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The Global History of Currencies (GHOC)
An Exclusive Service of Global Financial Data
 
Oman
 


 
Muscat, the capital, was occupied by the Portuguese from 1508 to 1648, by the Ottoman Turks from 1648 until 1741 when Ahmad ibn Sa�id forced them out. Muscat and Oman became a de facto sovereign state in 1784, expanded to the east, and for a while, Zanzibar was the capital of the Oman Sultanate. Zanzibar separated from Muscat and Oman on April 6, 1861. Muscat and Oman became an informal British protectorate in 1891, and the Sultanate of Oman was established on August 9, 1970.
 
Hellenistic coins were used in Oman as early as the third century BC. Sasanian coins were also used in Oman, but the first locally minted coins were produced by the local Umayyad governor in 708 AD. Nevertheless, most coins used in Oman were imported Islamic coins from Iran and Iraq. The Portuguese imported coins when they occupied Oman, and Iranian copper coins were imported when the Safavids controlled Oman.
 
In 1893, Sultan Faisal ibn Turki issued copper coins in Indian denominations. In 1940, Sultan Sa�id Ibn Timur introduced a new coin system based upon the riyal, the Arabic name for the Maria Theresa Thalers, with one riyal equal to 200 baisa. Separate coins were issued for Oman and for Dhofar.
 
Maria Theresa Thalers (XMTT) circulated in the interior of Muscat and Oman, and the Indian Rupee (INR) circulated in the coastal regions of Muscat and Oman and was the official currency until the 1959. The Baiza was the lowest denomination coin, with 1 Maria Theresa Thaler equal to 230 Baiza and 1 Indian Rupee equal to 64 Baiza. In the early 1900s, trade accounts were kept in an imaginary currency. Its units were 1 "white mohammedi" = 20 gaz; 11.5 white mohammedis = 1 Maria Theresa thaler = 20.5 "black mohammedis." The white mohammedi was used as a unit of account in retail trade, the black mohammedi in wholesale trade. The Persian Gulf Rupee (XPGR) replaced the Indian Rupee at par on April 1, 1959. India devalued its Rupee on June 6, 1966 which affected the value of the Gulf Rupee, forcing the states using the Gulf Rupee to introduce their own currency.
 
When the Sultanate of Oman was established in 1970, Oman replaced the Persian Gulf Rupee with the Oman Rial Saidi (OMS) on May 7, 1970, which was introduced at par with the British Pound Sterling and equal to about 21 Persian Gulf Rupees. The Rial Omani (OMR) replaced the Rial Saidi on November 11, 1972 at par. Banknotes were issued by the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman from 1970 until 1973, by the Oman Currency Board from 1973 until 1977, and by the Central Bank of Oman from 1977 on. The Rial Saidi and Rial Omani are divisible into 1000 Baiza.
 
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