Nowadays the only monetary unit in Montenegro is the Euro. Though this country is not the member of the European Union, it has been using the Euro for internal and external money transactions for many years. The Montenegrins are not upset with the fact that they cannot mint coins. The Ministry of Finance believes that funds coming into the country from abroad (from foreign investors and tourists) cover all the needs. That’s why if you are a numismatist, leave the idea to bring home beautiful and exotic coins and banknotes. But what money was used in Montenegro before the Euro?
The history of Montenegro currency
Montenegro currency has an interesting and complicated background. Since the middle of the nineteenth century up to 1918 Montenegro was first a sovereign Principality and later a Kingdom. But curiously until 1909 it had no currency. Quite different money was used on the territory of the state – the Austro-Hungarian Krone, the Turkish Lira, the French Franc and other European currencies. But in 1909 Prince Nikola I Petrovich-Njegosh issued a decree on the introduction of a new common currency – the Perper.
Till 1912 silver and gold coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 100 Perper were used (the last ones were produced in a limited quantity), also there were banknotes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Perper. After Montenegro lost its independence and became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918), the Perper (whose “life” was rather short) was replaced by the Crown of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
In fact, the Crown was simply an Austro-Hungarian Dinar stamped in a certain way. In 1920 a new currency appeared – the Montenegro Dinar. The exchange rate was 4 Crowns for 1 Dinar. At first this Montenegro currency was called just the Dinar, but in 1929, when the name of the country was changed, it was renamed into the Montenegro Dinar. Until the beginning of hyperinflation in the late 80s-early 90s a banknote in denomination of 5000 Dinars (1950) was the largest one.
During the inflation period banknotes of 20 000 Dinars (1987), 50 000 Dinars (1988), 1 000 000 and 2 000 000 Dinars (1989) appeared. In 1990 the government made an attempt to stop inflation and banknotes of 10, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Dinars were introduced. But it was not effective and in two years banknotes in denominations of up to 10 billion Dinars were used. The fact that a banknote of 500 billion Dinars was produced will help you realize how great the extent of inflation was.
In 1994 this currency was completely replaced with the new Dinars whose “life” lasted up to 2000. But in 1999 the German Mark was also widely used on the territory of the country and soon it completely replaced the Dinar.
In March 2002, with the withdrawal of the German Mark and the introduction of the Euro Montenegro has also converted to this currency, but on its own, without the permission of the European Central Bank.
The rules of currency exchange in Montenegro
Since 2002 Montenegro currency is exclusively the Euro. You can’t pay in any other monetary unit (the Dollar, the Ruble, the Mark, etc.). One can exchange currency only in banks or in numerous exchange offices. Keep in mind that the currency exchange by private individuals is illegal and punishable by a fine.
The commission fee is 1%. Banks in Montenegro work from 8.00 to 19.00 on weekdays and from 9.00 to 13.00 on Saturdays. On Sundays it is possible to exchange currency only in exchange offices. Credit cards Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club and Maestro are accepted in big cities, but it is better to have also some cash to pay in stores and small towns.