|Money from the time of the Shah in the bazaar in Shiraz|
|Rarely seen anymore is the 200 rial (20 toman) bill at the top|
|Top two are from the time of the Shah. The bottom is the now rarely seen 500 rial (50 toman) bill.|
Because the currency has devalued so much, nobody really says hezār, thousand, anymore. So if you ask the price of something and they say bist toman, 20 toman, they mean 20,000 toman. I remember the actual 20 toman (200 rial) bill, but I don't think those really even exist anymore. If the price is in the millions, for example 1,500,000 toman, you will just hear yek o punsad, 1 and 500.
One thing I've always found interesting and enjoyed watching is the way Iranians count money. They are all experts at it because they are used to carrying stacks of cash. And it's the specific way that they do it that fascinates me, but I've never been able to do it or do it quite as swiftly. They hold the money backwards and then thumb down the bills which I find very difficult. The image below illustrates this, but she's actually counting pretty slowly compared to what I've seen.
On this past trip to Iran, my uncle showed me his money collection. Aside from once a few years ago in an antique store in Shiraz, I had never really seen currency from the time of the Shah, so it was cool to see how it had changed.
|Money from the time of the Shah|