghani to the US dollar and has remained steady with slight movements up to today.