|Measurements and composition|
1.3 mm (1992-present)
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The 5 fils coin is a current circulation and occasional commemorative piece of Bahrain. It has been issued in seven types since 1965, one under the British protectorate of Bahrain, two under the independent State of Bahrain, and four under the current Kingdom of Bahrain. All of these pieces were struck at the Royal Mint and distributed by the Central Bank of Bahrain and its precursors, the Bahrain Monetary Agency and Bahrain Currency Board.
The first coin of the denomination was released by the Bahrain Protectorate in 1965, during the early reign of Hakim Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa (1933–1999; r. 1961–1999). A silver version of this piece was then introduced by the State of Bahrain in 1983, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Bahrain Monetary Agency.
The next circulating 5 fils piece was released by the State of Bahrain in 1992, during Isa's reign as Emir. It was followed in 2005 by the first coin of the Kingdom of Bahrain, introduced during the early reign of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (1950–; r. 1999–). This coin was then struck again in 2007, but was subsequently replaced in 2009 by a similar new piece. The design of the 2009 coin was then utilized in 2010 on a commemorative silver coin and the most recent circulation type, which was last manufactured in 2015.
All seven coins are legal tender in their country of origin, each carrying a face value of 0.005 Bahraini dinar. With the exception of the commemorative silver pieces, which were intended for collectors, the pieces continue to circulate fairly regularly in Bahrain.
First coins (1965–1983)Edit
On October 7, 1965, the Bahraini dinar was introduced, replacing the Gulf rupee at a rate of 10 rupees to 1 dinar. On that date, the newly established Bahrain Currency Board released the first series of coins for the new currency, which consisted of denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 fils. Each of these pieces, in addition to newer 250 and 500 fils coins, was released again in silver on July 9, 1983, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Bahrain Monetary Agency. The circulating coins and silver commemoratives were struck under contract at the Royal Mint.
The circulation piece is composed of a bronze alloy whereas the commemorative coin is made of .925 fine silver. Both measure 2 grams in mass and 18.49 millimeters in diameter and have medallic alignment and a plain edge. They have raised, undecorated rims and like most coins are round in shape.
An illustration of a date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), a type of fruit-bearing tree common in Bahrain, is displayed inside a solid circular boundary in the center of the coin's obverse. Inscribed above the boundary at the top of the piece, extending clockwise from the coin's right to left rims, is the Arabic legend "حكومة البحرين" (Romanized: Ḥukūmat al-Baḥrayn), which translates to English as "Government of Bahrain". The Islamic date of minting is engraved at the bottom of the piece, rendered in Eastern Arabic numerals as "١٣٨٥" (1385). It is followed by its Gregorian equivalent "١٩٦٥" (1965), which is separated from the Islamic date by a short horizontal line.
The coin's face value, "٥ فلوس" (Romanized: 5 fulūs), is engraved on two horizontal lines in large print in the middle of the coin's reverse. Printed counterclockwise along the rim below is the English name of the issuing country, "BAHRAIN".
A total of 8,012,000 examples of the circulation coin were manufactured during a single year of production, including 8,000,000 business strikes and 12,000 proofs. All of the proofs were distributed in official sets by the Bahrain Currency Board.
Only 15,000 proof specimens of the commemorative silver piece were produced. They were exclusively sold in proof sets by the Bahrain Monetary Authority.
Circulation coin of the State of Bahrain (1992)Edit
In 1971, the United Kingdom ended its protectorates over Bahrain, Qatar, and the seven Trucial States. After leaving the region, the British government hoped the nine states would form a union of Arab emirates, but only the Trucial States followed through, uniting to form what is now the United Arab Emirates. Bahrain and Qatar instead sought independence as separate countries, and both eventually became absolute monarchies under the rule of an emir. Upon acquiring its independence, Bahrain adopted the name "State of Bahrain".
The only circulating coin series of the State of Bahrain, consisting of denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 fils, was introduced in 1992 by the Bahrain Monetary Agency. These coins were then followed in 2000 by the first circulating 500 fils piece. With the exception of the 5 fils coin, which was only manufactured in 1992, all of the pieces were struck at the Royal Mint until 2000 or 2001. They were then replaced over the next few years by the first coins of the current Kingdom of Bahrain.
The 5 fils piece is composed of a brass alloy and measures 2.5 grams in mass, 19 millimeters in diameter, and 1.3 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. The rims of both sides of the coin are raised and undecorated.
An illustration of a date palm appears inside a solid circular boundary in the center of the obverse. Printed counterclockwise along the rim above in a simplified font is the Arabic state title of Bahrain at the time, "دولة البحرين" (Romanized: Dawlat al-Baḥrayn). Its English equivalent, "STATE OF BAHRAIN", is engraved in the same direction at the periphery below the palm. Written at the left side of the coin, outside the circular border, is the Islamic date of minting, rendered in Western Arabic numerals as "1412". It is followed by the Arabic letter "ﻫ" (hā'), which is abbreviated for "هجرية" (Romanized: Hijrīyyah), meaning "Hijri year". The Gregorian equivalent, "1992", appears at the opposite side of the obverse, and is followed by the letter "مـ" (mīm), which is shortened for "ميلادية" (Romanized: Mīlādīyyah), meaning "Gregorian year".
A large numeral "5" is engraved in the middle of the reverse, superimposed by a rectangular box containing the word "فلس" (Romanized: fils), the Arabic of "fils". Both elements are enclosed within a solid circular border, which in turn is surrounded by a circular chain boundary.
The total mintage of the 5 fils coin of the State of Bahrain is currently unknown. Only business strikes and special uncirculated pieces were released. The uncirculated pieces were distributed exclusively in 1993-dated mint sets by the Bahrain Monetary Agency.
Coins of the Kingdom of Bahrain (2005–present)Edit
In 1994, opposition groups in Bahrain began participating in a series of protests against the government of Emir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, demanding democratic reform and respect of human rights. This uprising lasted until 1999, when the newly crowned Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa succeeded his father as Emir and began instituting a series of reforms. Among these reforms was the creation of the National Action Charter, which in 2002 reestablished the country as the Kingdom of Bahrain, a constitutional monarchy headed by a king and administered by a prime minister.
The first coins of the new government were introduced in 2002 in denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 fils. They were later joined by a new 5 fils piece in 2005. With the exception of the 500 fils coin, which was only minted in 2002, the pieces underwent a minor redesign in 2009, and have continued to use the new design since. Silver versions of each coin were also released on December 30, 2010, in celebration of Bahrain's National Day, which coincides with the coronation of Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa on December 16, 1961. All of the pieces have been struck under commission at the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom.
Three circulating versions of the 5 fils piece have been released since 2005. The first, manufactured in 2005 and 2007, is composed of brass and follows the initial design of the kingdom's coins. The second, which was only minted in 2009, is also made of brass, but uses a newer, slightly modified design that was introduced that year. From 2010 to the present, the 5 fils coin has continued to utilize the 2009 design, but has been produced in brass-plated steel instead of solid brass. All of the varieties, including the 2010 .925 silver piece, measure 2.5 grams in mass, 19 millimeters in diameter, and 1.3 millimeters in thickness. They have medallic alignment and a plain edge, and are round in shape. The rims of both sides of each coin are raised and undecorated.
The obverse of the 5 fils coin is similar to that of the 1992 piece. A date palm appears in the center, surrounded by a solid circular boundary. Extending counterclockwise along the rim above is the Arabic name of Bahrain, مملكة البحرين" (Romanized: Mamlakat al-Baḥrayn). Its English equivalent, "KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN", appears below the palm, curved in the same direction as the Arabic legend at the coin's lower periphery. Engraved clockwise along the piece's left rim is the Islamic date of minting, which appears in Western Arabic numerals. The Gregorian equivalent, which is rendered in the same numeral system as the Islamic year, appears in the opposite direction at the right side of the piece.
A large numeral "5" appears in the center of the obverse, superimposed by a rectangular box containing the word "fils" in Arabic. On coins minted in 2005 and 2007, the text reads "فلس" (Romanized: fils) and is written in a naskh style. On all later pieces, however, this inscription is replaced by the more common spelling "فلوس" (Romanized: fulūs), which is written on the coin in a kufic script. The depiction of the piece's face value is enclosed within a solid circular boundary, which itself is surrounded by a round chain border.
Mintages of all circulation types are currently unknown. Only business strikes of such pieces are reported to exist.
As many as 500 proof silver specimens have been manufactured since 2010. They have been distributed exclusively in proof sets by the Central Bank of Bahrain.