JEDDAH — The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) announced that new riyal coins will replace one riyal notes starting from Thursday (May 24), 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.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) had announced the move after Riyadh authorities issued the sixth generation of banknotes and coins in December 2016 to mark the era of the current monarch King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
A SAMA statement said that the metallic coins represent a core part of the Saudi national currency, adding that those who refuse to use them would face legal measures.
The monetary authority said that the replacement would have a positive effect and expose traders who refused to accept riyal coins.
“The metallic currency will have a longer life expectancy, greater resilience to counterfeiting, ease of recycling and lower health risks,” it said in the statement.
The average life expectancy of a coin is estimated at 20-25 years, compared to the life expectancy of the paper currency, which is estimated between 12 months and 18 months depending on the conditions of circulation.
The SAMA statement said that the paper Saudi riyals in different denominations make up 49 per cent of the trade currency in the country.
It announced that all denominations of the SAR coins will be available at SAMA branches and banks across the Kingdom.
It urged people to lodge complaints on its website samacares.sa or call hotline 8001256666 in case banks don’t provide customers with the new metallic riyals.