Although the al-Khalifa family has ruled the country since 1783 as a hereditary emirate, Bahrain was a British protectorate from about 1880 until its independence in 1971. However, it had no monetary system of its own. Because of the British influence and its proximity to the Indian subcontinent, Bahrain coins consisted of rupees, anna, and pices of India as its legal tender. In 1959 a special Bahrain currency unit, the Persian Gulf rupee, officially known as the ‘external rupee’ was issued. It was equal to 100 naye paise. In 1956 the rupee was replaced with the Bahraini dinar, the Arabic form of the ancient Roman denarius. Ten Persian Gulf rupees were replaced by one dinar, divisible into 1000 fils.
On 16 October 1965, Bahrain money consisted of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 fils. The 1 fil coins was discontinued a year later. A 500 fils coin was introduced in 2000. The original 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 fils coins feature a palm tree, the new 25 fils portray a seal from the Dilmo Civilization, 50 fils display a Dhow (boat) and the 100 depicts the country’s coat of arms.