The King Behind the Coin

Born to a powerful tribe warrior tribe Abdulaziz ibn Saudi came into the world where his family was embattled with their rivals the Al-Rashids. While still an infant, his family was exiled, hence in 1890 the future King Abdulaziz was taken to be raised in the land which is now modern day Kuwait.

In 1901, at the age of twenty-one and standing an impressive 6 foot 6 inches, Abdulaziz succeeded his father. Desperate to return to his country, he set out with forty top camel-mounted warriors to regain the family domain from the ruling Al-Rashids.

In January of 1902 he arrived at the capital and slipped into the town by night. At dawn the Rashidi governor emerged from his castle and was slain by ibn Saud.

When former supporters of the Sauds heard of this turn in events, they rallied to the cause. So great was the support that within three years Abdulaziz controlled half of Central Arabia. In 1927 he changed his official title from Sultan of Najd to King of the Hejaz and Najd. With further unification of the Kingdom, in 1932 he changed this title to King of Saudi Arabia.

In 1938 HRH King Abdulaziz granted oil concessions to American oil companies and remained friendly to the Allied Forces in World War II. The coins minted in Philadelphia were sent along with a cargo of equipment designated for the oilfields of the Kingdom in order to guarantee sufficient fuel supplies for the Allied war effort. While this shipment never arrived, by 1953 the income from oil exploration was 2,500,000 dollars a week.

HRH King Abdulaziz ibn Abdulrahman ibn Saud died in Taif in 1953. During his life he was known to have had over 100 wives, 53 sons and countless daughters.