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Two things...
Morocco's bi-metallic coins.
Morocco - Latest Coins


Morocco's bi-metallic coins.

   Morocco was amongst the first countries in recent years to adopt a ringed bi-metallic coin for circulation. The “Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato” (IPZS in Rome, Italy) made 500 Lire coins for Italy, San Marino and Vatican City commencing 1982. The first (and only) date of the Moroccan 5 Dirham coins was 1987 (the design also included the Mohammedan Era date 1407, that AH year ended on the 25th August 1987). It is believed that these Moroccan coins were made in Morocco on blanks produced in Italy. IPZS was the only mint making ringed bi-metallics in any quantities at this time and these Moroccan coins are to a rather similar specification to the bi-metallic 500 Lire coins. The Moroccan mint, known as “Dar As-Sikkah”, was opened in the capital Rabat, on the 5th March 1987 by the late King Hassan II. A new series of circulation coins was issued by Morocco with that date (1987/1407), unsurprisingly coinciding with the time of the opening of the mint.

Comparison of the 5 Dirhams and the 500 Lire bi-metallics

   The table above shows a comparison of the main dimensions of these two coins. Of course there had to be some differences, otherwise a vending machine wouldn’t have been able to tell one type from the other.

Morocco 5 Dirhams 1987/1407
The Moroccan 5 Dirhams 1987/1407.

   The designs on the 5 Dirham coin are rather similar to the other Moroccan coins of the time. The obverse has a portrait of King Hassan II (a design from the time that the British Royal Mint made the coins for Morocco, by sculptor David Wynne, who is better known for the “nine hands” design on the Great Britain 50 Pence for E.E.C. entry in 1973), with Arabic legends meaning “Kingdom of Morocco, Hassan II”. The reverse features the Royal Arms of Morocco, the dates, the number “5” and an Arabic inscription meaning “Five Dirhams”.

   A second ringed bi-metallic type was introduced (dated) 1995/1415. This was the 10 Dirham. The Mexican mint told me some time ago that they have supplied bi-metallic blanks to Morocco. The Mexican 10 Peso coins from the time are quite similar to the 10 Dirham coins.

Comparison of the 10 Dirhams and the 10 New Pesos bi-metallics

   The table above shows a comparison of the main dimensions of these two coins. (Silver was used in the Mexican coins as Mexico produces a lot of silver and found it useful to use it in this way, though no other country has actually used silver for circulation coins in the last 10 years or so.)

Morocco 10 Dirhams 1995/1415
The Moroccan 10 Dirhams 1995/1415.

   The designs on the 10 Dirham coin were:- obverse - a new portrait of King Hassan II in traditional dress, with Arabic legends meaning “Kingdom of Morocco, Hassan II”. The reverse features the Royal Arms of Morocco, the dates, the number “10” and an Arabic inscription meaning “Ten Dirhams”.

   Morocco’s central bank is “Bank Al-Maghrib”, their site is at  http://www.bkam.ma/ . An English and Arabic language sections seems to be planned for the bank’s site, but for now you will have to make do with the French language section. There you can find details not only of Morocco’s circulation coins and notes but also about “Dar As-Sikkah”, since the central bank is responsible for both issuance of money in Morocco and for the mint.

   There is a recent coin of Morocco of which I have still not seen an image. It is a 250 Dirham silver commemorative coin issued to commemorate “Throne Day”, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the enthronement of the present king Mohammed VI. The present king was enthroned on the 24th July 1999, less than 12 hours after the death of his father, the late King Hassan II, who had passed away the day before. A main feature of this commemorative coin is a portrait of Mohammed VI in traditional clothes. The 10 Dirhams of 1995/1415 is currently the newest circulation type in Morocco, but likely in the next few years some new circulation coin types will appear - these could well include a new bi-metallic type with this same portrait of Mohammed VI. I wonder how long we will have to wait for this ?
 


Morocco - Latest Coins

   The imminent release of two new circulation types for Morocco was annouced around 21st February 2003. These two coins were a new 1/2 Dirham and a new 1 Dirham. The 1 Dirham includes the portrait of the King Mohammed VI on one side and Morocco's coat of arms and the dates (2002/1423) on the other side.

The new Moroccan 1/2 Dirham type
The new Moroccan 1/2 Dirham type - dated 2002/1423 (scaled at 200dpi).

   The 1/2 Dirham includes Morocco's coat of arms and the dates (2002/1423) on one side and includes a telecommunications satellite and "1/2" on the other side.

   By the start of 2004, all six coins of this new series where to be found offered on eBay - the series comprises 10 and 20 Santimat, 1/2, 1, 2 and 5 Dirhams. The 10 and 20 Santimat have intersting new reverse designs in a slightly similar style to the satellite image on the new 1/2 Dirham coin.

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Added "Morocco's bi-metallic coins" at January 2002.
Last updated "Morocco - Latest Coins" at February 2004.