Difference between Toman and Rial

Difference between Toman and Rial

If you are visiting Tehran and Iran soon, you will need to have some local currency, but what is the difference between Toman and Rial? This is a daunting thing for many foreigners, for all the zeros on the currency bamboozling you to how much things cost. The situation becomes more complicated with introducing the “toman” an unofficial currency, which is 1 toman = 10 rials.

There is a long history of the Toman, and it wasn’t invented just to make it easier for people in daily transactions, but that’s a story for another day. What we’re going to attempt to do now is give you a short introduction of the Iranian currency. Here’s hoping!

Iran’s Currency Complications

Difference between Toman and Rial

The first thing one needs to understand is exchange rates are not provided in Rials most of the time, but in Toman. Yes, complicated. So, the price you see on bureaux de change in Tehran will most likely be written in Toman (so remember to knock a zero off if you are thinking in rials).

Banknotes have the values of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000, 500000, and 1000000 Rials. You will most likely never see the 500, 2000, 10000 these days as inflation has wiped out their usage

Coin values are 250, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 rials, but like the lower notes, these are now dead weights, and you might as well give the money to charities as you’d struggle to spend it.

Ok, here is where it gets tricky, because of hyperinflation being a constant in Tehran. People more often than not refer to notes above IRR10,000 (1,000 toman) as “Two toman” for IRR20,000 and “50 Toman” for IRR500,000. The same idea relates to all currencies paid.

Exchange rate in Iran and Tehran

Exchange rates for foreigners are set at the street rate (i.e., the ones you see in bureaux de change windows), if you are searching on google for IRR

Difference between Toman and Rial=USD rate, it will give you the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) rate and this is of no use as you will never see it offered to individuals. The internet is not your friend in this instance.

If you are heading to Tehran, we recommend Bonbast.com, its an impartial website which tracks the so-called street exchange rate. There rate is usually a little higher than what you will find in money changer shops, but it’s a good yard stick to work out. Do not search on Google though and head to websites like XE.com as that rate is false for tourists.

Current exchange rates in Iran

US dollar, euro and sterling prices have risen against the Iranian rial (IRR) on March 14, as talks over the nuclear deal hang by a thread due to disagreements from foreign countries.

Former CBI governor Abdolnasser Hemmati made the redenomination of the IRR and switchover from the rial to the “Toman” the signature proposal of his tenure at the central bank of Iran, given that soaring inflation over the 41 years of the existence of the Islamic Republic It hasn’t happened yet and the new government is in no rush to get rid of the rial.

Looking for a stay in Tehran? Check out our article about staying at the airport.

Hotels at Tehran Airport




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