The ouguiya (Arabic: أوقية; currency code: MRO), also spelt ougiya, is the currency of Mauritania. It is the only circulating currency other than the Malagasy ariary whose division units are not based on a power of ten, each ouguiya comprising five khoums (singular and plural in English, Arabic: خمس, meaning "one fifth").
The ouguiya was introduced in 1973, replacing the CFA franc at a rate of 1 ouguiya = 5 francs.
In 1973, 1⁄5 (1 khoums), 1, 5, 10 and 20 ouguiya coins were introduced, with the 1 khoums only issued in that year. The most recent issues were in 2003 (1 ouguiya) and 2004 (other denominations). Coins are minted at the Kremnica mint in Slovakia. The coinage was slightly changed in2009, with a reduced 1 ouguiya in plated composition and a bi-metallic 20 ouguiya issued.
In 1973, notes were issued by the Central Bank in denominations of 100, 200 and 1000 ouguiya. In 1974, a second series of notes was issued in the same denominations, with 500 ouguiya notes added in 1979. Banknotes have been printed by Giesecke & Devrient in Munich, starting with the second issue. New banknotes were introduced in 2004 to upgrade security features. They include all the earlier denominations plus a new 2000 ouguiya note. A new 5,000 oughia was issued in 2010.
Within Nouakchott, the nation's capital, most coins are in fine to very fine condition; banknotes of 100 and 200 ouguiya tend to be in poor to fair condition, larger denominations are in fine to extremely fine condition.
The Central Bank is unhelpful in providing new condition coins and banknotes. Some interest in setting up a numismatic program exists, however.
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