PMG's Featured Note of the Month: Saudi Arabia 10 Riyals

Posted on 6/25/2024

This month's note started out as a way to help pilgrims journeying to Mecca and, due to its popularity, led to a full set of paper money.

Saudi Arabia, Monetary Agency ND (1953) / AH1372 10 Riyals graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ
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Country: Saudi Arabia

Catalog Number: 1

Date: ND (1953)

Denomination: 10 Riyals

Varieties: The PMG Population Report also records Specimens (1s).

What makes it special? This is the first note issued by the government of Saudi Arabia. Initially, it was intended to be used by foreign pilgrims making the hajj, the pilgrimage to the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The 10 Riyals was introduced in 1953, followed by the 1 Riyal the next year and the 5 Riyals shortly afterward. The notes found wide acceptance in Saudi Arabia, so the Saudi Central Bank decided to issue a full set of currency starting in 1961.

Did you know? One of the five pillars of Islam, the hajj draws more than 1 million Muslims a year from all over the world. Because the Islamic calendar is lunar, the date of the hajj moves relative to the Gregorian calendar. This year, it was held June 14-19. Next year, it will be in early June, and the following year it will be in late May.

Total graded by PMG: As of early June 2024, the PMG Population Report includes 400 examples of Pick# 1 and 5 Specimens.

PMG median grade: PMG 35 Choice Very Fine for the issued notes and PMG 62 Uncirculated for the Specimens

PMG highest graded: The PMG Population Report lists a single example of Pick# 1 in PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ.

Sales highlights: An example of Pick# 1 graded PMG 58 Choice About Uncirculated EPQ realized $14,000 at a Heritage Auctions sale in March 2023. An example in the median grade of PMG 35 Choice Very Fine realized $2,880 at a Heritage Auctions sale in March 2024.

PMG Registry: This note is part of two Saudi Arabia categories in the PMG Registry, including the most popular: 1953-Date, Issued Notes, Complete, Including Varieties, where the first-place set, Anas Bilal's Saudi Arabia, 1953-Date, Complete, P1-Date, Issued, has a Pick# 1 graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated EPQ. It is also part of Haj Pilgrim Receipt Issue Set, 1953-1954, P1-P4, Issued Notes, which is led by Anas Bilal's Haj Pilgrim Receipt Issue Set, 1953-1954, P1-P4, Issued Notes, which uses the same note as his other set.

Previous Notes of the Month:

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