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Volume :6 Issue : 24 1980      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

A STUDY OF THE HISTORY OF THE CURRENCY OF SAUDI ARABIA

Auther : By: Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Gwaiz

 
 

The primary aim of this study is to identify and characterize the coins and paper currency issued by the Saudi State. The study also reviews the political, social and economic conditions that prevailed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from the time of its creation by King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud to the present day.

Almost sixty years ago, King Abdul Aziz unified the regions of Hijaz, Asir, Najd and Al-Hassa into a single autonomous state. A few years after its unification was completed, the state adopted officially the name “Al-Mamlakah Al-Arabiah Al-Saudiah”, or Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The government subsequently phased out the local currencies of the various regions, which consisted largely of Hashemite coins in Hijaz and foreign currency counter-stamped with the name of the region in which they were circulated.

The coins initially issued by the government of King Abdul Aziz were made of either copper-nickel alloys (for the Guirsh and its fractions) or of silver (for the Riyal and its fractions). With the discovery and exploitation of the country’s huge oil reserves the monetary liquidity in the country increased and the government started issuing paper money in order to reduce the bulkiness of financial transactions.

During the later part of the 1950’s the country faced severe financial problems and the value of its currency decreased markedly in foreign exchange markets. The government then initiated a major financial reform program, creating the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and charging it with responsibility of implementing and regulating the monetary policy of the country. The Agency instituted the decimal system in the currency issues of the country and expanded the participation of Saudi Arabia in international commemorative issues.

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