15 December 2016
By Ghazanfar Ali Khan & Sharif M. Taha
RIYADH: The Kingdom’s newly designed currency will go into circulation on Dec. 26 in denominations of SR500, SR100, SR50, SR10 and SR5 with coins of different values including SR2 and SR1.
The new bills commemorating the era of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman represent the sixth issue of Saudi banknotes and coins, which were launched on Tuesday night.
“The new banknotes and coins will be officially circulated by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) alongside existing banknotes and coins,” said Ahmed Alkholifey, SAMA governor, while speaking on the occasion of the release of the new legal tender on Tuesday.
Alkholifey said the issuance of the currency represents a bright picture of the economic development realized in different periods of the nation’s history.
The new bills have machine-readable security features to ensure the safety and authenticity of the currency and to safeguard it from forgery.
Alkholifey said that coins will gradually replace paper-based riyals because coin-based riyals have added advantages. In fact, “the life span of coins is estimated between 20 and 25 years compared to 12 to 18 months for paper banknotes based on conditions of their circulation,” said the SAMA chief.
The coin of SR1 has a silver picture of King Salman. On top of the coin, the Hijri year (1438) is written, while in the bottom the Gregorian year 2016 is written. The third coin of 50 halalas have also its value written in English and Arabic. The coin of 25 halalas, like other coins, the title of the king — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques — is written with Arabic and English pointers for values.
The 10 halala coin has the Kingdom’s emblem above, and the title of Custodian of the Two Mosques is written in Arabic like other coins.