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Moroccan Dirham: From Past to Present

16 Jun 2024

As you hear the Kingdom of Morocco, you start imagining Casablanca and the Hassan II Mosque, the vivid Majorelle Garden of Marrakech, the golden dunes in the Sahara, and the blue doors of Chefchaouen.

But wait, did you also picture the Dirham?

It's a piece of history that could be held between your hands, representing the rich past and the present - it's the official currency of Morocco.

So how did this currency evolve with time symbolizing the country's growth and transformation?

Early Beginnings

In the 8th century, the Idrisid dynasty (8th - 10th) introduced the first official coin minted in Morocco: The Idrisid Dirham—a silver coin with its name deriving from the Greek currency: the Drachma. The Idrisid Dirham has been found in regions as distant as Russia and the Balkans.

Before establishing a modern coinage system in 1882, the Moroccan economy utilized a traditional form of currency, including copper coins called Falus, silver coins referred to as Dirham, and gold coins known as Benduqi. 1882 had been known with the introduction of rial with the Dirham as a subunit (1 rial = 10 dirhams).

the history of Moroccan Dirham

French Protectorate

As the history of the rest of the African countries, Morocco became a French protectorate in 1912, and the Moroccan Franc was introduced in 1921. With time-rolling, it became the currency of Morocco by 1957.

As soon as Morocco gained independence, the Dirham was reintroduced on 16 October 1960, replacing the Moroccan franc and symbolizing a fresh start for the nation’s economy. Initially pegged to the US dollar and the French franc, but eventually became flexible and independent, reflecting Morocco’s economic autonomy.

The Dirham was the primary currency, replacing the francs at 1 dirham = 100 francs. However, the francs continued until the complete replacement by the centime in 1974.

Bank Al-Maghrib, Morocco's central bank, played a massive role in issuing a new series of Dirham banknotes and coins, regularly updated with security features to fight counterfeiting.

=> Fight counterfeiting, and secure your bag with our machines.

Official Banknotes

By 1987, Morocco established its own national banknote printing and minting works called Dar As-Sikkah, issuing the first banknote. This move didn't only enhance the currency's visual appeal but also reinforced national pride.

Last November 2023, Bank Al-Maghrib introduced a new 100 dirham banknote, hand-in-hand with new coins in denominations of 10 cents, 20 cents, 1/2 dirham, 1 dirham, 5 dirhams, and 10 dirhams.

And lately, on 12 January 2024, a new design was released for the 200 dirham notes, which reflects modern Morocco featured by major structural projects.

past and present of Dirham

Used Denominations

With the historical journey of the Moroccan Dirham, from ancient coins to its current form, many denominations exist, which are different names for the various amounts of money you can use, only used in Morocco.

Like the Santim, the franc = 1 Santim, and the rial = 5 Santimat.

Moroccans mostly use rial or santim when dealing with goods valued under a Dirham. On the other hand, santimat is meant for high-priced goods (usually +$1000). However, in official documents, Dirham is the standard term used.

As we reflect on the rich history of the Moroccan Dirham, it becomes evident that modern banking tools are essential in this rapidly evolving world. Accurate and secure cash handling is vital for businesses and financial institutions.

Just as the Dirham has evolved to meet modern needs, so should your cash handling systems.

Our advanced Nucoun banknote machines ensure accuracy and security, helping your business keep pace with financial advancements.


Here are some key features of our Banknote Sorter VS-75:

  • Front Opening Design:The VS-75 is the most compact banknote sorter available, which makes it perfect for limited spaces.
  • High-Speed Processing: Ability to handle up to 1200 notes per minute, ensuring quick and efficient sorting.
  • Lifetime Software Upgrade:Guaranteed updates for optimal performance.
  • Two-Year Quality Protection:Comprehensive two-year warranty for peace of mind.
  • Multi-Currency Capability:Comes built-in with 12 currencies, with the option to expand to 120 currencies, including the Moroccan Dirham (MAD), catering to global financial operations.
  • Advanced Detection Technology:Utilizes Blink CIS technology for accurate counterfeit detection.
  • Reject Pocket:Separates suspect notes without interrupting the sorting process.
  • Versatile Sorting Options: Ability to sort by denomination, face, orientation, and version, meeting diverse cash processing needs.
please buy the VS-75 money sorter to count and sort your DirHAM
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