Name of Object:

Coin (dinar)

Location:

Algiers, Algeria

Holding Museum:

National Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Arts

About National Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Arts, Algiers

Date of Object:

Hegira 537 / AD 1142

Museum Inventory Number:

II.N.268

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Gold, stamped.

Dimensions:

Diameter 2.6 cm, weight 4 g

Period / Dynasty

Almoravid

Provenance:

Almería, Spain.

Description:

This circular coin features a kufic inscription on both sides, which reads as the following:
Obverse:
On the perimeter: 'Wa man yabtaghi ghair al-islam dina falan yoqbala minhou wa houa fi al-akhirati min al-khassirine' (Whoever sighs after a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him and in the last life he will be amongst those who have lost – Qur'an, III, 85).
At the centre, the text consists of five lines: 'La illah ila Allah / Muhammad rassoul Allah / amir al-muslimine Ali bin / Yusuf walie ahdih / al-amir Tashufin' (Of the divine there is only God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God. The prince of the Muslims, Ali ibn Yusuf, who is the successor of the prince Tashufin).
Reverse:
On the perimeter: 'Bism Allah doriba hadha al-dainar bil-maria sanat sabu wa thalathine wa khamsimiya' (In the name of God, this dinar was stamped in Almería in the year 537 [AD 1142]).
At the centre, the text consists of four lines: 'Al-imam / abdu / allah / amir al-Muminin' (The Imam Abdullah, prince of the believers).
This coin was made during the reign of Ali ibn Yusuf (r. AH 500–37 / AD 1106–43) in Almería, Spain. The existence of coin-making workshops in towns beyond the capital Marrakesh, such as Granada, Seville, Valencia and Tlemcen, testifies to the power, expansion and wealth of the Almoravids. Generally speaking, these gold coins made under Ali ibn Yusuf are characterised by their purity, which varies from 76 to 96 per cent, and by the appearance of the title amir al-Muslimin (prince of Muslims).
It should be noted that, in AH 495 / AD 1101, Yusuf ibn Tashufin proclaimed his son Ali as his successor to power.

View Short Description

This dinar coin has kufic inscriptions on both faces and was minted during the reign of the Almoravid Ali ibn Yusuf in Almería, Spain. These coins are noteworthy for the purity of their gold and the inclusion of the title 'amir al-Muslimin' (prince of Muslims).

How date and origin were established:

The date of issue features on the coin.

How Object was obtained:

Bought by the museum in 1993.

How provenance was established:

The town of issue (Almería, Spain) is indicated on the coin.

Selected bibliography:

Benguerba, S., El-meskouket el-meghribia min el-feth ila souqout dawlet Beni Hammad (Maghreb numismatics from the Muslim Conquest to the fall of the kingdom of the Bani Hammad), Algiers, 1986.
Drias, L., Drias, Y. and Doubabi, H., Djami'a el-meskouket el-arabia el-islamia bil matahif al-djazairia (Corpus of Arab-Muslim numismatics in Algerian museums), Vol. II, Algiers, 2000.
Hazard, H. W., The Numismatic History of late Medieval North Africa, New York, 1952.
Lavoix, H., Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la bibliothèque nationale: Cabinet des médailles, Vol. I, Paris, 1887.

Citation of this web page:

Ali Benbella "Coin (dinar)" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;dz;Mus01;28;en

Prepared by: Ali BenbellaAli Benbella

Maître-assistant à l'Institut d'archéologie de l'université d'Alger, titulaire d'un magister en archéologie islamique, conservateur du patrimoine archéologique et historique, ancien chef du service Conservation et Valorisation (section islamique) au Musée national des antiquités, Ali Benbella a participé à plusieurs fouilles sur les sites médiévaux algériens de Mansourah (Tlemcen) et Achir (Médéa). Il a contribué à la réalisation de plusieurs expositions et catalogues établis par le Musée national des antiquités, entre autres Arts Céramiques et L'art islamique d'après une collection privée, et participé à la deuxième conférence sur les “Musées de la Méditerranée, nouveaux concepts et nouvelles perspectives” (Stockholm, 09-12 mai 2003).
Parmi ses publications, il faut citer sa contribution aux Cahiers d'Achir (rapport de fouilles, 1994), ainsi que plusieurs articles en arabe dans la revue Annales du Musée national des antiquités, le dernier sous le titre : “Pavillon des arts islamiques du Musée national des antiquités”. Il est l'auteur, dans le Medelhavsmuseet Bulletin (Stockholm, 2004), d'un article en anglais intitulé : “The National Museum of Antiquities in Algiers”.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Maria Vlotides
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: AL 46

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 Artistic Introduction

 Timeline for this item

Islamic Dynasties / Period

Almoravids


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