10 Dinars 1965 Bahrain Currency Board

Bahrain Currency 10 Dinars banknote 1965
Bahrain banknotes 10 Dinars note 1965
Bahrain 10 Dinars banknote 1965 Bahrain Currency Board

Obverse: 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.

Reverse: 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 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.

Bahrain Banknotes
Bahrain Currency Board
 L. 1965 Issue

100 Fils      ¼ Dinar      ½ Dinar      1 Dinar      5 Dinars      10 Dinars

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.