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20 rials
General information

Flag of Yemen Yemen


20.00 rials


20042006 (AH1425–1427)

Measurements and composition
  • 7.1 g (2004)
  • 6.62 g (2006)

29.85 mm


1.5 mm

  • bimetallic: brass-plated steel center, stainless steel ring (2004)
  • stainless steel (2006)







Socotra dragon blood tree (Dracaena cinnabari)


Bank title, value, year

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The 20 rial/riyal coin is a circulation piece of the Republic of Yemen. It was issued in two similar types by the Central Bank of Yemen: one in 2004 and the other in 2006. Both types currently circulate, holding a legal tender face value of 20.00 Yemeni rials.

Coins from 2004 are bimetallic, having a brass-plated steel center and a stainless steel ring, while pieces dated 2006 are solely composed of stainless steel. They respectively weigh approximately 7.1 and 6.62 grams. Both pieces measure 29.85 millimeters in diameter and 1.5 millimeters in thickness, have medallic alignment and a reeded edge, and are round in shape. The rims of both types are raised and decorated with a beaded border.

Featured in the center of the coin's obverse is a Socotra dragon blood tree (Dracaena cinnabari), a distinctive species of dragon tree native to the Socotra archipelago of Yemen. Known in Arabic as the "brothers' blood tree", the plant is known for its crimson red resin, which has been used in certain dyes and medicines since ancient times. On the 2004 coin, the illustration of the tree is displayed inside the brass colored center, whereas on the 2006 piece, it is enclosed within a solid circular boundary. Coins from 2004 feature the caption "سقطرى شجرة الأخوين" (Romanized: Suquṭra šajara al-aḵawaīn), which literally translates as "Socotra brothers' tree", in the stainless steel ring, with "سقطرى" (Suquṭra) printed counterclockwise from the upper right to left peripheries, and the remaining words written clockwise from the lower right to lower left rims. A slightly modified "سقطرى شجرة دم الأخوين" (Suquṭra šajara dam al-aḵawaīn), meaning "Socotra brothers' blood tree", is used on the 2006 piece, appearing in the same positions as on the 2004 piece, with some space added for the word "دم" (dam). On both types, two large circular points, one at each side of the obverse, separate the two parts of the legend.

The coin's face value is written in Arabic at the top center of the coin's reverse, inside a solid circular boundary. On pieces from 2004 the value is rendered as "ريال ٢٠"‎ (20 Riyāl), whereas on 2006 coins it is written as "ريالاً ٢٠‎ (20 Riyālān). On both pieces, the value and following word are printed on separate lines, and the numeral is shown in slightly larger print. The English equivalent of this value, "20 RIALS", is engraved in smaller font below the Arabic, curved along the inside of the aforementioned border. Printed at the coin's left rim, outside the boundary, is the Gregorian year of minting, either "٢٠٠٤" (2004) or "٢٠٠٦" (2006). It is followed by a "مـ" (mīm) for "ميلادية" (Mīlādīyyah), which is often used in Arabic to denote Gregorian dates. Written at the opposite site of the reverse is the equivalent Islamic year, "١٤٢٥" (1425) or "١٤٢٧" (1427), followed by a "هـ" (hāʾ) for "هجرية" (Hijrīyyah). In Arabic, such a letter is often appended to dates to signify the Islamic calendar. "البنك المركزي اليمني" (al-Bank al-Markaziyy al-Yamaníyyun) is engraved in a counterclockwise direction along the upper periphery of the coin, starting above the Islamic date and ending above the Gregorian year. Its English equivalent, "CENTRAL BANK OF YEMEN", is printed in the same direction at the bottom rim, commencing below the Gregorian date and concluding under the Islamic year. Both dates are separated from the two legends by lines extending from the rim to the border encircling the face value.

The total mintage of both types is currently unknown. Only business strikes of each are reported to exist.


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