The Central Bank of Malta has recently acquired a Fatimid quarter dinar minted in Malta during the Arab period to add to its numismatic collection. The significance of this acquisition lies in the fact that, until this quarter dinar was discovered, no Muslim coin bearing the mint name of Malta was known to exist, leading numismatists to believe that no Muslim coinage was ever minted on the island. The discovery of this coin can, therefore, be considered as one of the most significant developments in Malta’s numismatic history.
The quarter dinar was minted in 1080/81 during the reign of al-Mustansir (1036-1094), one of the longest-reigning Fatimid caliphs. It is made of fine gold and has inscriptions in Kufic script, an early Arabic calligraphy. It was discovered by Andre P de Clermont, an international expert on Islamic coins, when this coin was offered for sale in the UK late in 2008. Other world renowned experts have confirmed de Clermont’s claim regarding the Malta attribution.