Chronological systems in Iran
During the last century at least 3 chronological systems were in use in Iran, as follows: the Lunar Hejira, the Monarchical calendar system and the Solar Hejira.
Iranian coins were dated according to the Moslem lunar calendar (the Lunar Hejira) until March 21, 1925 AD (this corresponds to the year 1344 in the Lunar Hejira), when dating was switched to a new calendar based on the solar year, called the Solar Hejira, which is still in use.
The Monarchical Calendar System (abbr. «MCS») was adopted in 1976 AD = 2535 MCS by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the Shah of Iran from 1941 to 1979), and was abandoned in 1978 AD = 2537 MCS. The previously used Solar year calendar was restored after the MCS was abandoned. One can see that the dates belonging to the Monarchical Calendar System were advanced of those in the Gregorian calendar by 559 solar years.
Another name for Monarchical Calendar System is «Imperial» calendar. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi saw himself as heir to the kings of ancient Iran, and in 1971 he held a celebration of 2,500 years of the Persian monarchy. Therefore his «Imperial» calendar began with the foundation of the Persian Empire over 25 centuries earlier.
Finally, the Solar Hejira was in use from March 21, 1925 AD, until the introduction of the MCS, and it is still in use — since the abolishment of the MCS up to the present day.
Talking of the Solar Hejira calendar, it was developed by the Arabic Iranian mathematician and poet Omar Khayyám. This is why the Solar Hejira is also known as Khayyám’s calendar, or the calendar of Malik-shah. At the time of creation (XI-th century), the Solar Hejira was much more accurate than the European (i.e., Julian) calendar. The Solar Hejira is now officially used in Iran and Afghanistan.
In accordance with the rules of the Solar Hejira, a year numbers 365 days, the New Year falls on March 21st. For instance, on March 21st, 2010 AD, the new — 1389th — year of the Solar Hejira began. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, once in 33 years in the Solar Hejira the 5th year becomes a leap year, instead of the 4th. In order to derive the Gregorian year from the year of the Solar Hejira, one should add 621 to the value of the Solar Hejira year. For example, the new 1390th year started in Iran on March 21st, 2011 AD.
Thus, the Solar Hejira was in use in Iran from year 1304 to year 1354 and from year 1357 up to the present day (2013 AD falls on 1392 in the Solar Hejira).
Identification of Iranian coins via the coat of arms
Most XXth century Iranian coins, including those minted during the period of the Monarchical Calendar System, as well as older ones, can be easily identified via the coat of arms of the country. On this coat of arms one can see the lion going right (to the left from the viewer's perspective) carrying a golden sun on his back and holding a sword in his right paw. This coat of arms looks as follows:
Examples of Iranian coin values written with phrases in Farsi instead of numbers
A fair number of Iranian coins bear the value written with words or phrases (in Farsi, which is the official language of Iran) instead of Arabic numbers. The following table provides some examples of those value inscriptions.
|Coin's crop where
its value is specified
||پنج هزار دینار
||five thousand dinars
|↓ Here is how the coin's value is written with numerals, as a comparison with the above-mentioned samples in Farsi
||one hundred dinars
The system of coin denominations of Iran
The currency of Iran is called the Iranian Rial, or Riyal. The 50, 100, 250, 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000 rial coins are currently in use in Iran. Previously issued 5 and 10 rial coins are still in circulation, but are no longer minted because of the very low current value of the rial and the large manufacturing cost.
Converter updates and bugfixes.
Update @December 18, 2011: mathematical bug, concerning rounding in Lunar Hejira year calculation, had been fixed.
Update @November 5, 2012: section called «Examples of Iranian coin values written with phrases in Farsi instead of numbers» was added.