An ethnically Kurdish enclave, confined within the artificial borders of four other countries (Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria), which has been trying to attain a liberated homeland. For centuries they have dreamed of having an independent homeland, however each time the dream has been thwarted. An independent Kurdistan was promised after World War I, however instead their land was divided between Turkey and Iraq. After the First Gulf War in 1991 the Kurds in Iraq were granted a large degree of autonomy under the United Nations. They even used a different currency than the rest of Iraq, called the Swiss Dinar.  Many Kurds in Iraq were expecting to gain full independence with the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Several overseas Kurdish groups authorized the issuance of coins for what they expected would be a new independent nation after the fall of Saddam.
However, the Turks feared that an independent Kurdistan in Iraq would further the demands of the Kurds within Turkey for more autonomy. They strongly objected to an autonomous Kurdistan within Iraq and threatened an invasion. The United States agreed with Turkey, so plans for an independent Kurdistan have once again been quashed. The first coins however were still issued. The coins feature the Kurds historic past and wildlife native to their homeland. Kurdistan coins were struck in 2003 / AH1424. The 1 Dinar showing the most famous Kurd of all time, Saladin. Salah al-Din Yusuf (Saladin) born in 1138 in Tikrit, as son of Kurdish chief Ayyub. He founded the powerful Ayyubid dynasty and ruled from 1169 to 1193. His diplomatic skills, backed by well-disciplined army enabled him to gain control of Egypt, Palestine and Syria from Islamic as well as Christian opponents. Even his opponents admired him for his chivalry, justice and piety. He died on 04th march 1193 in Damascus after a short illness.
 The 1 Dinar  is struck in bronze-plated zinc, a material similar to that used in the current U.S. cent, has an authorized mintage of only 5,000 pieces. The 10 Dinars coin  pictures the native Persian Fallow Deer and  has an authorized mintage of only 10,000 pieces.  The coin is struck on nickel plated bronze. The silver proof 100 Dinar shows the Lesser Kestrel, a small bird of prey from the Falcon family that is native to Kurdistan. It has an authorized mintage of only 800 pieces. The gold proof 1000 Dinar features Saladin riding a horse carrying a Kurdish flag.  It is struck in 22 Karat gold and contains just slightly under a half ounce (.4990 AGW) of pure gold. Only 98 pieces were struck of this attractive gold coin. The 10 Dinar is 39mm (silver dollar size) while the other denominations are 27mm in diameter. Mountains have figured prominently in Kurdish lore, so the reverse of all the coins features four mountain peaks, which also represents the four nations with major Kurdish populations. Above the mountains is a 21-rayed rising sun, which is a traditional Kurdish symbol predating the nations conversion to Islam. The legends are in the two main dialects of Kurdish: Sorani and Kurmanji. A significant portion of the authorized mintages of the 1 and 10 Dinars are actually being distributed in Iraqi held portions of Kurdistan. The 100 and 1000 Dinars are Proof-only issues, so are not expected to circulate. These are beautiful and intriguing coins coin from a new nation that has yet to be born. 
                                                                   Error Version                         Correct Version
In 2003, there were 4 coins available, as mentioned above; there are also error versions of the 1 and 10 Dinars pieces. The production of these non-legal-tender pieces was coordinated by venerable coin-dealer Joseph E. Lang (jlang@neteze.com), from whom the coins are available. According to an article in the May 10, 2004 edition of “Coin World”, he also designed their obverse and helped to pay for their manufacture. A handful of Kurdish groups either authorized or were involved in this project. The American Society of Kurds even took a few hundred coins to Iraqi Kurdistan for possible circulation. These coins were produced by Hoffman Mint and these coins were earlier visible at http://www.hoffmanmint.com/ar3.html.
Though Kurdistan has not achieved independence, it has not stopped issuing coins. It recently released new gold and silver coins dated 2006. The gold 100,000 Dinar pictures Saladin, the most famous Kurd Saladin, foe of Richard the Lionheart and the Crusaders, was famous for his chivalry and justice. The is struck in 22 karat gold and contains a quarter ounce of pure gold. It has an authorized mintage of only 150 pieces! The silver 10,000 Dinar shows a Merlin (Falco columbarius). It contains 1/4 ounce of .999 fine silver and has an authorized mintage of only 1200 pieces. Both coins feature the Kurdistan arms on the reverse.
This latest set of seven base metal coins is quite attractive. The five lower denominations feature native wildlife. The copper 25 Dinar shows a Grey Partridge. The brass 50 Dinars pictures a European Grey Heron, The copper-nickel 100 Dinar shows a Red Fox. The eight-sided copper-nickel 250 Dinars shows a Eurasian Lynx.  The copper-nickel 500 Dinar shows a wild goat. The 1000 Dinar shows Mustafa Barzani, a charismatic Kurdish nationalist leader who died in 1979. The 2500 Dinar is an attractive and unusual square bi-metallic coin with a copper outer ring and a brass inner plug. It features an oil refinery in Kirkuk. All coins are dated 2006 and feature the Kurdish arms featuring the sun over the mountains on the reverse.
I purchased all my Kurdistan coins from Joel Anderson. I also would like thank Joel Anderson and Erik V. McCrea for their above research and information on these coins.
Chiefa Coins