The Cherifian Empires

Coinage of Saadians

At the 16th Century, Morocco got united around Arab families, descendants of the Prophet, such as the Saadians and then the Alaouites whose currency production was periodically abundant.

Thanks to their victory over the Portuguese, the Saadians (1545-1659) managed to gather, under their control, the divided forces of the Nation. Thanks to gold coming from Sudan, they became rich and strong. Marrakesh then turned into a big cultural centre. However, their wealth was also a source of weakness for them. Their power declined in front of local groups, such as the Moriscos of Tetouan and Salé, who favored the promotion of piracy activities in these city- States.

Abd Allah Al- Wathiq, double Dinar, coined in Marrakesh in 1604, gold.


Zaydan an-Nasir, Mithqal, coined in Marrakesh in 1607, silver.

The Alaouites

 The Cherifian Alaouite Dynasty  has ruled Morocco since 1640. Moulay Ar-Rachid laid the foundations of a new Alaouite State in 1664, and created a silver currency called Mouzouna or Blanquille and copper fels, which allowed regional trade to flourish.

Under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672-1727), gold, which had no longer been used in coinage since the last Saadians, reappeared thanks to the issuing of a new dinar, the Bunduqi. The standard dirham was introduced as well as its tenfold equivalent, the Mithqal. However, the population used to save them. Being discouraged, Sidi Muhammad Ben Abd Allah contented himself with striking dirhams throughout the Kingdom.

Moulay Slimane (1792-1822) golden Bunduqi, coined in Fez in 1794


Modernization of Moroccan Currency

At the end of the 19th Century, Morocco was evolving under the rule of the Sultan Moulay Al Hassan I. He restored the power of the State and gave a new impetus to the economy by providing it with a stable money. He created the silver Hassani Rial. It was stricken in Paris, London and Berlin.

In addition to using silver coins, Moulay Al Hassan also ordered the striking in Fez, through a pendulum brought from Strasbourg, of a new type of bronze coins and 1, 2, 5 and 10 Mouzouna coins.

This monetary policy was followed by its successors until it was definitely abandoned in 1919.

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