The great gold empires

The Almoravids in the Maghreb and Andalusia

In the 11th Century, the Almoravids established in the Muslim West a large empire which stretched out from the Senegal River to Ebro and from the Atlantic to Algiers. Their economic power used to rest on gold trade, which came mainly from the mines of Galam- Bambouk- Bouré, and on silver resources from the Moroccan South and Andalusia.

Al Moravids Dinars largely circulated around the Mare Nostrum, and were known as “Marabotins”. A long time after the fall of the Almoravids, catholic Spain continued to strike these dinars characterized by Arab legends

Yahya Ibn Umar, Dinar coined in Sijilmassa, 1053-1056 AD. Gold.
Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, Dinar coined in Aghmat in 1104, gold.

The Greatness of the Muslim West under the Almohads

Unlike the Almoravids who tolerated the circulation of other currencies in the territories they invaded, the first Almohad Monarch “Abd Al-Moumin Ibn Ali” (1130-1163) only permitted the use of his own currency. This monetary unification made it easier to collect taxes and to pay the army salaries.

Almohads coinage is made up of square-edged Dirhams and rounded half-Dinars.

‘Abd Al-Mumin Ibn Ali”, ½ Dinar coined in Seville, 1130-1163 AD, gold.
‘Abd Al-Mumin Ibn Ali”, Dirham, 1130-1163 AD, silver.

In the wake of Almohad Dobla

The Merinids did not strike money until the rule of Abu Bakr Ben Abd Al-Haqq in the 13th Century. In 1275, his successor, Sultan Abu Yusuf Yaqoub, revived the workshop of Fez where, like Almohad Dobla, full-fledged dinars (that is to say 4.70 g) and silver qirats were  stricken.

At the start of the 15th Century, coining workshops increased in number and produced a wide range of gold issues reflecting, on the one hand, a will to decentralize coinage, and on the other hand, the Treasury’s flourishing situation. This continued until 1465, when the Wattassids took over.

The monetary situation of the country did not change; yet, the coinage of the new dynasty was primarily limited to the striking of bad-quality silver qirats.

Abu Al-Ula Idriss (1229-1212 AD), golden Dinar
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