Obverse. Photo © Heritage Auctions
  • 5 Dinars 1991, KM# 122, Algeria, History of Algerian Coinage, Dinar of Masinissa
  • 5 Dinars 1991, KM# 122, Algeria, History of Algerian Coinage, Dinar of Masinissa

Algerian coinage unfolds a captivating narrative, echoing the nation's vibrant history. Rooted in the ancient landscapes of Phoenician and Roman settlements, particularly in Algiers, the capital, these coins bear witness to the enduring cultural tapestry of Algeria.


Depicts the obverse of Dinar of Numidian King Massinissa at the centre with a portrait of king Massinissa left wearing a laurel wreath surrounded by Arabic inscription "Algerian Coinage" and "During the reign of Massinissa " below, date of dinar struck in Hijri and Gregorian on both sides.

Masinissa (c. 238 – 148 BC ), also spelled Massinissa, Massena and Massan, was an ancient Numidian king best known for leading a federation of Massylii Berber tribes during the Second Punic War (218–201 BC), ultimately uniting them into a kingdom that became a major regional power in North Africa. Much of what is known about Masinissa comes from the Livy's History of Rome, and to a lesser extent Cicero's Scipio's Dream. As the son of a Numidian chieftain allied to Carthage, he fought against the Romans in the Second Punic War, but later switched sides upon concluding that Rome would prevail. With the support of his erstwhile enemy, he united the eastern and western Numidian tribes and founded the Kingdom of Numidia. As a Roman ally, Masinissa took part in the decisive Battle of Zama in 202 BC that effectively ended the war in Carthage's defeat; he also allowed his wife Sophonisba, a famed Carthaginian noblewoman who had influenced Numidian affairs to Carthage's benefit, to poison herself in lieu of being paraded in a triumph in Rome.

After inheriting a larger, more powerful kingdom now backed by Rome, Masinissa played a decisive role in provoking Carthage into triggering the Third Punic War, which ended in the city's complete destruction, and left Numidia the sole power in northwest Africa. He ruled for 54 years until his death at age 90. He was regarded as a staunch ally of Rome, and an unusually vigorous ruler, leading troops until his death and fathering some 44 sons. His tomb in Cirta (modern-day Constantine in Algeria) bears the inscription MSNSN, read Mas'n'sen, or "Their Lord".

النقود الجزائرية
200- 800-
هـ م
1991 1411
عهد ماسينيسا


Depicts the reverse of the Dinar of Numidian King Massinissa at the centre with an elephant surrounded by the inscriptions "Bank of Algeria" above and value 5 Golden Dinars below.

بنك الجزائر
5 5
دنانير ذهبية


5 Dinars

KM# 122 Schön# 34 Fr# 47
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Gold
Fineness 0.920
Weight 16.12 g
Diameter 28 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Bank of Algeria

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