What is the official Iran Currency?
On this post, I will be answering one of the most frequently asked questions about Iran meaning: what exactly is Iran currency? Currency in a country, as we all came to believe, is under one single unit. Like Dollars or Euros. Yes, there are smaller units than one Dollar or one Euro but believe me that’s not the case in Iran. That is why exchanging money can be quite confusing for the tourists.
The thing is the number written in the paper money does not match the number you hear people say. Officially, the currency of Iran is Rials (Rls). However, people use another unit in their daily interactions which is called Tooman (Tmn). How does it work? Well, every ten Rials is one Tooman. The problem is what you see on the paper money is Rials, but the shop you are buying from will give you the number in Tooman. Then, you have to calculate the amount.
Iran Paper Money
Now, to get you more familiar with the Iran Currency, I will show you the paper money ordered from the lowest to the highest value. There are some notes that I won’t bring here since they are not very common anymore. All the photos are taken from the website of Iran Central Bank. There, you can also see the withdrawn notes.
Ten Thousand Rials Note
This is the 10.000 Rials note that the people refer to as 1000 Tooman. The design of this note changed in the recent years; however, you might still see them being exchanged. First, I will put a picture of the older design and then the newer design. The older one has the picture of Damavand, the highest mountain of Iran. And, the newer one shows the mausoleum of Hafez, the great Iranian poet, in Shiraz.
Twenty Thousand Rials Note
This one has three different designs. Although the changes from one to another is not that much. Actually, just the attraction shown on the note changes from one design to another. The first one shows Naqshe Jahan Square in Isfahan, the second one is a picture of Al Aqsa Mosque ,and the third one is Aqazade traditional house in Abarkuh. People refer to this one as two thousand Tooman note.
Fifty Thousand Rials Note
This one is in two designs and Iranian refer to it as five thousand Tooman note. The first design had signs that represented peaceful nuclear power of Iran and the second one shows the entrance portal of Tehran University.
One Hundred Thousand Rials
This one has one design and Iranian call it ten thousand Tooman note. The note shows a picture of mausoleum of Sa’adi, the great Iranian poet. The mausoleum is in Shiraz.
Five Hundred Thousand Rials
This is the most valuable note in Iran, there are one hundred thousand Rials notes too, but they are not common. There are three designs that the last two are used now and the first has been almost withdrawn. All three has the picture of the holy shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam. The second has the picture of a votive candle rack and the last one is the picture of Damavand.
Now, imaging you are in a shop buying some souvenirs, it will be for example, 1.250.000 Rials or 125.000 Toomans. if we wanted to pronounce it completely it would take a long time. So instead of saying one hundred and twenty-five thousand Tooman we say one hundred twenty-five Toomans.
I thought now that we are discussing currency, it is good to talk about the exchanging too. The exchange rate is so unstable that I can’t give a number here, however, you can check out the Exchange section of Iran National Bank which is the most reliable source of exchange rate in market. The site is unfortunately in Farsi but you can get help from our beloved Google to translate the page.
The rate presented in this site is what every exchange shop in the whole country use. And while in many countries, the exchange rate at the airport is lower than the market, it is not so in Iran. You can exchange money at the airport, they give the same rate as anywhere else.
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