Serbian Money during the World War I

The outbreak of the First World War caused a disturbance in money circulation in the Kingdom of Serbia. A shortage of small coins, particularly silver, was immediately felt. The bank put in circulation almost all its reserves of silver money, but since this was not sufficient, at the beginning of 1915, silver coins of 2, 1 and 0.5 dinars, to the value of fifteen million dinars were ordered in France.
Later on, nickel coins of 20, 10 and 5 paras to the value of ten million dinars were ordered. The date of issue stamped on these nickel coins is 1917. Very few of these issues were put in circulation.
Certain curiosities among these coins have appeared: 5, 10 and 20 paras coins struck in gold. A gold coin of 20 dinars was also in circulation in 1917. Where and on whose orders they were struck, and the fact that owners brought them from Salonica in 1918 have not yet been explained.
During the early war years the National Bank of Serbia more or less exhausted its monetary reserves. Taking precautions in case that the ordered banknotes from France should be delivered late, in 1915 the National Bank of Serbia altered the 20 dinar note issued in 1905 which was redeemable in gold, keeping the same denomination but making it redeemable in silver. The alteration rounded corners. In the meantime, a 50 dinar note was issued, redeemable in silver, designed by the artist Beta Vukanovic.
As the Serbian army retreated southward, is was accompanied by a large number of refugees who suffered great hardship. In the town of Prizren, a Local Committee for Aid to the Needy was set up, which in October 1915 issued 0.50 dinar banknotes payable in silver. These were distributed among the refugees so that they could purchase essentials.
While it was in Greece, the Government ordered a 5 dinar note, redeemable in silver, in France. Printing began on September 1, 1916, according to the French system, which means that the notes bore the date of the day on which they were actually printed. The last day of printing of this issue was 18.9.1918.
In occupied Serbia, occupation money was mainly in circulation: crowns, marks and levs. To establish how much Serbian money was in the country, and prevent the possible import of new banknotes, the occupation authorities in Serbia ordered the stamping of notes. This was done with an overall stamp with the text: “K.U.K. MILITAR GENERAL GOUVERMENT IN SERBIEN. KREISKOMMNDO”. Along the lower edge was the name of the place where the stamping was performed. The stamp imprint was placed on both sides of the notes. Stamping is known to have been carried out in twelve places.

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