For this weeks Banknote of the Day, we’re going to take a look at one of our new arrivals, the Yugoslavia 50 Billion Dinara from 1993. A beautiful banknote paired with an intriguing, thorough yet short-lived history.
Yugoslavia 50 Billion Dinara, 1993 History
Yugoslavia banknotes from the 1993 series, have a very distinct style compared there other past banknotes. On the obverse, there is usually an image of a person. Sometimes the person is a important figure like this banknote, other times it’s described as a “young girl” or “young boy”. On the reverse, there is usually a monument or historical landmark of some sort. On this banknote there is a picture of Serbian Prince Milan Obrenovich. Milan Obrenović I, Prince of Serbia reigned November 1817 to June 1839. Then again from December 1858 to September 1860. He participated in two uprising of Serbia, the first time being one of the few leaders that remained in Serbia. The second time, after the killing of Karađorđe Petrović, in 1817, Obrenović became the leader of the Serbians. As a result of the agreement, Serbia gained some autonomy, but unfortunately still remained under Ottoman sovereignty. On the reverse, there is an older photo taken of Villa of Obrenovich at the center right. This is the residence where he stayed, which originally was used as a palace for Prince Milos. A fun fact, the grounds of the Villa include a Plane Tree over 160 years old, which is the oldest of its kind in Europe. Security features on the banknote include, florescent fibers and a diamond shaped watermark.
Yugoslavia was a fairly new country with cultural ties from several areas of Eastern Europe. The country came into existence after World War I in 1918 under the name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. They were all part of the merger of the provisional State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. Originally, they were part of the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary. Finally after several decades, on July 13th, 1922 at the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris, Yugoslavia received international recognition! The name Yugoslavia was changed October 3rd, 1929 and Peter I of Serbia was its first official sovereign. In 1992, the country split into six socialist republics before eventually evolving into 7 countries. The countries are Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia, Kosovo and Montenegro. This resulted in a surplus of political uproar and conflict. The reason? The Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Japan) as well as cultural, religious and personal differences between ethnic groups are part of the reason as well. World War 2 also contributed to the countries separation, and was the start of the separation of the six socialist republics being formed.
The Breakup of Yugoslavia, 1990–1992
Issued on October 18, 1990, National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) 15–90 presented a dire warning to the U.S. policy community:
“Yugoslavia will cease to function as a federal state within a year, and will probably dissolve within two. Economic reform will not stave off the breakup. […] A full-scale interrepublic war is unlikely, but serious intercommunal conflict will accompany the breakup and will continue afterward. The violence will be intractable and bitter. There is little the United States and its European allies can do to preserve Yugoslav unity. “