The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) will put into circulation on Sunday the sixth edition of the Kuwaiti currency, coinciding with advent of the holy month of Ramadan.
Kuwait flag is a main feature of the new bills, in affirmation of the national identity. Each paper shows the Kuwaiti desert and marine environments, along with historic sites namely Failaka island, the first minted coin bearing the name of Kuwait and heritage sites such the old Kuwaiti gate and industrial potentials and zones, including an oil tanker and a refinery.
The newly-released papers bear other features, namely the dhows, the pearl diving, along with landmark structures including Seif Palace, the National Assembly building, the Kuwait Towers, the Liberation Tower, the Grand Mosque and the Central Bank of Kuwait headquarters.
Each banknote is distinguished with different drawings and ornaments; some are coarse so blind people can identify value of the bill by touching. Background of the miniature pictures depict Islamic heritage and the Kuwaiti genuine identity.
Currently used banknotes will remain valid till an official decision is taken to withdraw them.
From a historic perspective, banknotes and coins have been in circulation in Kuwait since more than 200 years before B.C. This theory has been substantiated with discovery of silver and copper coins, with engravings of head of Alexander the Great, on Failaka island. Other coins dating back to the times of the Seleucids Kingdom have been discovered on the same island.
In later times, namely in 1753, when the Kuwaitis settled in the country and chose Sheikh Sabah I as their ruler, the natives sensed the need for coins for trade dealings. The first was called "taweelat Al-Hasa," resembling hair clips. It was in circulation in Al-Ihsaa a long time before Kuwait was founded and later it was brought in for trading till 1790 when the Austrian Riyal became the trading currency.
Several other coins, such as the Persian currency, the Ottoman Gold Lira and other little known ones, named "Al-Sharkhi, Abu Dbailah and Al-Shahiah, had been traded in Kuwait in the old times.
When the natives developed their businesses, sailing to far countries such as India, and expanding the craft of pearl-diving, the Indian Rupee became the dominant currency.
The Kuwaitis were aware of the necessity to issue a national currency of international standards. In 1959, the Indian Government said in an official announcement that it was incurring heavy losses due to exportation of huge volumes of the Indian money to the Arabian Gulf countries. In an attempt to tackle this problem, New Delhi issued a different series of the currency for circulation in Kuwait and the Gulf. This step had nudged the natives of Kuwait to issue a national currency.
On October 10th, 1960, an Amiri Decree was issued declaring that the dinar will be the basic denomination of the Kuwaiti currency, and accordingly, the Kuwaiti Monetary Council was set up, tasked with releasing the national currency. In April the same year, the Kuwaiti dinar was officially put into circulation.
This paper money was divided into five denominations; the 10 dinars, five dinars, one dinar, half a dinar and quarter a dinar. It bore miniature picture of (the late) His Highness the Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, along with key national facilities such as Al-Shuwaikh high school, a major cement factory and Kuwait Port.
Second edition of the Kuwaiti money was on November 17, 1970, and the third was on February 20, 1980.
Following the 1990 Iraqi aggression and the occupiers' burglary of huge funds of the Kuwaiti banknotes deposited at the Central Bank of Kuwait, the legitimate Kuwaiti authorities during the occupation declared the Kuwaiti money in circulation was invalid, replacing the monetary units with the fourth edition of the Kuwaiti bills.
The fifth issuance of the Kuwaiti banknotes was launched on April 3, 1994, with features designed to make counterfeiting impossible.
The sixth edition, effectively scheduled on Sunday, takes into consideration decoration beauty and safety, along with the drawings that reflect the country's history, culture and heritage