Name of Object:



Stockholm, Sweden

Holding Museum:

Royal Coin Cabinet

Date of Object:

Hegira 516 / AD 1123

Museum Inventory Number:

SHM/KMK 1123

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Gold; minted.


Diameter 2.5 cm, weight 4 g

Period / Dynasty:



Seville (Ishbiliya), Spain.


The object is an Islamic gold dinar of the Almoravid Amir Ali bin Yusuf (r. AH 500–37 / AD 1106–43). The inscription within the obverse central field consists of several Qur'anic quotations and the name of the ruler: 'There is no deity but God alone (XLVII, 19). He has no peer (VI, 163). Muhammad is God's apostle (XLVIII, 29). Commander of the Muslims, Ali bin Yusuf.' The obverse circular legend is also a quotation from the Qur’an: 'He who chooses a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him and in the world to come he will surely be among the losers (III, 85).'
The reverse circular legend contains the place and date: 'In the name of God! This gold coin was struck in Ishbiliya in the year five hundred and sixteen.' The inscription of the reverse central field refers to the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, calling him Imam ‘Abdallah, who was al-Mustarshid (r. AH 512–29/ AD 1118–35) at that time.

View Short Description

Islamic gold dinar of the Almoravid Amir ‘Ali bin Yusuf. The inscriptions consist of Qur’anic quotations and the name of the amir. The reverse circular legend refers to the place and the date where and when the coin was struck: in Ishbiliya in the year AH 516 / AD 1123.

How date and origin were established:

The coin is dated on the reverse.

How Object was obtained:

This coin was part of a treasure found in Gotland, in the parish of Visby, Sweden, and allotted to the museum in 1844.

How provenance was established:

The inscription on the reverse names the place Ishbiliya (Seville).

Selected bibliography:

Brisholm, K., “An Archival Study on Medieval Islamic Coinage”, Nordisk Numismatisk Unions Medlemsblad 9, 1986, 209–17.
Hazard, H. W., The Numismatic History of Late Medieval North Africa, Numismatic Studies 8, American Numismatic Society, New York, 1952.
Tornberg, C. J., Numi Cufici, Uppsala, 1848.

Citation of this web page:

Friederike Voigt (all information provided by the Royal Coin Cabinet). "Coin" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;se;Mus01_A;45;en

Prepared by: Friederike Voigt (all information provided by the Royal Coin Cabinet).Friederike Voigt (all information provided by the Royal Coin Cabinet).

Friederike Voigt has an MA in Iranian studies, history of art and social science and is currently working on her doctoral thesis on wall tiles in architectural decoration of Qajar Iran. Since 2004 she has been a project-related curator at the Museum for Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm for Museum With No Frontiers. She studied at Humboldt University in Berlin, at the University of Tehran and archaeology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. She taught Persian language at several universities in Germany. She was an assistant curator at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Cultures at the Museum of Ethnology, State Museums of Berlin. Her main fields of interest are the material culture of Iran, especially of the Qajar period, and contemporary Iranian art.

Copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: SE 49


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