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Spain imitation North African dinar 1130-1492

Started by small worldcoin, April 27, 2006, 04:22:18 PM

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small worldcoin

The seller told it's a dirham from N.W. Africa  :-\  Was he right? Who can tell more ? Length/breath is 1,5 cm, weight is 1,06 gr., metal is unknown.

Thanks etc. :)


Hard to say. Could you post a larger pic, please?

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


@ Peter,

Just click on the pic. It will enlarge to the size mentioned (386x190) Details are clearly visible.

It's the software that reduces it.

Every circulated coin tells a story. A commemorative coin tells a sad story: "The coin who never really was a coin....."



The coin does look like a silver dirham. The dimensions are right, and so is the weight (for a worn coin). This sort of coin was pretty common in the Iberian Peninsula and in North Africa during the muslim period. If it's an Iberian coin, and from this period, it's likely from Malaga (statistically speaking...). But frankly, I have dirhams in better condition that I couldn't identify...
Anyway, it does remind me of a silver dirham from this period (A.D. 1130 - 1492).

Hope this helps,



How come that I read in plain sight of this coin Nepalese-Bengal writing which appear on Nepalese-Tibet- Indian coins?

I believe it is one of the many take-away Indian Kingdoms that where existing throughout 1600-1940. It would not surpise me to learn that it is in the region in between Bengal, Madras or even the kingdom of Barada, which had emissions in a square form.  And as there was an era, that Afghanistan also was part of the large Indian Empire, you will certainley have to  go over mountains and through deserts for lookie lookie everywhere to find its origin...

Is not that just lovely?


The lettering I see is all Arabic, or Arabic-based (which could still technically be Urdu, if they were Indian)

Nothing Sanskrit or Pali-based that I can see there.


Not bad at all, Bookworm! Here's the reply of my favourite Arabic coin expert:

In view of the rather degenerated Arabic legends this is probably an imitation of a Muwahhid Dirhem. The Muwahhids (12th to 13th century) ruled over North Africa (Morocco). The imitations, silver Milares, were made in particular in Spain for trade with North Africa (until the pope stopped the practice). See Mitchiner: World of Islam, #528-532.

So there's your answer. It's both real and a fake, but it circulated as money.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.



I do have one Dirham from Malaga and one Christian copy of it. I've seen other Dirhams of the same period and stylistically the writing looks rather correct. Although the condition of the coin is not the best I can not say for sure that it is a copy. In  the Copiyed Dirham I have, you can see the efford the engraver had to "copy" the "for him unfamiliar"Arab.
I'll try to take a picture of mine and post it to the forum.

All the best


greetings, here are the pics of my dirhams.
the left one is the christian copy , the right one is an original from Malaga.


here is the other side of the dirhams.

all the best


what are your opinion about the dirham first posted ?
The more I look the least I see...




Those are fantastic pieces, lusomosa. Thanks for posting. Do I take it right that you are saying that small worldcoin's coin is too degenerated to be a copy? I have no particular knowledge of this series, but I would expect to see progressive degeneration, i.e. the copies get worse and worse as originals disappear.

What strikes me is that the imitation is larger than the original. Is it also heavier? I would have expected the imitations to be lighter...

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


The copy is indeed bigger, I'll have a look to the weights but it should be somewhat heavier.
I dont know if all copies are bigger !!!
I did see a lot of original dirhams, I know of one find in Lisbon where a bucket full was found !!!! They have different kwalities but one has to remember that dirhams changed hand many times a day. One other remark ; many dirhams have 2 holes and were intended to be used has / or necklace.
Dirhams were mere than commun , they were everywhere, copyies were used not so much to save money of to cheat the system, they where made to be worth as much as the original and perhaps the fact that they were bigger increased the probabylity that they would be accepted by the Moors in the south of the peninsula.
Lets not foreget that he first Gold coins from Castilla , were written in arab in order to be better accepted as well by the Moors.
Moors and the Christian kingdoms in the Peninsula were enemies of each other BUT they had more commercial activety with each other than with the rest of Europe.



The copy Left weights 1.37g
The Dirham right weights 1,20g

the Copy is thus 30% heavier than the original I have. I've only seen an handfull of copied dirhams , one other as big as this one but unfortunately I have no knowledge  of their weights.

next time I see one I'll try to ask for its weight.

all the best