Mauritanian Ouguiya
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Mauritanian Ouguiya
Mauritanian ouguiya
Ouguiya (French)
ISO 4217
Banknotes50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 ouguiya[2]
 Freq. used1, 2, 5, 10, 20 ouguiya[3][4]
 Rarely used​ ouguiya
User(s) Mauritania
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sahrawi Republic
Banque Centrale de Mauritanie
PrinterGiesecke & Devrient
 SourceThe World Factbook,[5] 2016 est.

The ouguiya (sign: UM;[6]Arabic: ‎; currency code: MRU[1]), also spelled "ougiya",[7] is the currency of Mauritania. Each ouguiya constitutes five khoums (singular and plural in English, Arabic: ‎, meaning "one fifth"). As such it is one of two circulating currencies, along with the Malagasy ariary, whose division units are not based on a power of ten.

The current ouguiya was introduced in 2018, replacing the old ouguiya at a rate of 1 new ouguiya = 10 old ouguiya, which in turn replaced the CFA franc at a rate of 1 old ouguiya = 5 francs. The name "Ouguiya" () is the Hassaniya Arabic pronunciation of "Awqiyyah" (?), meaning "ounce".

First Ouguiya (MRO)


In 1973, 1/5 (1 khoums), 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 ouguiya coins were introduced into circulation. This was the only year that the khoums was minted, as the ouguiya was worth five CFA Francs a khoums was the equivalent of the franc (which had no subdivision). The most recent issues were in 2003 (1 ouguiya) and 2004 (other denominations). Coins are minted at the Kremnica mint in Slovakia. The coinage slightly changed in 2009, with a reduced 1 ouguiya in plated composition and a bi-metallic 20 ouguiya issued. A bi-metallic 50 ouguiya was issued December 2010.


In 1973, notes were issued by the Central Bank of Mauritania (Banque Centrale de Mauritanie) in denominations of 100, 200 and 1,000 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. These notes have completely new fronts and the vignettes on the backs have been redesigned to accommodate the reduction in size. The 2,000-ouguiya denomination is entirely new.

All but the 100- and 200-ouguiya notes have the denomination expressed in Arabic numerals in a holographic patch at right front. The serial numbers for all denominations now appear horizontally at upper left and lower center, and vertically at far right, all formatted with a 2-character prefix, 7-digit serial number, and 1-character suffix.[8]

An entirely new 5,000-ouguiya denomination dated 28.11.2009 was introduced on 8 August 2010, followed by a redesigned 2,000-ouguiya note dated 28.11.2011 issued on 1 February 2012. [8]

Numismatic information

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.

Second Ouguiya (MRU)

On December 5, 2017, the Central Bank of Mauritania announced a redenomination of its currency at a rate of 1:10. As part of the redenomination, a new series of coins were issued in denominations of 1 khoums ( 1/5 Ouguiya), 1, 5, 10 and 20 ouguiya, with the latter being struck as a tri-metallic coin and a new series of banknotes in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 ouguiya. The new ouguiya banknotes issued for the redenomination are printed entirely in polymer. As a consequence of this change, the ISO Currency Codes for the ouguiya were amended to MRU / 929 and the existing codes of MRO / 478 were retired as per ISO 4217 Amendment Number 165 dated 14 Dec 2017. [9]

Banknotes of the Mauritanian ouguiya (2017 issues)
Image Value Main Color Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
50 ouguiya Violet Ibn Abbas mosque, Nouakchott Teapot; musical instruments 28.11.2017 (November 28, 2017)
100 ouguiya Green Tower Cattle 28.11.2017 (November 28, 2017)
200 ouguiya Light yellow Tower Camels 28.11.2017 (November 28, 2017)
500 ouguiya Light blue Tower Trawler; fish 28.11.2017 (November 28, 2017)
1,000 ouguiya Brown Tower Locomotive of an ore train 28.11.2017 (November 28, 2017)
Coins of the Mauritanian ouguiya (2017-2018 issue)
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Diameter Thickness Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
1/5 ouguiya 16 millimeters 2 millimeters 2.1 grams Copper-plated steel Plain/Smooth National seal of Mauritania; denomination Fish; denomination 2017
1 ouguiya 19.9 millimeters 2 millimeters 4 grams Nickel-plated steel Reeded/grained National seal of Mauritania; denomination Teapot; denomination 2017
2 ouguiya 24 millimeters 5.65 grams Stainless steel Reeded/grained National seal of Mauritania; denomination National instruments; denomination 2018
5 ouguiya 22.5 millimeters 2 millimeters 4.71 grams Nickel-plated steel Plain/smooth National seal of Mauritania; denomination Instruments; denomination 2017
10 ouguiya 24 millimeters 1.8 millimeters 5.38 grams Bi-metallic coin (Nickel-plated steel center with a Brass-plated steel ring) Segmented (alternating between 10 plain and reeded sections) National seal of Mauritania; denomination Cow; denomination 2017
20 ouguiya 26 millimeters 2 millimeters 7.63 grams Tri-metallic coin (Bronze-plated steel center plug with a Nickel-plated steel inner ring and a Brass-plated steel outer ring Plain/smooth National seal of Mauritania; denomination Camels; denomination 2017

See also


  1. ^ a b "ISO 4217 Amendment Number 165".
  2. ^ Billets Archived 2008-03-02 at the Wayback Machine, Banque Centrale de Mauritanie
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "World Coin News".
  5. ^ "The World Factbook".
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-19. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Oxford Dictionary of English
  8. ^ a b Linzmayer, Owen (2012). "Mauritania". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA.
  9. ^

External links

First ouguiya
Preceded by:
West African CFA franc
Ratio: 1 ouguiya = 5 francs
Currency of Mauritania
1973 – 2017
Succeeded by:
Second ouguiya
Ratio: 1 second ouguiya = 10 first ouguiya
Second ouguiya
Preceded by:
First ouguiya
Ratio: 1 second ouguiya = 10 first ouguiya
Currency of Mauritania
2018 –
Succeeded by:

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