Reproduction Arabic Silver Dirham

A reproduction of an Arabic silver dirham based on various originals

The dirham was a unit of weight used across North Africa, the Middle East, and Persia, with varying values which also referred to the type of coins used in the Middle East during the Viking Age. These coins were extremely prized possessions not only for their silver value but as a way of displaying one’s wealth and vast trade connections. Millions of Arabic Dirhams would have been imported throughout the Viking world and are mostly found in hoards.

Arabic coins are especially useful for dating sites, because they carry the date when they were minted. This permits a more accurate dating where the part of the coin with the date survives, whereas European coins can only be dated to the reign of the ruler depicted on them. However, it is also necessary to allow for the time it took the coin to reach the site. In western descriptions of these coins, the Arabic dates found on the coins are usually listed in square brackets, as above, and the European equivalent is listed after it.

Object Type



Ascribed Culture





Viking Objects

Current Location

Private Ownership


Arabic, coin, Currency, dirham, Economy, Portable_Antiquities_Scheme, reproduction, silver, trade

Further information

You can see the original at Private Ownership.


Made by Adam Parsons of Blueaxe Reproductions

(c) Centre for the Study of the Viking Age