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My Newest Moroccan Benduqi

5 posts in this topic

Well, this makes three now. I keep seeing these and they're just so cool! The crude charm of these hammered coins appeals to me.

This particular coin is from AH1272, (which is 1855 AD). It is raw, and about the size of a US dime. It was struck in Fes Hazrat (when the Sultan lived in the city, it was given the honorific "Hazrat"). These gold coins had a very low mintage, because gold was not a common metal in Morocco. These benduqi have an even lower survival rate, because they were often used as decoration or melted.

Both sides of the coin have the same simple design - the date and mint name surrounding a rose.

So, tell me what you think!

Post any crudely struck gold coins you might have, and tell us about them.

IMG_8266.JPG IMG_8267.JPG

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2 hours ago, RWB said:

Is the date in European digits?

Yes. The dates on Moroccan coins are always in Arabic numerals. 

Fun fact - the Arabic speakers of North Africa (such as the people in Libya and Morocco) are actually the ones who introduced Europe to this numeral system around the 10th century. So, they aren't "European" numerals at all! 

The "Eastern Arabic" numeral system still used on many Islamic coins was never really used in the western Arab countries. 

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Actually, it is agreed by historians that the digits we commonly use are largely of European origin and they are properly called "European digits." To stick the misnomer "Arabic" on them is incorrect and promotes misunderstanding of the digits forms used in most Arabic-speaking countries. As you suggest, there is and has been a lot of mixing as forms evolved over the past 5,000 years.

(Even European digits have different forms depending on the parts of Europe involved. In the US the common printed form of  " 4 " was changed to an open form (3rd from left) in 1953 for elementary school instruction.)


Edited by RWB
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