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Forex Web Site "Bets" On Iraqi Dinar

Iraqi Dinar

Do you feel lucky? That's the question posed by Jeffrey Pasquarella's brainchild: -- a Web site he founded to give brave investors the chance to buy Iraq's restructured currency--the 'new' dinar.

Pasquarella told CNBC's Erin Burnett that 4,000 customers have used the site's foreign exchange service over the past three years, with the "average customer" scooping up (U.S.) $300 worth of Iraqi dinars apiece.

Little by little, the risk -- so far -- is paying off: the post-Hussein-regime currency was valued at 1,477 dinars to the Yankee greenback as of September; today, it only took 1,299 dinars to buy a dollar.

Betting on the Dinar

Perhaps the thrill of financial danger is as rewarding as the idea of buttressing a fledgling democracy: Pasquarella, a coin and banknote collector, declared that "if this were 1947," he'd be hungrily eyeing postwar German deutschmarks and Japanese yen.

And he assures the aesthetic-minded collector that his business strives to provide only "nice, uncirculated" notes.

FYI: the Iraqi dinar was introduced into circulation in 1931 and was at par with the pound sterling. Between October 15, 2003 and January 15, 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority issued the new Iraqi dinar printed by De La Rue using modern anti-forgery techniques to "create a single unified currency that is used throughout all of Iraq and will also make money more convenient to use in people’s everyday lives". Old dinars were exchanged for new dinars at a one-to-one rate, while Swiss dinars were exchanged at a rate of 150 new dinars for one Swiss dinar. (Source: Wikipedia)