Thanks to their listing in the Red Book and Roger Burdette's new book, we're all aware of the Saudi gold discs. But
I was unaware of the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) coupons, which circulated as currency for a time. Here's a short article mentioning them. Have these been published or catalogued elsewhere?
Saudi Arabia's founder King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman ordered in 1950 the minting of the Saudi guinea, kickstarting the development of the Kingdom's national currency.
The minting of the guinea was linked to the formation of the Aramco oil company and the aftermath of World War II.
Aramco employees were initially paid their wages in the form of ten pounds of silver, or 4.5 kgs. In 1932, the company issued paper currency known at the time as Aramco coupons.
In the 1940s, and due to WWII, the world witnessed a shortage in the English pound, forcing Aramco between 1946 and 1947 to mint currencies in Philadelphia in the United States to pay Saudi Arabia the cost of the oil. The currencies, known as Aramco dollars, matched the pound in quality.
Al-Harbi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Aramco dollars ranged from one to four dollar notes. Years later, King Abdulaziz would develop the currency into the Saudi guinea.
The Aramco coupons would eventually transform into the Kingdom's currency. Pilgrims' Receipts were printed in 1952 to facilitate the procedures of Hajj pilgrims. They eventually spread throughout the Kingdom and were used as local currency as well.
Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume IX, Number 15, September 26, 2023).
To read the complete article, see:
The Saudi National Currency's Evolution from King Abdulaziz Guinea to Aramco Coupon
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NEW BOOK: SAUDI GOLD
Wayne Homren, Editor
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