10,000 Afghanis

The Story Behind the 10,000 Afghanis

The 10,000 Afghanis banknote was declared obsolete in 2002, but it has continued to attract the attention of collectors.

A collector’s dream, the 10,000 Afghanis banknote is a rare note that introduced into circulation in the early 1990s. However, because of counterfeiting of the same denomination by warlords, the currency was considered to be worthless by the Taliban Bank in 2001, and in 2002 all wartime currency was phased out and replaced by new notes. As a result, this particular currency became harder to come by, and today collectors value the original banknote if they can find it, mostly because there is a story behind it, an interesting one

In 1996 the Taliban, the Islamist government, took power in Kabul, and soon after they started cleansing the land of many things that they deemed not to be “truly” Islamic. They kept the 10,000 Afghani note in circulation because it was devoid of human images, so it did not conflict with their ideology. Today, this note has been christened the man-less currency because it did not have a human image as we are used to seeing in other currencies.

Features of the 10,000 Afghanis Note

This currency banknote is similar to the American dollar, mainly in its color. It has a color combination of green, shades of blue and pale pinks. On the front of the note, there is the image of a mosque, and on the back, there is an arched stone gateway set before a city on the hills. This is the gateway of Qala-e-Bost (known simply as Bost today), which is the modern city of Lashkar Gah, located in Southern Afghanistan between the Arghandab and Helmand Rivers. This city, although it faced trouble from Taliban encroachment, has a rich history and still has some remnants of the Ghaznavid architecture, from the Turkish Dynasty that ruled from what is now Afghanistan in the years 977-1186 and 366-582.

Then there are some writings on the border of the note, and on the back, there is the name Da Afghanistan Bank. It is printed on cotton-linen paper. Under scrutiny, you can see a mouth of a shaft above the stone gateway; this is seen as a darkish area at the ruins near Lashkar Gah.

For nine years during the civil war, the 10,000 Afghanis banknote would be used widely and counterfeited many times until it was declared obsolete in October 2002, and replaced by a new 1000 Afghani note, which is currently the highest denomination. The Ghaznavid Arch is currently displayed on the 100 Afghanis note.

What is the significance of the 10,000 Afghanis note?

Well, we can say that it has more of a sentimental value due to its low monetary value. Even though it is a collector’s item, maybe the most that you would get for it would be a hundred or a couple of hundred dollars. However, since it was the one currency that was in use during the civil war that rocked the country, some collectors find it desirable.

The banknote is obsolete now because the highest denomination for Afghani currency is the 1000 Afghanis note. Having come from a country that suffered many hardships both politically and economically, the 10,000 Afghanis banknote is a unique keepsake. By the year 2000, this note, which was then the equivalent of 1.30 US dollars, was valued at even less than what a worker would earn every day to cater for their family’s needs.

The old banknotes from Afghanistan that were in circulation from 1979 to 1993 are great to use as gifts, and most of them can be purchased online. However, the 10,000 Afghanis note is a bit rarer, which makes it an ideal collector’s item. Since it was declared obsolete due to having been widely counterfeited, when purchasing your banknote, you should make sure that yours is original.

7 thoughts on “The Story Behind the 10,000 Afghanis

  1. Shawn

    I have a 10,000 Afghani note that was verified by my bank as real I don’t know how to go about exchanging it or honestly what to do with it.


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