Why Saudi Arabia stopped issuing one riyal notes

The new Saudi Arabian currency notes have added security lines and new features that make forgery difficult

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The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) released new designs of Saudi banknotes and coins, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The new Saudi Arabian currency notes have added security lines and new features that make forgery difficult.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency said the one Riyal category will be issued into coins due to the increase of the one Riyal banknote in circulation.

"The number of one Riyal banknotes constitutes half of the banknotes in circulation. This posed challenges and it was thus decided to gradually replace it with coins," the monetary agncy said.

"Coining and circulating the Riyal coin has many positive effects on the Saudi economy because the average coin cycle is between 20 and 25 years while that of paper currency is estimated between 12 and 18 months, depending on the circumstances of circulating it," the monetary agency added.

Walid al-Sayyal, head of the currency department at the monetary agency, commented on adding the 2 Riyals category to the currency saying it will be introduced in a coin form because harmful bacteria affected paper currency which has to be continuously replaced, as they get damaged faster than coins.

The small categories of currency will be available in markets, centers, malls, banks and the monetary agency as of December 27.

The ministry of commerce will follow up on violations and deal with those who refuse to trade using coins. It will impose the necessary measures in coordination with the monetary institution.

The monetary institution's administration will also study the market's needs and gradually withdraw the fifth issue from circulation.

Releasing ceremony

The releasing ceremony was held in the presence of Ibrahim al-Assaf, minister of state and member of the Cabinet, and SAMA Governor Ahmed al-Khulaifi.

Speaking on the occasion, al-Khulaifi said that the newly released coins and banknotes will be available at all branches of SAMA from Dec. 26.

SAMA has introduced SR2 in the form of coins.

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