ISIS Mints Gold Currency - The Exchange Rates Might Shock You

Justin Streight

ISIS has reportedly printed up the first coins for its new currency and put images of them online. According to sources currently living under the rule of the terrorist organization, the gold currency will soon be in circulation - but many experts claim it's just a very expensive propaganda tool.

The currency has seven coins, described as "dinars," all reportedly printed from copper, silver and gold. According to the Mirror, the pictures circulating on social media are of the one and five dinar coins. Both have the inscription "The Islamic State – a caliphate based on the doctrine of the Prophet" in Arabic.

The five dinar has a map of the world with ISIS' Islamic State in the center and the one dinar piece shows stalks of wheat to indicate that ISIS provides for the people living in its territory. Even though, as the Daily Mail explained, people living in Islamic State-controlled Mosul regularly complain of food shortages and rising prices.

— Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi (@raqqa_mcr) June 22, 2015

— Terrormonitor.org (@Terror_Monitor) June 23, 2015

Speaking to Mashable, Laith Alkhouri from Flashpoint Global Partners explained further.

"The group could feasibly make as many gold, silver and copper coins as it wishes to, but the only value this so-called currency is going to have is the value of the precious metal itself. No country will ever recognize it as legitimate."

Actual mass production is another problem.

Iraq and Syria lack any real gold, silver or copper mines, meaning that all material for the coinage will either need to be stolen (an unsustainable practice) or bought on the black market (which no doubt cost much more than standard market prices).

Still, for the first round of coinage, the Daily Mail reports that the group sacked Mosul Bank when the terrorist group took the city, giving the terrorists a significant amount of gold bullion.

Of course, many experts say ISIS is simply spreading the idea of the currency to give itself an air of legitimacy.

Counter extremism researcher Charlie Winter explained that showing some progress in establishing a state is important as the one-year anniversary of ISIS' declaring itself a Caliphate approaches.

The currency may seem even more important for morale, since ISIS has been losing territory to Kurds and coalition forces.

[Image via Twitter/@racca_mcr]

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