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A Fake Gold Arabic Dinar Found in Morston, Norfolk

This fake Arabic dinar was discovered by a metal detectorist near Morston, Norfolk, in April 2021. The coin has a hole punched in it, presumably so that it could be worn as a pendant.

Professor Rory Naismith from Cambridge University suggests that it is extremely likely to have been made by a Viking, given the close contact between the Rus and the Arabic world. He commented:

“While there are few other imitations that we know of, this one is a bit ropey,” 

“It looks like it’s made by someone who knows the generalities of what a dinar looks like, but is not handling them enough to get the Arabic right.”

As a result what should be Arabic script has degenerated into a series of lines and is completely illegible”.

This 12th Century dinar found in Suffolk shows the Arabic script the maker was attempting to imitate
image: Suffolk County Archaeology Service

The Fake Arabic Dinar
image: Andrew Williams, Norfolk County Council

Morston, Norfolk – Location
image: David Beard