Stamps and Postal History

C U R R E N C I E S
The Bank Notes of Bahrain
(Peter Symes)

The Bank Notes of Bahrain

Bahrain is one of the smallest states in the world, both in area and population. The small population requires a limited amount of currency, and there have been only several issues in the less-than-forty years since Bahrain introduced its own banknotes. For many years the series of banknotes issued by the authorities in Bahrain have contained just enough variation to make them a little less than straightforward to collect. However, largely unrecorded developments since 1998 have created a modern series that is challenging to collect.

The Bahrain Currency Board

In the modern era, Bahrain was served initially by foreign currencies. Maria Theresa thalers, British sovereigns, and other gold and silver coins circulated for many years. However, British influence and trade with the sub-continent exposed the merchants of Bahrain to the Indian Rupee. It was only a matter of time, particularly with Britain looking after Bahrain’s foreign affairs, that the Indian Rupee became the standard against which other currencies were measured. Because of problems in smuggling gold from the Arabian Gulf to India, in May 1959 India introduced the ‘External Rupee’ for circulation in those areas outside India that used the Indian rupee. Only the states of the Arabian Gulf used the Indian rupee at this time, so the notes designated as External rupees soon became known as ‘Gulf rupees’. These new notes, which were in the pattern of the Indian notes but printed in different colours, became the currency of Bahrain. However, as Bahrain matured and began to seek the trappings of statehood, the quest for its own currency began.

The decision to introduce a national currency for Bahrain was announced in early 1964, less than three years after the accession of Sheikh Isa bin Sulman al Khalifa as Ruler of Bahrain. In the first instance, a Provisional Currency Board was established to prepare for the introduction of the new currency. The members of the Provisional Currency Board were: H. E. Shaikh Khlifah bin Sulman al Khalifah (chairman), Sayyed Mahmoud Ahmed al Alawi, Sayyed Ahmed Ali Kanoo, Mr. C. E. Loombe and Mr. M. F. Gilbert.

The Provisional Currency Board prepared a draft decree for the introduction of the currency, approved the denominations and designs of the currency, and placed orders for the delivery of the currency. The draft ‘Currency Decree’ was subsequently published as ‘Decree No. 6 (Finance) of 1964’ on 9 December 1964, under the authority of the Ruler of Bahrain. On the same day ‘Decree No. 7 (Finance) of 1964’ was issued, which abolished the Provisional Currency Board and appointed the permanent Currency Board. The members of the Board were: H. E. Shaikh Khlifah bin Sulman al Khalifah (chairman), Sayyed Mahmoud Ahmed al Alawi, Sayyed Ahmed Yousuf Fakhroo, Sayyed Ahmed Ali Kanoo, Sayyed Ali Abdulrahman Al-Wazzan and Mr. C. E. Loombe.

One of the first actions of the Currency Board was to introduce the issue of bank notes prepared by the Provisional Currency Board. The bank notes consisted of the five denominations ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 dinars. The dinar, divided into 1,000 fils, was fixed at 1.86621 grammes of fine gold and was equal to fifteen shillings sterling. In July 1964 the Provisional Currency Board had made an announcement concerning the introduction of the new dinar and, in that announcement, had stated that the dinar would be issued at a par with the pound sterling. However, on reflection it was felt that it would be better to make the dinar equal to fifteen shillings rather than the pound, as this meant that one dinar would equal ten Gulf rupees and the change to the new currency would be less confusing to the public.

The bank notes were printed by Thomas De La Rue and Company Limited and were released to the public, along with new coins, on 16 October 1965 under ‘Decree No. 10 (Finance) of 1965’. Under the Decree, a period of exchange was established between 16 and 22 October, whereby Gulf rupees could be exchanged for the new currency. The period of exchange was later extended to 24 October and, following that date, the dinar became the sole legal currency in Bahrain. The old and new currencies were exchanged through retail banks in Bahrain—The Arab Bank, The Bank of Bahrain, The British Bank of the Middle East and The Eastern Bank—as well as some Police Stations and temporary exchange offices in several municipalities. The Bahrain Petroleum Company also established exchange centres for its employees, and these centres were also used by non-employees in these localities. The total value of the Gulf rupees withdrawn from circulation during the period of exchange was Rs. 78,552,994.64, of which Rs.77,730,291.00 consisted of bank notes.

The following specifications of the notes issued by the Bahrain Currency Board are largely drawn from ‘Decree No. 9 (Finance) of 1965’, which designates the form of the currency. Firstly, there is a common front to all notes in this issue. The front of each note contains the name of the Currency Board in Arabic at the top centre, the crest of the Ruler of Bahrain to the right, a sailing dhow to the left and a two beached dhows in the centre. The denominational values appear in each corner. The notes are signed by Shaikh Khlifah bin Sulman al Khalifah, Chairman of the Currency Board. All text on the front of the notes is in Arabic, while all text on the back of the notes is in English. The watermark on all notes is the head of a falcon (and is located to the left of the notes), while a solid security thread runs vertically through the notes to the right of centre.

The use of a falcon as the watermark is not unexpected. The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus peregrinus) is a well-known sight in Bahrain. However, the bird is not a native and neither does it breed on the island. Instead, it is imported from the Syrian Desert or the Persian Coast, and it is used for hunting. Falconing is a traditional Arab sport and the use of the falcon as the watermark on the notes of the first two series of bank notes gives some indication of the regard in which the birds and the sport are held. However, game is now so rare for the sportsmen, that they often take their falcons to places such as Morocco to hunt.

The illustrations selected for the back of each denomination in this issue display modern and bygone images of Bahrain. The oil rig and oil refinery on the back of ¼-dinar note depict an aspect of modern Bahrain. The oil industry in Bahrain owes its beginning to a New Zealander named Frank Holmes who, after drilling for artesian water, believed there might be oil beneath Bahrain. On 2 December 1925, Holmes was granted a two-year prospecting concession. After failing to interest British companies, Holmes approached American interests with the ultimate result that Bahrain Petroleum Company Limited (BAPCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Oil, was established to exploit what oil might be found. BAPCO was assigned the prospecting concession on 1 August 1930. The first commercial oil well, immediately to the south of Awali, began to flow in 1932 and by 1935 there were sixteen wells producing oil. In 1936 a small refinery was opened on the east of Bahrain, near Sitra Island, and in the following year it was expanded to a capacity of 25,000 barrels a day. This expansion enabled it to handle more crude oil than Bahrain could produce, so a pipeline was constructed from Bahrain to Dammam, in Saudi Arabia, to allow Saudi crude to be processed in Bahrain. To export the crude, a new port facility and a three mile jetty were built on Sitra Island. Despite the abundance of oil in the Arabian Peninsula, Bahrain’s oil reserves are quite small. However, Bahrain had the good fortune to be one of the earlier recipients of oil revenues, and has used the revenues to establish other industries in Bahrain and to establish itself as a leading financial centre of the Gulf region.

Modern Bahrain is again depicted on the back of the ½-dinar note with ships alongside the Mina Sulman Jetty. The waters around Bahrain are quite shallow and only ships with a shallow draft could pull alongside the Customs pier in northern Manama, which for many years was the principal point of access for vessels arriving in Bahrain. To allow access by larger vessels, the old Naval Pier near Jufair, in southern Manama, was extended during the 1950s and better port facilities were constructed. The new port, Mina Sulman, was named after the late Ruler.

The 1-dinar note depicts old Bahrain, showing the ruins of the Suq al Khamis mosque. The remnants of the Suq al Khamis (Thursday Market) mosque are one of the oldest relics of Islam in the whole Arabian Gulf. Originally found to the south of Manama, the modern metropolis has grown to encircle the ruins. Dominated by two minarets, whose construction is relatively modern, the ruins have been restored and reinforced with concrete. Although the age of the mosque is not known, it was recorded that an inscription once appeared on one of the mosque’s wall dating part of the construction at 740 AH (1339 AD). One sign of the antiquity of the mosque is the use of a ‘Qibla’ wall, which had stones set beside it to indicate the direction of Mecca. In most mosques, the direction of Mecca is indicated by a ‘Mihrab’ or prayer niche in one wall of the mosque. The use of Qibla stones is therefore quite unusual, with the only other mosques known to have Qibla stones being those of Ibn Tulun in Cairo and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. Built inside a wall that measured twenty-seven by thirty yards, the mosque was constructed from stones quarried in Bahrain. Built around a central courtyard, the pillars and columns were joined by arches that supported a teak frame, which in turn supported a roof that was probably constructed with brushwood.

The 5-dinar note illustrates the pearling industry. Bahrain has been famous since antiquity for its pearls. The ancient Roman commentator Pliny recognized Tylos (the Roman name for Bahrain) as ‘famous for the vast number of its pearls’. It was the wealth generated by the harvesting of pearls that attracted many powers to the island, including the Portuguese in the sixteenth century and the current ruling family, the al Kalifah (who originally came from Kuwait). The pearling industry has been in decline for most of the twentieth century, with almost no pearling being undertaken in the second half of the century. However the memory of the industry and its rewards linger in Bahrain.

The pearl-diving industry in Bahrain was strictly controlled by the Government, with the season being rigorously regulated and policed. Diving could only be conducted without breathing equipment. The illustration on the 5-dinar notes of the first and second series is composed from two photographs taken by Sir Charles Belgrave, an advisor to the Sheikh of Bahrain. The boat on the left is from a photograph that appears in Sir Charles’ book Personal Column, being an account of his time in Bahrain, while the second boat is from a photograph published in Welcome to Bahrain by James H. D. Belgrave (the son of Sir Charles). The second photograph illustrates a boat with oars fixed horizontally, divers in the water and crews on the deck. The oars are fixed horizontally so that two ropes may be thrown over each oar. One weighted rope is attached to a diver, while the other is fixed to a bag for collecting the oysters. The divers wear either a simple loin cloth or a cotton garment to protect them from the sting of the blue jelly-fish. On their hands they wear leather guards and on their nose most divers attach nose-clips of bone or tortoise shell. The divers descend to a maximum depth of twelve fathoms with the aid of the weighted rope, and once at the bottom they release themselves from that rope which is then hauled to the surface. Staying under water for about one and a half minutes, the diver collects as many shells as possible before tugging on the second rope to be hauled to the surface. The boats used for pearling were either the ‘sambuq’ or the ‘jalibut’ (see the descriptions of ‘Dhows’ below).

The 10-dinar note holds an illustration of what was one of Bahrain’s greater achievements at the time these notes were issued – the building of Isa Town. Lying to the south-west of Manama and designed to house 35,000 people, Isa Town was built with the object of providing housing for those many Bahrainis who might not otherwise have been able to buy their own homes. The Government provided the public buildings, services and amenities, while the residents are responsible only for the cost of the houses, the finance for which could be raised through mortgages with the
Government’s Loan Scheme.

The details of each note follow, with the reference number from the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money (SCWPM) Volume three, Seventh edition, included for each description.

Denomination: ¼ Dinar.
SCWPM No.: 2
Size: 140 mm x 60 mm.
Back: Oil rig with an oil refinery in the background.
Colours: Front—Brown intaglio printing, with an under-print of brown, light violet, green and ochre.
Back—Brown intaglio printing, with an under-print of ochre, violet, orange and green.

Denomination: ½ Dinar.
SCWPM No.: 3
Size: 144 mm x 64 mm.
Back: Ships at the Mina Sulman Jetty.
Colours: Front—Purple intaglio printing, with an under-print of purple, yellow, pink and green.
Back—Purple intaglio printing, with an under-print of pink, green and blue.

Denomination: 1 Dinar.
SCWPM No.: 4
Size: 148 mm x 68 mm.
Back: The ruins of the Suq al Khamis mosque.
Colours: Front—Carmine red intaglio printing, with an under-print of pink, yellow and orange.
Back—Carmine red intaglio printing, with an under-print of violet, orange and vermillion.

Denomination: 5 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 5
Size: 152 mm x 72 mm.
Back: Two pearling dhows with crews and divers. One dhow is anchored and one is underway.
Colours: Front—Blue intaglio printing, with an under-print of turquoise, green, brown, blue and purple.
Back—Blue intaglio printing, with an under-print of carmine, blue and yellow.

Denomination: 10 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 6
Size: 156 mm x 76 mm.
Back: An aerial view of Isa Town.
Colours: Front—Green intaglio printing with an under-print of green, blue, orange, mauve and green.
Back—Green intaglio printing, with an under-print of acid yellow, ochre and mushroom.

The serial numbers on the notes of the first issue consist of a prefix containing two letters, followed by six numerals—with all characters being Arabic characters. The prefix of the serial numbers is constructed such that the right-hand letter remains static, while the left-hand letter changes in sequence. The sequence used for the letters in the prefix is the ‘numeric’ sequence, or ‘Abjad’ sequence, of the Arabic alphabet. The static letters assigned to each denomination are:
Ç (alif) ¼ Dinar
È (baa) ½ Dinar
Ì (jiim) 1 Dinar
Ï (daa) 5 Dinars
· (haa) 10 Dinars
Specimen notes were produced for this issue and have SPECIMEN printed in a red sans-serif font on both sides of the note, sloping from the bottom left to the top right. The serial numbers on the specimen notes have a prefix consisting of their static letter repeated twice (i.e. the 10 dinar note has ··, the 5 dinar has ÏÏ, et cetera), followed by six zeroes.
In 1966 the only Gulf states to have introduced their own currency were Kuwait and Bahrain. The other Gulf states used the Indian External Rupee, or Gulf Rupee as their currency. In June 1966 India devalued the Rupee and the devaluation encompassed the Gulf Rupee. Such was the impact of the devaluation, that most states abandoned the Gulf Rupee and adopted the riyal of the Qatar & Dubai Currency Board – after temporarily using the riyals of Saudi Arabia. However, Abu Dhabi decided to use the dinar of Bahrain. Consequently, under ‘Decree No. 1 (Finance) of 1967’, the Bahrain Currency Board was authorized to issue and redeem their dinar in Abu Dhabi.
Following the release of Bahrain’s new notes in 1965, it had been suggested that a 100-fils note should also have been introduced, as this value equalled one rupee—the lowest denomination note circulating prior to the introduction of the new currency. A 100-fils note was subsequently issued on 2 September 1967 under ‘Decree No. 2 (Finance) of 1967’. The new note was in most respects similar to the notes of the series it complemented, with the exception of the serial number. The serial numbers on the 100-fils note are red and have a single letter prefix, as opposed to the black serial numbers of the other notes with the double letter prefix.
The back of the 100-fils note illustrates traditional agriculture. Agriculture in Bahrain has been plentiful over the centuries due to many natural springs on the island. The two most common crops in Bahrain for many years were dates and lucerne, with lucerne often being grown in the shade of the date gardens.

Denomination: 100 fils.
SCWPM No.: 1
Size: 120 mm x 56 mm.
Back: Three date palms in the centre, two boats in the distance on the right, and a date grove to the left.
Colours: Front—Dark grey intaglio printing, with an under-print of light orange, pink and green.
Back—Green, orange and grey.

The Bahrain Monetary Agency’s First Issue

Bahrain became an independent sovereign state on 15 August 1971, but this brought no change to the currency in circulation and the Currency Board continued as Bahrain’s issuing authority. However, it was felt by the Government that Bahrain would be better served by an authority that could operate as a central bank, rather than simply as a currency board. To this end, the Government sought to establish the Bahrain Monetary Agency as the financial regulating authority of Bahrain. The Agency was formerly established by ‘Decree No. 23 of 1973’ on 5 December 1973. Subsuming the responsibilities of the Bahrain Currency Board, the Bahrain Monetary Agency initially maintained the circulation of the notes issued by the Currency Board. The circulation remained unchanged until October 1977 when a decision was taken to remove the 100-fils notes in favour of a coin. Dealing in the100-fils notes ceased in November 1980.
In July 1978 the first note issued by the Bahrain Monetary Agency was released to the public. This note was the new denomination of 20 dinars and it introduced a design on which an entire new series was to be styled. On the front of the note, the title of the new issuing authority appears at the top, the crest of the Ruler of Bahrain appears to the right, a dhow under full sail appears in the centre, while at the left there are three features. The most dominant of the three features is a map of the Bahrain archipelago, to the left of which appears a vignette of a minaret of the al Fadhel mosque, while to the right is disc displaying the points of the compass, surmounted by a device showing North. On the back of the note, to the left, is the new Government House. In the centre is a design containing the denomination, and to the right is a pale area used for viewing the watermark. The note is once again signed by Shaikh Khlifah bin Sulman al Khalifah, the Prime Minister and now Chairman of the Agency’s Board of Directors. The note maintains the solid security thread and the watermark of the falcon’s head, that appeared in the Currency Board’s issue, however the new note introduces a fluorescent feature. This feature occurs on the front of the note and consists of the denomination in Arabic numerals in the upper and lower centre of the note, which become apparent when the note is submitted to ultra-violet light.
The remaining notes of the Bahrain Monetary Agency’s first series were placed into circulation on 16 December 1979. The denominations of ½, 1, 5 and 10 dinars complemented the 20-dinar note issued the previous year. The ¼ dinar was discontinued. The common front, introduced for the 20-dinar note, was maintained for all notes in this issue, as were the solid security thread, the falcon’s head watermark and the fluorescent features of each note’s denomination. The only items that changed for each note were the colour, size, the denominational values and the small vignette on the far left. However, the back of each note carried distinct designs, while all being of a similar style.
The ½-dinar note has a bull’s head as the minor vignette on its front. The small bull’s head was found in the excavations of a temple complex near Barbar. Estimated to have been created around 2500 BC, the copper bull’s head was found with many other items in the tank of the temple, a temple belonging to the ancient civilization of Dilmun. The back of the ½-dinar note bears an illustration of the smelting house of Aluminium Bahrain. Aluminium Bahrain, or ALBA as it is more commonly known, is one of the earlier initiatives of the Bahrain Development Bureau, which was established to facilitate investment and employment in Bahrain. ALBA was established by a consortium of British, Swedish, French and United States companies and the Government of Bahrain. The first production of aluminium was poured by the Amir, Sheikh Isa bin Salman al Khalifa in May 1971. The £40 million smelter built for ALBA was designed to produce 90,000 tonnes of aluminium a year. After many years of progress and development the plant now produces 460,000 tonnes a year.
The 1-dinar note has the minaret of the Manama mosque as the small vignette on its front. The Manama mosque was built in 1938 with the first oil revenues. Largely an unimaginative building, the minaret is perhaps the building’s most interesting feature. The back of the note has an illustration of the headquarters of the Bahrain Monetary Agency. The modern headquarters of the Monetary Agency are located on the Corniche in Manama. The building was opened in September 1978.
The 5-dinar note has one of the minarets of the Suq al Khamis mosque (see above) as the small vignette on its front and two pearling boats on its back. The illustration of the pearling boats on the new 5-dinar note is adapted from the illustration on the back of the first 5-dinar note.
The 10-dinar note carries a vignette of a wind-tower on its front. Before the days of airconditioners and fans, the architects of the Arabian Gulf had devised the use of wind towers to provide ventilation. The towers were square, but were divided into four triangular shafts by an internal frame. The towers could capture a breeze from any direction and direct it into the building in which it was incorporated. As the cool air was directed into the building, the warm air inside was forced up the opposite side of the wind-tower. Usually found in houses that belonged to the well-to-do, there are now very few examples of original wind-towers to be found anywhere in the Gulf, although they do exist. However, some modern buildings incorporate mock wind towers in an effort to capture the architectural style of the old buildings.
The back of the 10-dinar note carries an aerial view of the Bahrain dry dock. The Bahrain dry dock is located on the small island of Muharraq, which is also home to the International Airport. When the dry dock was opened on 23 October 1977, it was the only facility between Portugal and Singapore that could service supertankers. The dry dock was financed by several of the Gulf nations and remains an import source of revenue for Bahrain. The facility was officially dedicated at a ceremony on 15 December 1977.
The serial numbers for the Agency’s first series of banknotes maintain the format used by the Currency Board’s issue. The static letters assigned to each denomination remained unchanged, with the 20-dinar notes taking the next letter in the sequence. The assignations for this issue are:
È (baa) ½ Dinar
Ì (jiim) 1 Dinar
Ï (daa) 5 Dinars
· (haa) 10 Dinars
æ (waaw) 20 Dinars
The 20-dinar note underwent slight modification at some time after its initial release. While maintaining the overall appearance of the note that was originally released, there were a number of changes to enhance the security of the note. The features that were added or changed were:

• The intaglio border at the top, on the front of the note, was reworked to include two latent images, to the left and right of the Agency’s name. The latent images are of the note’s value, expressed in Arabic numerals.


• A silver disc is printed beneath the denomination in the bottom left on the front of the note.
• A background pattern has been added to the area containing the map of Bahrain.
• There are slight changes to the colours used on the under-print, both front and back.
• The disc containing the points of the compass has been redrawn and it now becomes a perfect registration device. An eight-point star, with a white disc in the centre now dominates the disc, and the device at the top (which indicated North) has been removed. A similar device appears on the back of the note and registers perfectly with the design on the front.
• The back of the note now uses three colours (as opposed to one) for the intaglio printing.
• Micro-printing is used on the inside of the border that surrounds the area reserved for viewing the watermark. The micro-printing repeats the words: BAHRAIN MONETARY AGENCY.


Some time later, both the 10- and 20-dinar notes underwent modifications. There were just two changes.


• The serial number at the top left was printed vertically in red ink. (The serial number at the bottom right remained printed horizontally in black ink.)
• The colour of the fluorescent feature changed. The devices previously fluoresced yellow, but now fluoresce green.



Denomination: ½ Dinar.
SCWPM No.: 7
Size: 144 mm x 64 mm.
Front: Standard design for the issue, with a vignette of the head of a bull cast in copper.
Back: The smelting house of Aluminium Bahrain.
Colours: Front—Brown intaglio printing, with an under-print of purple, brown, blue, khaki, yellow, orange and pink.
Back—Brown intaglio printing, with an under-print of purple, khaki, orange, grey and blue.

Denomination: 1 Dinar.
SCWPM No.: 8
Size: 148 mm x 68 mm.
Front: Standard design for the issue, with the minaret of Manama mosque.
Back: The headquarters of the Bahrain Monetary Agency.
Colours: Front—Crimson and red intaglio printing, with an under-print of khaki, red, crimson, blue, pink and pale purple.
Back—Red intaglio printing, with an under-print of red, purple, khaki, pink and yellow.

Denomination: 5 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 8A
Size: 152 mm x 72 mm.
Front: Standard design for the issue, with a minaret of the Suq al Khamis mosque.
Back: Two pearling boats, one anchored and one underway.
Colours: Front—Blue and green intaglio printing, with an under-print of olive green, blue, turquoise, green, pink and brown.
Back—Blue intaglio printing, with an under-print of green, blue, brown and gold.

Denomination: 10 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 9
Size: 156 mm x 76 mm.
Front: Standard design for the issue, with a wind tower (used for ventilating houses).
Back: An aerial view of a ship being repaired in the Bahrain dry dock.
Colours: Front—Dark and light green intaglio printing, with an under-print of green, brown, blue, pink and grey.
Back—Dark green intaglio printing, with an under-print of green, blue, brown and purple.
a) Serial numbers both printed horizontally in black ink. There are yellow fluorescent features.
b) Top left serial number is printed vertically in red ink, while the bottom right serial number is printed horizontally in black ink. The fluorescent features are green.

Denomination: 20 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 10
Size: 160 mm x 80 mm.
Front: Standard design for the issue, with a minaret of the al Fadhel mosque.
Back: Government House.
Colours: Front—Brown, purple and red intaglio ink, with an under-print of brown, blue, salmon, pink, khaki and green.
Back—Brown intaglio printing, with an under-print of green, brown, khaki, pale purple and salmon.
Compass point on top of disc with compass directions. The serial numbers are both printed horizontally in black ink.
SCWPM No.: 11
Colours: Front—Brown, purple and red intaglio ink, with an under-print of brown, blue, orange, pink, khaki and green.
Back—Brown, blue and orange intaglio printing, with an under-print of green, brown, khaki, purple and salmon.


a) Perfect registration device; latent images; silver disc at bottom left, below the value of the note; pattern surrounding the map of Bahrain; micro-printing around border used for the area holding the watermark (on the back). The serial numbers are both printed horizontally in black ink.
b) Details as for the previous variety (i.e. the (a) variety), except that the top left serial number is printed vertically in red ink, while the bottom right serial number is printed horizontally in black ink; and the fluorescent features are now green.

The notes of the first issue by the Bahrain Monetary Agency ceased to be legal tender on 31 March 1996, but could be exchanged for notes of the new issue with the Bahrain Monetary Agency until 31 March 1997.

The Bahrain Monetary Agency’s Second Issue

The second issue of notes by the Bahrain Monetary Agency was made to the public during March 1993. Continuing with several features to be found in the notes of the Agency’s first issue, there are nevertheless dramatic changes to the notes of this issue. Addressing the similarities first, it can be seen that the general colours of each denomination are the same as those in the previous issue. Two features which dominated the front of the notes in the previous issue are also retained—the map of Bahrain, which remains on the left, and the crest of the Ruler of Bahrain, which is now found in the centre of the note. While the style of each note in the new issue is very similar, the individual designs are distinctly different, with this being achieved by using devices specific to each design.
Each note has a panel at the top of the note, containing the name of the issuing authority, with this panel being part of an intaglio border across the top of the note, the details of which change from note to note. Another border runs along the bottom of each note, with this border always being broken below the crest of the Ruler of Bahrain—making space for the signature of Shaikh Khlifah bin Sulman al Khalifah. Each note has its own ‘shape’ which is used three times in the design on the front of the note. This shape is used firstly as a border around the map of Bahrain, then as a panel holding a latent image in the top right, and lastly as a panel printed in a ‘metallic’ ink in the bottom right. For the 20-dinar note this ‘shape’ is a circle, for the 10-dinar note it is an octagon, for the 5-dinar note it is two offset squares, for the 1-dinar note it is a hexagon, and for the ½-dinar note it is a square with scalloped corners.
The innovations to be found on the notes in this series are many and varied. As alluded to earlier, latent images are now found on all denominations. The security thread on each note is a windowed security thread and each note has a perfect registration device on the right-hand side, around which is a grey panel, on both the front and back. On the grey panels is printed ‘Bahrain Monetary Agency’ in small white text—in Arabic on the front panel and in English on the back panel. Each note has an illustration on the front and the back, and there is a new watermark of the head of an oryx—located under the map of Bahrain.
Why the falcon was replaced by the head of an oryx as the watermark is not clear. The oryx is a type of antelope, which inhabits North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. There are four types of oryx, with the Arabian oryx being the animal depicted in the watermarks of the notes of Bahrain. The Arabian oryx, or white oryx (Oryx leucoryx), was once common throughout the Arabian peninsular, parts of Iraq and the Sinai peninsula. Hunted to near extinction by the 1970s, it was re-introduced into Oman in 1982 at the behest of the Sultan of Oman. Under the protection of the government, the oryx has successfully bred in the wild and has been introduced into other countries in the peninsula. Stocky animals, they stand about 120cm at the shoulder and weigh up to 200kg. Their horns, which grow on both male and female oryx, can grow to be over a metre in length.
Micro-printing is used on both the front and back of the notes of this series. On the back it appears incorporated in the intaglio panel at the lower left. On the front of the notes there is a degree of variation, both in the placement of the micro-printed text, and the content of the text. For the ½- and 1-dinar notes the text reads ‘BMA’ and can be found in the two panels to either side of the panel containing the name of the issuing authority at the top of the notes. For the ½-dinar note the letters are also repeated in the panel behind the denomination in the top left-hand corner. The 5-, 10- and 20-dinar notes have the denominational value of the note as their micro-printing, with ‘5’ being repeated in the intaglio patterns at the bottom of the 5-dinar note, ‘10’ being repeated in the upper intaglio panels on the 10-dinar note, and ‘20’ being found in the upper panels of the 20-dinar note. One interesting aspect to the use of micro-printing on the front of the notes, is that the micro-printing is the only text on the front of the notes that is not written in Arabic, apart from the serial numbers. On the back of the notes, the letters of the micro-printing are printed with ink, but on the front of the notes, the letters of the micro-printing are formed by the absence of ink, always occurring in an intaglio-printed border pattern.
The change in serial numbers is intriguing, for while the format of the prefix is the same as the previous two issues, and maintains the use of Arabic letters, the six numerals following the prefix are now in western numerals. One serial number is printed vertically in black ink, on the left of the note, while the other is printed horizontally in red ink at the lower right. In both instances the numbers are printed in such a manner that each numeral is larger than the preceding numeral. The red serial number also fluoresces when viewed under ultra-violet light.
Each note has a fluorescent device located below and to the right of the map of Bahrain. The device is a block of fluorescent ink, containing the value of the note, with the numerals formed by the absence of ink. The ‘shape’ printed in ‘metallic’ ink on the lower-right of each note also fluoresces. For the 10- and 20-dinar notes, this ‘metallic’ ink is also used in highlights in the design to the left of the map of Bahrain, and these highlights also fluoresce.
The 20-dinar note differs to the other notes in this series for two reasons. Firstly, there is an additional security device that appears in the top right-hand corner of the note. The device is printed in the same gold ink used for the disc at the lower right. This device serves as a fluorescent device and also holds two latent images. When viewed from a certain angle, the crest of the Ruler of Bahrain can be seen, and when viewed from another angle, the denomination in Arabic numerals can be seen. The second variation in the 20-dinar note concerns the script used to write the Arabic text on the front of the note. For the lower denomination notes a traditional, formal script is used, but for the 20-dinar note a stylized, angular script is used.
Unlike the previous issues, where a common design is used for the front of each denomination, this series introduces individual illustrations on the front of each denomination, as well as continuing to use different illustrations on the backs of the notes. The ½-dinar note has an illustration of a weaver on a hand-loom on the front and an aerial view of Aluminium Bahrain (see above) on its back. Weaving is not an ‘industry’ as such on Bahrain, but it is a traditional activity on the island. The ‘Awzars’, which are garments worn around the waist by villagers in the summer months, were originally woven from imported cotton. Also, in many coastal villages, the winter months were employed by sailors for the weaving of sail-cloth. The man illustrated on the ½-dinar note is a famous blind weaver of the Bani Jamra Village Handicraft centre.
The 1-dinar note carries an illustration of a Dilmun seal on its front and a picture of the headquarters of the Bahrain Monetary Agency (see above) on its back. For many years archaeologists and historians had wondered about references to ‘Dilmun’ in ancient texts. Dilmun is mentioned in the mythical text of ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’ and it is the home of the survivor of the Sumerian legend of Ziusudra, which recounts the story of a great deluge. There are however, many more references to Dilmun in non-mythical texts from Ur, Babylon and Assyria. Following excavations in Bahrain in recent times, it has become apparent that Dilmun was located in Bahrain.
One of the features that helped to identify Bahrain as the site of Dilmun was the discovery of many round steatite (soap-stone) seals. These round seals had been found in very limited numbers in Mesopotamia and Pakistan, but were different to the seals generally used in these areas—square seals in the Indus valley and cylindrical seals in Mesopotamia. In one of the major archaeological sites at Barbar, on the northern coast of Bahrain, a number of round seals of the same type were discovered. That these seals were the product of Dilmun, was confirmed by the discovery of a seal-maker’s shop in 1959, along with an unfinished seal.
The seals are presumed to have been impressed onto wet clay tabs that sealed jars of goods. The seals then dried and remained intact until the jars were opened. A seal is illustrated on the front of the 1-dinar note and four seals are illustrated on the back of the same note. The seal on the front contains an image of two men, a palm tree, a bird and a gazelle. The seals have become an emblematic identifier of Bahrain and can be found in decorations on the island. The main doors to the British Bank of the Middle East in Manama have a series of enlarged seals carved into them.
The 5-dinar note has the south-west tower of Riffa Fort as its illustration on the front of the note and Bahrain International Airport illustrated on the back. The fort of ‘Riffa al Sharqi’ is built on the escarpment overlooking the Hunainiya valley south of Manama near the centre of Bahrain. Work commenced on the fort in 1812 under the authority of Sheikh Sulman bin Ahmed al Fatih. It is thought that the fort was built on the site of the palace of Sheikh Farir, said to have been built at Riffa al-Sharqi overlooking the central plain of Bahrain. The fort was used as a private residence for many years until recently restored and opened to the public as a museum.
The Bahrain International Airport is located on the island of Muharraq, which lies to the north-east of Manama and is connected to the main island by a modern causeway. The original international terminal was opened in December 1961, but a new terminal, built to handle the increased traffic, opened in 1971. Further expansion took place in 1975, and in March 1994 a major refurbishment and expansion of the airport was completed. Bahrain International Airport is home to Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Oman.
The 10-dinar note shows a two masted dhow under full sail on the front of the note and the customs and immigration island on the causeway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia on the back. While the boat on the front of this note would be commonly referred to as a ‘dhow’, strangely, the word ‘dhow’ is foreign to the Arabian Gulf and its origins are unknown. However, the word is now commonly used to refer to any sailing vessel. Boat-building in Bahrain has a long history, and there are many types of traditional sailing vessels that have been built on the islands. In former days the planks of the vessels were sewn together, but in later times were nailed. In modern times, the types of boats that have been constructed are those which lend themselves to the addition of an engine. Some of the different types of vessels built in Bahrain were:
Jalibut—These boats have a vertical bow and a straight keel, and are the type of boat most commonly to have an engine. (The boats on the front of the first series of notes and the boat to the left in the illustration on the back of the first 5-dinar note are jalibuts.)
Sambuq—Most commonly used for pearling boats, this vessel has a long finely curved bow and a square stern. It has two masts and it usually has a full deck. (The vessel on the front of the 10-dinar note in the third series is a sambuq.)
Shu’ai—Similar to the Sambuq, it has a different shape to the stem piece (the timber section to which the planks join at the front of the boat).
Baghala—It has a short curved stem-piece and a distinctive square stern set with windows, which are often false. This design gives them an image of being an old European man-o-war (on which their design was probably based).
The Customs and Immigration Island depicted on the back of the 10-dinar note is situated halfway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia on the King Fahd Causeway, which links the two countries. The causeway is 25 kilometres long, took four and a half years to build (after 25 years of planning), cost US$564 million to build and was officially opened on 26 November 1968. It is considered one of the major engineering feats of the Gulf region. The island in the causeway contains both Saudi and Barhraini immigration and customs offices.
The 20-dinar note has an illustration of the Bab al Bahrain on its front and the Ahmad al Fateh Islamic Centre on its back. At the end of the Customs Pier in Manama is a small square, originally called Customs Square and now Shaikh Sulman Square. On the side of the square opposite the Customs Pier is the ‘Bab al Bahrain’—the ‘Gate of Bahrain’. The ‘Gate’ was designed by Sir Charles Belgrave and built in 1945. Consisting of two buildings joined by an arch, the complex originally housed several Government departments, including Customs and Immigration. For those who originally arrived in Bahrain by sea, this was the first building to be seen after leaving the Customs Pier. In recent times the building has undergone extensive remodelling and now incorporates several Islamic design features. The building is now the headquarters for the Directorate of Tourism and Archaeology.
The Ahmad al Fateh Islamic Centre in Juffair was built between 1983 and 1988 to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the rule of Bahrain by the al Khalifah dynasty. It is one of the largest buildings in Bahrain, housing the Religious Institute for Islamic Affairs and a mosque, which can accommodate 7,000 worshippers. It was named after a descendant of Ahmad al Khalifa, who captured Bahrain in August 1783.
One point worth noting about the notes of this issue, is that all notes are of a uniform size: 142 mm x 71 mm. That the issuing authority should forgo the use of different sized notes and issue notes of the same size for different denominations seems a little strange, and against world-wide trends, but they have done so.

Denomination: ½ Dinar.
SCWPM No.: 12
Front: A weaver on a hand-loom.
Back: An aerial view of the plant of Aluminium Bahrain.
Colours: Front—Brown, burgundy and red intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, pink, khaki, purple and yellow.
Back—Brown and burgundy intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, pale purple, dark purple, khaki, yellow and pink.

Denomination: 1 Dinar.
SCWPM No.: 13
Front: A Dilmun seal.
Back: The headquarters of the Bahrain Monetary Agency. In the panel to the right of the illustration are four Dilmun seals, similar to that found on the front of the note.
Colours: Front—Red and crimson intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, orange, turquoise, purple and pink.
Back—Red and crimson intaglio printing with an under-print of grey, orange, pink, blue and green.

Denomination: 5 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 14
Front: The south-west tower of Riffa Fort.
Back: Bahrain International Airport.
Colours: Front—Blue and green intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, light green, olive green, blue, orange and purple.
Back—Blue and green intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, light green, olive green, blue, brown and orange.

Denomination: 10 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 15
Front: A two-masted dhow under full sail.
Back: An aerial view of the customs and immigration island on the causeway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Colours: Front—Dark green and light green intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, green, blue, pink, brown and orange. The metallic green, used for the octagon at the lower right, is also used in the pattern to the left of the map of Bahrain.
Back—Dark green and blue intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, green, olive green, blue, pink and orange.

Denomination: 20 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 16
Front: The Bab al Bahrain in Manama.
Back: The Ahmad al Fateh Islamic Centre.
Colours: Front—Purple and burgundy intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, pink, blue and orange. The metallic gold, used for the circle at the lower right and the device holding the latent image at the top right, is also used in the pattern to the left of the map of Bahrain.
Back—Purple, burgundy and brown intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, pink, blue, purple, orange and brown.


Modifications to the Second Issue

The next change to occur in the notes of the Bahrain Monetary Agency was a modification to the colour of the ½-dinar note. The lowest denomination note of the Agency’s second issue had three colours used for the intaglio printing on the front of the note. The shield in the centre was red, while the border designs, at the top and bottom, were purple and brown. In order to reduce the cost of manufacturing these notes, the ½-dinar note was re-issued with all intaglio printing executed in brown. The use of colours underwent further change in the use of lithographic inks on the front and back of the notes. While the changes are generally quite subtle, the most dramatic change is the patterned area over the watermark on the back of the note. On the new note the colour of this pattern is pink, while on the previous issue it was blue. This note, issued in 1996, became the first note in a series of modifications to the Agency’s second series. (While it is tempting to regard the modified notes as the Agency’s third series, the Bahrain Monetary Agency considers the modified notes as part of the series which was introduced in 1993.)
In June 1998 Bahrain continued the modifications to its second issue by releasing altered notes of the denominations 1, 5, 10 and 20 dinars. All notes were similar to the notes issued in 1993, but there were some notable changes. The most prominent addition to the higher denomination notes was a foil stamp, carrying a hologram, which was placed at the lower left of the 5-, 10-, and 20-dinar notes. The shape of the foil stamp on each note is the same as the shape of the intaglio device holding the latent image in the top-right on the front of the notes. The hologram holds the head of an Oryx, the denomination in Arabic numerals, and the denomination repeated many times in western numerals.
Each denomination also holds a windowed security thread which is wider than the thread of the previous issue. The security thread is micro-printed with ‘Bahrain Monetary Agency’ in Arabic followed by ‘BMA’ in English. Each iteration of the micro-printed text is presented so that it can be read alternately from the front and the back of the note.
Each of the higher denomination notes – 5, 10 and 20 dinars – also underwent a subtle change in the arrangement of colours on their front. The change takes place in the use of the intaglio inks. On the 5-dinar note this is most noticeable in the offset squares in the top right-hand corner of the note. The 10-dinar note has numerous changes, with varying shades of green added to the new note. The 20-dinar note is unusual in that it has reduced the number of inks used in the intaglio printing from two on the previous issue, to one on the new issue.
Just when these notes were being introduced, in June 1998, a massive confidence trick rocked the Bahrain Monetary Agency and threatened the stability of the Bahraini Dinar. The confidence trick began in late 1997 when several men successfully portrayed themselves as representatives of the Bank of Bahrain to the South African representative of Ciccone Calcografica, an Argentinian security printer based in Buenos Aires. On 2 December 1997 they met senior officials of Ciccone Calcografica in Buenos Aires and presented a forged order for 20-dinar notes from the Bahrain Monetary Agency. A contract for Ciccone Calcografica to supply 20-dinar notes was subsequently signed on 13 January 1998.
On 5 February Ciccone Calcografica ordered paper from a French banknote paper manufacturer. Eight tonnes of this paper, with watermark and windowed security thread, were shipped in good faith to Ciccone Calcografica by the French firm on 27 April. Copying the plates for the notes from a genuine 20-dinar note printed by Thomas De La Rue and Company, the notes were printed in late May. The notes were shipped under the control of the criminal gang to a number of countries, including Niger and Chad, were it has been suggested that they were accepted by members of the military.
In a period from 4 to 11 June 1998, some BD1.5 million were presented to branches of the Bahrain Monetary Agency in the UAE and Qatar. A number of foreign currency transactions involving Bahraini Dinars also took place in Lebanon, France and Belgium over the same period. The large transactions in Bahraini Dinars attracted attention, and the notes involved were inspected and found to be slightly different to the notes previously issued by the Bahrain Monetary Agency. A short time elapsed whilst inquiries were made to determine whether Thomas De La Rue had altered their plates for these notes. When it was determined that they had not, it was realised that the large amounts of notes being presented were counterfeits. Bahrain ordered the withdrawal of all 20-dinar notes on 30 July 1998.
The process in identifying the forgeries was undoubtedly confused by the recent release of the 20-dinar note with the hologram. At the time that the forgeries were being presented for payment, there were three types of 20-dinar notes in circulation – the 1993 issue, the 1998 issue, and the 1998 forgeries.
On 8 June 1998 the Bahrain Monetary Agency issued a press release announcing that the forgeries had come to their attention. The press release strongly advised that the forgeries were not legal tender, but that they could be exchanged at the commercial banks by individuals who had accepted them in good faith. The press release identified two principal distinguishing features of the forged 20-dinar notes:


1. As compared with the genuine BD20 note, there is a gap between the two Arabic letters to the left of the serial number in the right hand corner of the front (i.e. Arabic side) of the note.
2. As compared with the genuine BD20 note, the features of the decoration surrounding the crest on the front of the note are less distinct and darker in colour.


In placing a forged note beside a genuine note, many subtle differences can be identified. One of the easier features to identify is the pattern behind the title of the issuing authority. On the genuine notes this pattern is even, whereas on the counterfeit notes the pattern is light at the top of the panel and heavier at the bottom of the panel.
On 14 June 1998 the Bahrain Monetary Agency issued a second press release. After again stressing that the forgeries were not legal tender, the press release announced that, from Monday 15 June, the forgeries could no longer be exchanged at the commercial banks. Anyone presenting forged notes from this date did so ‘at his own risk and responsibility’.
The Bahraini authorities moved quickly to repair the damage caused by the circulation of counterfeit notes. On 1 August 1998 the Bahrain Monetary Agency issued a new 20-dinar note, which was of the same pattern as the previous 20-dinar notes, issued in 1993 and 1998, but was peach-coloured instead of purple. The new notes carried the foil hologram which had been used on the recently released high-denomination notes.
The new 20-dinar note immediately replaced the 20-dinar notes issued in March 1993 and June 1998. The old notes were able to be exchanged at the commercial banks up until 31 October 1998 and at the Bahrain Monetary Agency up to 31 July 1999. The quick withdrawal of the 20-dinar note issued in June 1998 has meant that very few of the notes have reached the collector market. Indeed, this note has yet to be catalogued in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money.
Part of the reaction to the existence of the forgeries appears to have been to change the security threads in all notes, even though the forgeries did not contain the micro-printed threads. The other possibility is that the cost of using the micro-printed thread was considered too great and subsequently replaced. For whatever reason, a wide Stardust thread without micro-printed text began to appear on the each denomination, from the ½-dinar note through to the new 20-dinar note. In addition, new identifying letters were used in the serial number prefixes for the 1- and 20-dinar notes. Apparently abandoning the sequence used to this point, the 1-dinar notes with the new thread (without the micro-printed text) use Ø (Taa’, the ninth letter of the numeric sequence of the alphabet) as the common letter in the prefix instead of Ì (jiim), which was used on the previous 1-dinar notes. The 20-dinar notes introduced Ú (‘ayn, the sixteenth letter of the numeric sequence) as its identifying letter, as opposed to æ (waaw), which was used for all previous 20-dinar notes.
On 16 December 2001 Bahrain introduced a new 20-dinar note. The new note is the same as the peach-coloured note it replaced, except that the vignette of the Bab al-Bahrain is replaced by the portrait of His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Amir of the State of Bahrain. This note is considered as part of their second issue by the Bahrain Monetary Agency.

Denomination: ½ Dinar.
SCWPM No.: 17
Front: A weaver on a hand-loom.
Back: An aerial view of the plant of Aluminium Bahrain.
Colours: Front—Brown intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, pink, khaki, purple and yellow.
Back—Brown intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, pale purple, dark purple, khaki, yellow and pink.


a) With narrow windowed security thread.
b) With wide windowed security thread.

Denomination: 1 Dinar.
SCWPM No.: Not Listed.
Front: A Dilmun seal.
Back: The headquarters of the Bahrain Monetary Agency. In the panel to the right of the illustration are four Dilmun seals, similar to that found on the front of the note.
Colours: Front—Red and crimson intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, orange, turquoise, purple and pink.
Back—Red and crimson intaglio printing with an under-print of grey, orange, pink, blue and green.


a) With wide, micro-printed, windowed security thread.
b) With wide windowed security thread.



Denomination: 5 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 18
Front: The south-west tower of Riffa Fort.
Back: Bahrain International Airport.
Colours: Front—Blue and green intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, light green, olive green, blue, orange and purple.
Back—Blue and green intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, light green, olive green, blue, brown and orange.


a) With wide, micro-printed, windowed security thread.
b) With wide windowed security thread.




Denomination: 10 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 19
Front: A two-masted dhow under full sail.
Back: An aerial view of the customs and immigration island on the causeway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Colours: Front—Dark green and light green intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, green, blue, pink, brown and orange. The metallic green, used for the octagon at the lower right, is also used in the pattern to the left of the map of Bahrain.
Back—Dark green and blue intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, green, olive green, blue, pink and orange.


a) With wide, micro-printed, windowed security thread.
b) With wide windowed security thread.



Denomination: 20 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: Not listed.
Front: The Bab al Bahrain in Manama.
Back: The Ahmad al Fateh Islamic Centre. (Hologram at the lower left.)
Colours: Front—Purple and burgundy intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, pink, blue and orange. With hologram.
Back—Purple, burgundy and brown intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, pink, blue, purple, orange and brown.

Denomination: 20 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: Unauthorized issue of No.20.
Front: The Bab al Bahrain in Manama. (No hologram at the lower left.)
Back: The Ahmad al Fateh Islamic Centre.
Colours: Front—Purple and burgundy intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, pink, blue and orange.
Back—Purple, burgundy and brown intaglio printing, with an under-print of grey, pink, blue, purple, orange and brown.

Denomination: 20 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: 20
Front: The Bab al Bahrain in Manama.
Back: The Ahmad al Fateh Islamic Centre.
Colours: Front—Orange and black intaglio printing, with an under-print of pink, grey, blue and orange. The metallic gold, used for the circle at the lower right and the device holding the latent image at the top right, is also used in the pattern to the left of the map of Bahrain.
Back—Orange and black intaglio printing, with an under-print of yellow, blue, brown and orange.

Denomination: 20 Dinars.
SCWPM No.: Not listed.
Front: His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Amir of the State of Bahrain.
Back: The Ahmad al Fateh Islamic Centre.
Colours: Front—Orange and black intaglio printing, with an under-print of pink, grey, blue and orange. The metallic gold, used for the circle at the lower right and the device holding the latent image at the top right, is also used in the pattern to the left of the map of Bahrain.
Back—Orange and black intaglio printing, with an under-print of yellow, blue, brown and orange.



The Franklin Mint Specimen Set

During the 1970s the Franklin Mint, in co-operation with Thomas De La Rue and Company, issued specimen sets of bank notes produced for a number of issuing authorities throughout the world. The Bahrain Monetary Agency was one of the authorities that took part in the issue. The notes prepared for the Franklin Mint consist of the entire series issued by the Bahrain Currency Board, plus the first 20-dinar note of the Bahrain Monetary Agency. As the issue of the Currency Board was replaced by the Bahrain Monetary Agency’s first issue in 1979, it would suggest that the notes were supplied to the Franklin mint in 1978 or early 1979.
The notes have the word SPECIMEN printed on the front and back of the notes in a sans-serif font, sloping from the bottom left to the top right. The serial numbers all contain a prefix of a Maltese cross followed by six Arabic numerals. Each set was issued with the same serial number. The word SPECIMEN and the serial numbers are printed in red, except for the 1-dinar note on which they are printed in black ink. This set of Bahrain’s notes has become quite popular, as it is one of the few ways that collectors can obtain the 5-dinar note of the first series, one of the rarest of Bahrain’s notes.


Bibliography


• Belgrave, Charles Personal Column Hutchinson, London.
• Belgrave, Charles ‘West’s Imprint on Bahrain’ The Times London, 17 May 1965.
• Belgrave, James H. D. Welcome to Bahrain The Augustan Press, Manama, 1970.
• Bahrain Currency Board First Report of the Bahrain Currency Board Bahrain, 1966.
• Bahrain Currency Board Annual Report (for years ending 1967 to 1973), Bahrain.
• Bahrain Monetary Agency Annual Report (for years ending 1974 to 1993), Bahrain.
• Bahrain Monetary Agency The Second Issue of Bahrain Dinars Bahrain (1973).
• ‘Bahrain’s New Currency’ The Economist 1 August 1964.
• Darley-Doran, Robert E. and the Bahrain Monetary Agency History of Currency in the State of Bahrain Spink & Son, London, 1996.
• Qarata, Ahmed Abdulwahed Currency Issues of the State of Bahrain Bahrain Monetary Agency, Manama, (2001).
• Stuart, Jeff ‘A Warning for the Euro’ www.dotprint.com/fclegal/forgery4.htm, 12 April 1999.

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