The Imazighen people (Berbers) have lived in the area we now call Morocco since the late Bronze period.
During the 6th century BCE the Phoenicians from Carthage set up trading posts in Imazighen territory, but the skilled riders controlled the vast area and demanded tribute payments from the trading posts.
The first payments were made of goods from far flung areas, but eventually the Imazighens accepted payments in Egyptian and Phoenician currency. Egyptians made silver rings and gold pieces in the shapes of sheep before producing coins under Roman rule. Phoenicians traded in precious metals too, but not in what we would consider coinage. Early Phoenician coinage was minted by hammerstrike in Tyre, in modern day Lebanon, presumably after learning the method from the Greeks. The coins minted in Tyre in the 6th century BCE included images of the local deities like Melqart riding on a sea monster.
Since 2500 BCE coins minted around the Mediterranean (Ancient Turkey) depicted the sea monster Hippocampus but somewhere along the way, these ferocious beasts were “tamed” by gods of men.
After the Egyptian and Phoenicians traders came the Greeks and Romans. During the 8th century CE the Idrisid Dynasty minted the first Moroccan coins. The first dirhams were silver coins, minted in both, Tudgha and Volubilis, Thus named the Idrisid dirham, this silver piece traveled far and wide with Mediterranean traders.
During the 14th century, Morocco produced Fez minted, beautifully crafted gold dinar coins with the native Imazighen and Arabic languages at the direction of the era’s Sultans.
In 1882 Morocco began minting modern coinage with 500 Mazunas = 10 dirham = 1 rial valuation. Shortly thereafter the State Bank of Morocco was created. This coin pendant, available on Pendant and Ring Etsy was minted during 1882.
In 1945 many important events were taking place in the world and Morocco was no exception. The people sought independence from France, in Casablanca the Ecole Normale Hebraique was opened and the communist paper Hayat ech Chaab began publication.
Still fighting for independence in 1952 the Royal Mansour Casablanca was opened, and became a favorite of the Moroccan Royal Family. The football club Jeunesse Ben Guerir was founded and La Vie Eco started their publication.
The French and Islamic design influence on the modern coinage creates a stunning and detailed coin necklaces. In brilliant silver and a rich gold color they would be a great addition to your jewelry box.
Here ends the Morocco edition of the World Coin Tour!
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