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| 24 May, 2018

Saudi Riyal coins to gradually replace notes

The coins will begin circulating in the market as of Thursday along with notes, which will be gradually phased out

Image of Saudi riyal used for illustrative purpose.

Image of Saudi riyal used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images

JEDDAH - The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) announced that new riyal coins will replace one riyal notes starting from Thursday, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

It said paper currencies will still be traded alongside the new coins until until all the one riyal notes are gradually phased out across banks, as planned. 

SAMA said the coin has been coined under the patronage of King Salman and has received great attention and care, while relying on detailed studies on the world’s latest technology in coin industry. 

It said the new designs come in small sizes, along with shapes and colors different from the previous coin designs. 

The agency had earlier unveiled the new design of coins in different denominations, including the one riyal and the new two riyal coins. The other coins are in the 50-halala, 25-halala, 10-halala and one-halala denominations.

During the launch of the annual release of monetary currency, SAMA said that procedures were in place for handling the coins in all commercial banks across the Kingdom. 

SAMA urged all commercial banks to facilitate the circulation of the currency by installing high speed checking machines in their branches and cash centers, and providing machines to accept depositing coins.

It stated that the new riyal coin is an integral part of the national currency that will be traded alongside the note riyal, and that the refusal of circulating coins will expose violators to penalties. 

It also noted that the decision to replace the one riyal notes with riyal coins has many positive effects on the Saudi economy.

Adding that the existence of the one riyal notes in circulation affected the selling of riyal coins, and at times led to its rejection by traders. 

This resulted in rejecting denominations of the coin, which in turn led shop owners to feel less urged to provide coins. Such widespread negative practices contributed to the rejection of the coin.

It said the number of banknotes traded in the riyal notes category make up 49% from the amount of banknotes in circulation across the country because they do not enter the natural cycle of cashflow, due to being transferred among traders for long periods of time, during which the paper currency becomes severely worn out. 

It noted that among the benefits of the decision is that the average coin life expectancy is estimated at twenty to twenty-five years, compared to the life expectancy of paper currency, which is estimated between twelve months and eighteen months, depending on the conditions of circulation.

It also noted that coins are efficient for recycling, and their transfer and preservation remain easier that paper currency. 

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