World Coins

Saudi Arabia’s new circulating coins now available

Saudi Arabia has launched a new series of seven circulating coins, including a new 2-riyal denomination.

The series also marks the end of the 1-riyal bank note, the denomination of half of all notes in circulation, according to the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority. The new series was launched Dec. 13, 2016, and American dealer Joel Anderson has just obtained sets of the new coins.


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The new Saudi coins are smaller and lighter than their earlier counterparts. The new series introduces varying metallic colors to the nation’s currency, whereas previous series of coins were almost uniformly all nickel or silver in color. Studies by the SAMA found that the earlier 1-riyal coin’s “large size and relatively heavy weight led to weaker circulation and unpopularity” of the coin. 

Full specifications of the new coins were unavailable.

The 1-, 5- and 10-halala coins are composed of a nickel-colored metal, and the 25- and 50-halala coins are copper in color. 

The 1- and 2-riyal coins are ringed-bimetallic issues. The 1-riyal piece has a copper-colored ring and nickel-colored core, while the 2-riyal coin features the opposite combination.

The denominations appear in English on the reverse of all the new coins.

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The obverse of all halala-denominated coins features the kingdom’s national emblem in the center with the king’s title (the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques) in Arabic and a recurrent plant motif atop. The king’s name (Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud) is engraved in Arabic at the bottom of the emblem with the Hijri year (1438) on the right side and the Gregorian year (2016) on the left. The top and bottom of the obverse side are engraved with plant motifs.

The obverse of the two ringed-bimetallic coins show a portrait of King Abdulaziz Al Saud, with his name and the kingdom’s plant motif. 

Anderson offers six of the coins (minus the 1-halala piece) for $16, plus $4 shipping and handling. To order, visit his website.


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