All banknotes issued between 1965 and 2018!

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The land of "two seas"

The Kingdom of Bahrain (in Arabic: البحرين, al-baḥrayn or literally "the two seas") is a small island country located east of Saudi Arabia. This territory was initially made up of thirty-three flat and arid islands, but an intensive development program aimed at creating new habitable lands on the sea, is constantly changing the topography of the country! Most of the territory is made up of the island of Bahrain. This is linked to Saudi Arabia by the King Fahd Causeway constituting a land cordon with the continent.

In 628 Bahrain became one of the first Muslim countries. After a period of domination by the Arabs, the country was occupied by the Portuguese in 1521, before being conquered by the Persians in 1602. In 1783, the Arab tribe Bani Utbah, coming from the center of the Arabian peninsula, seized of the island and the country has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. In the late 1800s, Bahrain became a British protectorate. The discovery of oil deposits in 1932 on the west coast of the Gulf completely disrupted Bahrain's economy. Then the English finally left the region at the end of the 1960s. In 1971, Bahrain declared its independence and constituted itself into a monarchical kingdom under the leadership of the monarch Hamad ben Issa Al Khalifa who became king in 2002 (1).

Bahrain's Issues

The first banknotes were issued between 1965 and 1967 by the Bahrain Currency Board (BCB) with a 100 fils Type 1964 note, then 1/4, 1/2, 1, 5 and 10 dinars. All these banknotes feature an identical front with the Bahraini coat of arms on the right, two dhows stranded on a beach and another boat at sea on the left. These banknotes, as well as all subsequent issues, bear only one signature of Scheikh Khalifa bin Sulman al Khalifa.

Between 1978 and 1979, the Bahrain Monetary Agency offered a second issue with 6 notes of 1/2, 1, 5, 10 and 20 dinars. These are much more colorful and feature new safety signs. The shield of the coat of arms on the front is highlighted and printed in brown, bright red, dark red, blue and green to distinguish the different values.

Between 1993 and 1998, the third and fourth series are quite similar but are illustrated by emblematic monuments of the country and two scenes of local life with a dhow sailing at sea and a blind weaver from the craft center of the village of Bani Jamra. It was not until 2001 that the portrait of the future king, Scheikh Hamad bin Issa al Khalifa, appeared on 20 dinars Type 2001. In 2016, the Central Bank of Bahrain became the new and current monetary institute ...


(1) Bahrain, wikipedia.

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