Like Saudi Arabia, Saudi Riyal has a divergent history which is really fascinating. The current worth of Saudi Riyal is 1 USD = 3.75 SAR, the pegging shows the triple worth superiority of dollar over Saudi Riyal.
Origin of word Riyal: The word Riyal has been originated from Spanish word ‘Real’. The cognition of word real to Royal of Regal resulted in the formation of word ‘Riyal’. This term shows the link between Royal cultures of Saudi Arabia with currency which has been replaced by Maria Theresa Thaler (MTT).
Time of origin of Riyal: Modern Saudi Arabia was formed after the origin of Riyal, it was issued during early 20th century and various western parts of Saudi Arabia recognized it as national currency for all kind of transactions at national and international forums.
Old currency of Saudi Arabia: Earlier than Saudi Riyal Maria Theresa Thaler (MTT) was used as the official currency of Saudi Arabia. The modern currency has been originated from Spain whereas ancient currency had its origin from Austria. It was also called “Alriyal Alfransi” which means ‘the French Riyal’.
The original value of Riyal: The original value of Saudi Riyal was tied to Ottoman Kurus which was locally known as Ottoman Kurus.
Distribution of coins value: In early 20th centuries partially valued coins were issued by the Royal government. In 1927 three coins were officially issued having a value of ¼, ½ and 1 riyal. Nowadays 1 Riyal is the minimum value of the currency to be used for transactions.
Subdivision of Riyal to Halala: The ghirsh was subdivided to the least currency value equal to 1/100th of a riyal. This was named as 1 halala or you can say that one Riyal was based on 100 coins of Halala.
Saudi monetary authority is the second oldest central bank in entire Arab World: The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) serves Saudi Arabia as a central bank, it monitors, prints and issues currency for transaction purposes. It is the second oldest central bank in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia has replaced Saudi Hollandi Bank with Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) in order to serve the purpose of the de Facto central bank of Kingdom.
The issuance of first banknotes: In 1953, Saudi Arabia issued its first highest currency note i.e.10 Riyal. Before it, the country was circulating currency only with coins and it required huge costs for counting and saving money along with strict security measures.
Currency for Pilgrims: Pilgrim receipts were first currency replacement instruments which were introduced in order to meet transaction needs of Haj Pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia. These notes were used for foreign exchange transaction by Pilgrims. Pilgrim receipts were first phased out officially in 1964.
The picture on Saudi Riyal: The picture displayed on 1 Saudi Riyal note is basically shot of building of SAMA headquarters. The front side of note shows the picture of a coin which is of a gold dinar, this gold dinar was officially used as the currency of Saudi Arabia during the 7th century.
Source: Destination Jeddah