NGC graders have certified a rare 1787 Moroccan 10 Mithquals.
The Morocco AH1201 (1787 AD) 10 Mithquals (or 10 Riyals) coin is a rarity with great historical significance. With an estimated ten surviving examples (and only a few of these available for private ownership), this coin is highly coveted by collectors.
The coin’s design features the AH date of 1201 displayed prominently on the obverse and the word “Madrid” in Arabic above the date to denote the mint. The reverse has a stylized design with an Arabic inscription.
Under Sultan Mohammad III (AH1171-AH1204/1757-1790 CE), Morocco sent gold bullion stored at Tangier, Morocco to Madrid, Spain, to be struck into circulating coinage for Morocco. This event combined two historical “firsts” – it represented the first time that Moroccan coinage was struck by a European mint; and these pieces were also the first machine-struck coins produced for Morocco.
While the order for the coinage was authorized in January of 1787, production didn’t start until September of 1787 due to design modifications ordered by Mohammad III. The mintage of 10,000 pieces was struck entirely from the gold provided by Morocco. However, before the coins arrived from Spain, Mohammad III died (on April 9, 1790). Morocco was now under the rule of Yazid, the son of Mohammad III, who unfortunately had objections to these coins.
Yazid, who had previously attempted to dethrone his father, wasn’t keen on issuing coins under the name of his father. Indeed, Yazid’s attitude towards the Spanish can be described as hostile at best. Additionally, the fact that these coins featured the name of their mint, Madrid, did not make Yazid enthusiastic about issuing these coins. The few coins that had been issued were recalled, and those that hadn’t were melted for their gold content.
It is believed that fewer than ten of these coins still exist. Of these, four specimens have appeared in auction since 2003, including this piece, which has been auctioned more than once.
This coin, which has been graded NGC XF 45, is the second example to have been certified by NGC. The grade of NGC XF 45 indicates that it circulated at some point in the past, which demonstrates that, despite being quickly recalled, some of these coins were used in commerce. This only adds to the appeal of these rare and historically significant pieces.