Saudi Arabia is a very strong and important country in the Middle East. King Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Alfaisal unified the Sultanate of Najd and Hijaz Region into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1925. The new country used several precious metal foreign coins such as the Austrian silver Taler, British Sovereign. The Taler was locally called “Ariyal Alfransi” which means French Riyal. King Abdulaziz understood the importance that his Kingdom have its own currency, and in 1935 had the first Silver Saudi Arabian Riyal (SAR) minted. The half Riyal and quarter Riyal were also put into circulation that year. In 1952, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) was formed to stabilize the value of the currency. As the country and economy became more stable, King Abdulaziz noticed that Hajj Pilgrims were struggling to carry the heavy Silver Riyals. SAMA started issuing the first paper money known as Pilgrim Receipts which were worth 10 Silver Royals. In 1961 SAMA issued the first official banknotes and eventually phased out the Pilgrim Receipts. Saudi Arabia has had 6 series since then, each one displaying religious, government and landscape images and strong anti-counterfeiting features. Since 2003 the conversion rate was pegged to the US Dollar.
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