Cambodian riel

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Cambodian riel
KhmerRiel.svg (Khmer)
Riel symbol
ISO 4217
Code KHR
Denominations
Subunit
 1/10 kak
 1/100 sen
Symbol
Banknotes
 Freq. used 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 riels
 Rarely used 100,000 riels
Coins 50, 100, 200, 500 riels
Demographics
User(s)  Cambodia
Issuance
Central bank National Bank of Cambodia
 Website www.nbc.org.kh
Valuation
Inflation 1.4%
 Source The World Factbook, 2015 est.

The riel (Khmer: រៀល; sign: ; code: KHR) is the currency of Cambodia. There have been two distinct riel, the first issued between 1953 and May 1975. Between 1975 and 1980, the country had no monetary system. A second currency, also named "riel", has been issued since March 20, 1980. The symbol is encoded in Unicode at U+17DB KHMER CURRENCY SYMBOL RIEL (HTML ៛).

Popular belief suggests that the name of the currency comes from the Mekong river fish, the riel ("small fish" in Khmer). It is more likely that the name derives from the high silver content Mexican real used by Malay, Indian and Chinese merchants in mid-19th-century Cambodia.[1]

First riel, 1953–1975[edit]

In 1953, the Cambodia branch of the Institut d'Émission des États du Cambodge, du Laos et du Vietnam issued notes dual denominated in piastre and riel with the riel being at par with the piastre.[2] At the same time, the two other branches of the Institut had similar arrangements with the đồng in South Vietnam and the kip in Laos. The piastre itself was derived from Spanish pieces of eight (pesos).

The riel was at first subdivided into 100 centimes (abbreviated to cent. on the coins) but this changed in 1959 to 100 sen (សេន). For the first few years, the riel and piastre circulated alongside each other. Indeed, the first riel banknotes were also denominated in piastres.

  • First issue, 1955–56: 1 riel, 5 riels, 10 riels, 50 riels.
  • Second issue, 1956: 1 riel, 20 riels, 50 riels, 100 riels, 500 riels.
  • Third issue, 1963: 5 riels, 10 riels, 100 riels.
  • Fourth issue, 1972: 100 riels*, 500 riels, 1,000 riels*, 5,000 riels*.[3] (* Unissued.)

Coins[edit]

The 10, 20 and 50 centimes of 1953 and sen coins were minted in aluminium and were the same size as the corresponding att and xu (su) coins of Laos and South Vietnam (though without the holes in the Lao coins). A 1 riel coin about the size of a U.S. nickel was to be issued in 1970, as part of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization's coin program, but was not released, perhaps due to the overthrow of the government of Norodom Sihanouk by Lon Nol.[4]

Since 1994, the 50, 100, and 200-riel coins have been made of steel, while the 500-riel coin is bimetallic, with a brass outer ring and a steel center disc.

The Khmer Rouge, 1975–1980, 1993–1999[edit]

Although the Khmer Rouge printed banknotes, these notes were not issued as money was abolished after the Khmer Rouge took control of the country.

  • Fifth issue, 1975: 0.1 riel (1 kak), 0.5 riel (5 kak), 1 riel, 5 riels, 10 riels, 50 riels, 100 riels.[3]

In 1993 they printed a series of coloured banknotes for limited use on territories controlled by them.

Second riel, 1980–present[edit]

After the Vietnamese invasion in 1978, the riel was re-established as the Cambodian currency on April 1, 1980, initially at a value of 4 riels = 1 U.S. dollar. It is subdivided into 10 kak (កាក់) or 100 sen. Because there was no money for it to replace and a severely disrupted economy, the central government gave away the new money to the populace in order to encourage its use.

In rural areas the riel is used for virtually all purchases, large and small. However, the United States dollar is also used, particularly in urban Cambodia and tourist areas. In Battambang and other areas near the Thai border, like Pailin, the Thai baht is also accepted.

  • Sixth issue, 1979: 0.1 riel (1 kak), 0.2 riel (2 kak), 0.5 riel (5 kak), 1 riel, 5 riels, 10 riels, 20 riels, 50 riels.
  • Seventh issue, 1987: 5 riels, 10 riels.
  • Eighth issue, 1990-92: 50 riels, 100 riels, 500 riels.
  • Ninth issue, 1992-93: 200 riels, 1,000 riels*, 2,000 riels*. (* Unissued.)
  • Tenth issue, 1995: 1,000 riels, 2,000 riels, 5,000 riels, 10,000 riels, 20,000 riels, 50,000 riels, 100,000 riels.
  • Eleventh issue, 1995-99: 100 riels, 200 riels, 500 riels, 1,000 riels.
  • Twelfth issue, 2001-07: 50 riels, 100 riels, 500 riels, 1,000 riels, 2,000 riels, 5,000 riels, 10,000 riels, 50,000 riels.
  • Thirteenth issue; 2008-13: 100 riels, 500 riels, 1,000 riels, 2,000 riels, 10,000 riels, 20,000 riels, 50,000 riels, 100,000 riels.

Currently issued banknotes[edit]

  • 50 riels (2002-08-29)[5]
  • 100 riels (2001-08-09 and 2015-01-14)
  • 500 riels (2002-04-04 and 2014-01-14)
  • 1,000 riels (2006-01-06)
  • 2,000 riels (2008-01-03 and 2013-11-09)
  • 5,000 riels (2001-04-06)
  • 10,000 riels (2001-04-06 and 2015-05-07)
  • 20,000 riels (2008-05-12)
  • 50,000 riels (2001-04-06 and 2014-05-06)
  • 100,000 riels (2013-05-14)[3]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse printing issue withdrawal lapse
Cambodia 2002 50r obverse.jpg Cambodia 2002 50r reverse.jpg 50 riels 130 x 60 mm Dark brown and tan Preah Vihear Temple Dam 2002 August 29, 2002 current
100 riel 2001 obverse.jpg 100 riel 2001 reverse.jpg 100 riels 130 x 60 mm Purple, brown and green Independence Monument (Phnom Penh) School 2001 August 9, 2001 current
100 riels Orange and brown Naga (mythical snake) head, Buddha, King Father Norodom Sihanouk as a young monk Khmer statue, Wat Preah Keo (Silver pagoda), Buddha 2014 January 14, 2015 current
Cambodia 2004 500r obverse.jpg Cambodia 2004 500r reverse.jpg 500 riels 138 x 64 mm Red and purple Angkor Wat Kizuna bridge over the Mekong 2002 April 4, 2003 current
500 riels Pink and gray Naga (mythical snake) head, arms, king Norodom Sihamoni Nak Loeung bridge, Kizuna bridge over the Mekong River, monument, frieze 2014 January 14, 2014 current
KHR 1000 v.jpg 1000 riel 2005 reverse.jpg 1,000 riels 138 x 64 mm Brown and lilac Southern gate at Bayon Autonomous Port of Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville) 2005 January 6, 2006 current
2000 Riel obverse.jpg 2000 Riel reverse.jpg 2,000 riels 146 x 68 mm Green, black and yellow Prasat Preah Vihear Angkor Wat and Field Work 2007 January 3, 2008 current
5000 riel 2001 obverse.jpg 5000 riel 2001 reverse.jpg 5,000 riels 146 x 68 mm Green and gray Norodom Sihanouk Bridge of Kampong Kdei (Siem Reap Province) 2001 April 6, 2001 current
10000 riel 2001 obverse.jpg 10000 riel 2001 reverse.jpg 10,000 riels 146 x 68 mm Violet, brown and blue Norodom Sihanouk Royal Palace (Phnom Penh) 2001 April 6, 2001 current
10,000 riels 146 x 68 mm Blue Naga, mythical snake; King Norodom Sihamoni Neak Pean (entwined serpents) archeological ruins of Buddhist temple on circular island in Preah Khan Baray, Angkor; stone statue of horse, Balaha 2015 May 15, 2015
20000 riel 2008 obverse.jpg 20000 riel 2008 reverse.jpg 20,000 riels 155 x 72 mm Norodom Sihamoni Angkor Wat, Four faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara 2008 December 5, 2008 current
50000 riel obverse.jpg 50000 riel reverse.jpg 50,000 riels 150 x 70 mm Violet, brown and blue Norodom Sihanouk Angkor Wat 2001 April 6, 2001 current
50,000 riels 155 x 72 mm Brown Naga (mythical snake), King Norodom Sihanouk Korker ruins, sculpture of a baby elephant 2013 May 6, 2014 current
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimeter. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse printing issue withdrawal lapse
1000 riels 148 x 68 mm Lilac and dark-blue Naga (mythical snake) head, Royal Arms of Cambodia, King Norodom Sihanouk Royal Palace throne room, swan-shaped float carrying Sihanouk's body 2012 January 30, 2013
2000 riels Naga (mythical snake) head, Royal Arms of Cambodia, King Norodom Sihanouk King Norodom Sihanouk alongside two soldiers 2013 November 8, 2013
100,000 riels Royal Arms of Cambodia, King Father Norodom Sihanouk, Queen Mother Norodom Monineath, Naga (mythical snake) head King Father Norodom Sihanouk, Queen Mother Norodom Monineath and King Norodom Sihamoni, stone sculpture 2012 May 14, 2013
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimeter. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Coins[edit]

The first coins were 5 sen pieces, minted in 1979 and made of aluminum. No more coins were minted until 1994, when denominations of 50, 100, 200 and 500 riel were introduced. However, these are no longer commonly found in circulation.[6]

Current KHR exchange rates
From Google Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD CNY
From Yahoo! Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD CNY
From XE: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD CNY
From OANDA: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD CNY
From fxtop.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD CNY

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Filippi, Jean-Michel. "The strange adventure of the Cambodian currency". Phenom Penh Post. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  2. ^ A Brief History of Cambodian Currency
  3. ^ a b c Cambodian Currency Collection Cambodian Currency Collection
  4. ^ "Cambodian FAO 1 riel coin on catalog". Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  5. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Cambodia". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: www.BanknoteNews.com. 
  6. ^ De Launey, Guy (30 March 2011). "Cambodia's riel survives alongside the dollar". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

First riel
Preceded by:
French Indochinese piastre
Location: French Indochina
Reason: independence
Ratio: at par
Note: piastre not used in self-declared North Vietnam since 1946
Currency of Cambodia
1953 – 1970
Note: transitional notes dual denominated in piastre and riel were used until 1955
Currency of Khmer Republic
1970 – 1975
Succeeded by:
Moneyless economy
Location: Kampuchea
Reason: The Khmer Rouge attempted to implement the Marxist vision of a money-less society
Note: The Khmer Rouge did print a series of riel. Some sources say they were never issued. Some say they were issued one month before they were abolished.
Second riel
Preceded by:
Vietnamese đồng
Reason: reintroduction of a national currency
Ratio: 1 riel = 3 đồng = 0.25 U.S. dollar = 1 kg rice
Currency of Cambodia
1980 –
Succeeded by:
Current