Dictionary of the Coins
of the World

 

This is an ongoing work (one of those never-ending projects) consisting of a compilation of all known names used for coins from the ancient times to the present. Where possible, a description of coins of that name is given, as well as the most likely origin of the name, including translations. In many cases, links are made to pages which will show various examples of that denomination. Obviously, the images not all-inclusive but hopefully will give the user an idea of what some of the coin denominations looked like and how coins of the same name differ from country to country and through time.

M

Mace - Also mase, mas, masse, maz, mess, masscie.  A Chinese money of account equivalent to one-tenth of a silver liang or tael.

Also, in Malay countries, a small gold coin weighing 9 grains.  Also, a weight used in Sumatra, being 1/16th of a Malay tael, or about 40 grains.

{From Malay m~s (also em~s) said to be representative of Sanskrit m~sha a weight of about 17 grains}

[China, Malaysia]

Macuta - Equal to 5 centavos.

[Angola]

Macute - Also maccuta, maccute, macoute, macutaAt the beginning of the 18th century, it was said to be the name for one of the pieces of cloth used as money by the negroes of the Congo.  Subsequently used in the West African trade as the name for a money of account (=2000 cowries), and hence adopted by the Portuguese at Angola as a denomination in their local coinage (=50 reis); the Sierra Leone company also issued (1791-1805) pieces of 1, 2, 5 and 10 macutes, the silver macute being worth about 4:d sterling.

[Angola]

Madonnina - Silver coin of the 17th Century.  Those of Casale are 1.95 grams and have a legend in five lines on the obverse with the Madonna and child on the reverse.

[Italian States, Casale]

Magdalin - A gold coin of Provence, struck under Rene (1434-1480) having on the obverse the bust of Saint Magdalene.  The reverse has a cross.

{From French Magdalin after Saint Magdalene.}

Maglia - See bianchetto.

Mahallak

Mahbub -

{From Turkish mahbub beloved, catamite???}

[Egypt, Turkey]

Mahl Groschen - Variant of maley groschen.

{German mahl mill??}

Mahmudi - Also mammothei, mamudee, mahomedee, mamoodo, mammoda, mamoodee, mahmoudi, mamooda, mahmoodee, mahmudie, mahmoude.  A Persian money of account, originally a silver coin of the approximate value of 12 pence English.  Also, a gold coin formerly circulating in India.  In 1612, a mammothee was equal to 9 pence English.  In 1687, an abassi and a mahmoudi, which is as much as a chai, and a para.  And, mahmoudy worth 112 sols.  In 1797, the Encyclopedia Brittanica has: An abassee worth two mahmoudes.  A gold coin of Gujrát (mahmudi)

{Persian mahmãd§, from the name of the Shah Mah Mãd}

[Persia]

Mahmudiye - Ottoman 20-kurush gold coin issued by Sultan Mahmud II.

Maille - A name for the pfennig in the Netherlands of the 12th and 13th centuries.  It was worth half of a Cologne denar and was minted at 320 to the marc.

{From the city of Melle where the coin was first minted.}

[Netherlands]

Makuta - Plural of likuta.  See macute.

[Congo (Zaire)]

Maley Groschen - A small billion coin of Bohemia, Silesia etc. struck during the late 16th and early 17th centuries.  It was valued at 1/60 of the thaler.

[German States]

Malla - The smallest of all Spanish copper coins, equal to half of the dinero.

[Spain]

Mallschilling - Twelve-grote piece of the 17th century.

[German States]

Maloti - Plural of loti.

Mameita Gin - [Japan]

Manat - Currency of Azerbaijan, divided into 100 gopik.

[Azerbaijan]

Mancoso - In Arabic, the term manqush means 'struck or coined'  The gold coin, mancoso, is recorded in the documents of the 7th through 11th Centuries; it was equal to a Byzantine solidus and was valued at 20 silver denari.

{Arabic manqush, coined, struck, engraved}

Mancus - An anglo-saxon unit of value equal to 30 silver pence.  Also, a piece of gold equal to 30 pence.

{From Old English from Middle Latin mancusus from Arabic manqush coined, struck, engraved.}

[Anglo-Saxon]

Mancuso - A gold coin struck in Catalonia by Berenguer Ramon I (1018-1035).  It was struck in Barcelona and had both Latin and Arabic legends.  See mancus.

[Spanish States-Catalonia]

Mangir - An Ottoman copper coin of very small value.

{From Turkish mang2r a small disk of pressed charcoal dust?}

[Ottoman]

Maraiola - [Italian States]

Maravedi - Also maravedis, marivade, marvedie, maravadie, marvedi, marvede, myravid, merviade, maravidi, marevedi, and erroneously as malvady.  An old Spanish gold coin, weighing about 60 grains and of the value of 14 shillings.  Also, a former Spanish copper coin and money of account, valued at about 1/6th penny sterling.  See also the Portuguese morabatino.

{From Spanish maravedí (=Portuguese maravedin), a derivative of Arabic Mur~bit§n (plural of Mur~bit), the name of a Moorish dynasty (usually designated Almoravides, this being the same word preceded by the Arabic article) which reigned in Cordova from 1087 to 1147.}

[Spain]

Maravedi Prieto - A small billion coin issued by Alfonso X (1252-1284) of Castile.  These coins were made so hurriedly that time was not taken to blanch the planchets before striking, and, consequently, the coin was very dark in color.

{From Spanish maravedi maravedi + prieto dark or blackish.}

[Spain]

Marcello - A silver coin of Venice equal to 12 soldi.

From the name of the doge Niccolò Marcello (1473-1474) who was the first to coin the venetian half lira.

{From the name of the doge Niccolò Marcello who introduced it}

[Italian States-Venice]

Marck - [German States]

Marenghi - Plural of marengo.

Marenghini - Plural of marengo.

Marengo - Also called a napoleon.  The piece of 20 franks coined at Torino after the Battle of Marengo (14 June 1800), taking its name from this.  They have on the obverse the bust galeato? of Minerva with the legend L'ITALIE DÉLIVREÉ À MARENGO and on the rever the value and legend LIBERTÉ - EGALITÉ ERIDANIA.

{Named for the battle of Marengo after which it was struck.}

[France]

Mariengroschen - Originally a small fine silver groschen bearing a portrait of the Virgin and Child, first struck at Goslar in 1503.  Equivalent to 8 pfennigs, the mariengroschen spread throughout Lower Saxony, and as the 36th part of a thaler, was coined in Hanover and neighboring states well into the early 19th century.

{From German Marien Mary referring to the Virgin on the obverse + groschen groschen.}

[German States]

Mariengulden - [German States]

Mark - [German New Guinea (Papua New Guinea), Germany, Germany-East, Germany-West, Norway, Poland, Sweden]

Marka

Markka - [Finland]

Markkaa - [Finland]

Mas - A gold coin of Ceylon struck between 840 and 1295.  It has on the obverse the ruler standing or kneeling, and the reverse has a crude legend.

[Ceylon (Sri Lanka)]

Masse d'or - A gold coin struck in France under Philip IV (1285-1314).  It showed the king seated holding a mace on the obverse and a floriated cross in quadrilobe on the reverse.

{From French masse mace + d'or of gold}

[France]

Masriya - [Egypt]

Matapan - Name used in Venice for the grosso.  Also called a ducatus argenti.

[Italian States-Venice]

Mathbu - [Morocco]

Maticaes - [Mozambique]

Matier - This coin originated as the Matthias groschen (1.6 grams, 25 millimeters in diameter), a small fine silver groschen depiciting the apostle Matthew, first struck at Goslar in 1496.  It found little favor and was discontinued within a hundred years.  The name, however, was revived during the 17th and the first two-thirds of the 18th century to designate a small billion piece struck in Lower Saxony and Wesphalia to facilitate trade between invading French troops and the German inhabitants.  This new coin, set equal to 13 deniers (or 1 denier better than the French sol), was 16 millimeters in diameter and weighed 0.8 gram.

[German States]

Matonas

Matthier - [German States]

Mattier - Variant form of matier.

Max d'Or - Bavarian double goldgulden first coined in 1715.  Maximilian III Joseph (1745-1777).  Obverse has Maximilian's bust and the reverse has the Madonna.

{From Max Maximilian + d'or of gold.}

[German States-Bavaria]

Mazuna - [Morocco]

Mealha - A billion coin valued at one half dinheiro and first issued by Alfonso I (1140-1185) of Portugal.  According to the initial order, there were to be 460.8 of these to the marco, a weight of about eight ounces.

{From Portuguese mealha mite, mit or morsel"

[Portugal]

Medine - Also medin, madyne, madayne, madien, madin, madein, meydine, meidin, medina, medean, medino.  Originally, a silver half-dirhem first issued by the sultan al-Mu'ayyad in the 15th century.  Later, it was a copper coin current in Egypt, Syria, etc valued at 1/40 of a piastre or 1/20 a penny.  (The Turkish name is para; in Egyptian Arabic, it was commonly called faddah, meaning silver.)  In 1559, 40 medins maketh a duckat.

{From French medin, from vulgar Arabic mayyid§, corrupt form of my'ayyid§y, from the name My'ayyad, the sultan (al-Mu'ayyad) who first issued the coin.}

[Egypt]

Medini - [Egypt]

Meia Peca - A gold coin of Portugal equal to two escudos.

[Portugal]

Meili -

Memduhiye Altin -

{From Turkish memduh praised + iye posessor, owner + altin gold;???}

[Turkey]

Menut - Also menudo.  Any small or insignificant coin.  The name is used sparingly for coins of the Middle Ages but becomes very common at a later date.  Minute.

Merk - Originally a certain weight of gold or silver estimated in monetary terms and used as a money of account from early times with the value of two-thirds of the pound scots or 13 shillings and 4 pence scots which by the 18th Century was equivalent to 13ad sterling.  A silver coin of this denomination was coined at intervals from the reign of James VI in 1578 to that of Charles II.  As a money of account, the name persisted into the 18th Century.  The merk referred to was originally the slightly lighter Norwegian mark.  [1708: A mason is to have a merk Scots, without meat or drink, and half a merk, with meat and drink, for a dayes service.  1760: Such farms in Aberdeen-shire pay commonly about 300 merks or 17 l. sterling of yearly rent.  1826: For on that day [Union of 1707] the pound sterling came in among our natural coin, and, like Mose's rod, swallow't up at ae gawpe, plack, bodle, mark and bawbie]

{Scottish National Dictionary: Named after the Norwegian mark}

[Scotland]

Metica - [Mozambique]

Meticais - Variant form of metical.

Metical - A brass coin and monetary unit of Mozambique, equal to 100 centavos.  It replaced the escudo in 1980.  Also meticais.

[Mozambique]

Meticals - Plural of metical.

Mil - [Cyprus, Hong Kong, Israel, Palestine]

Milanese Soldi - An unauthorized silver coinage struck by a feudal fief in Piedmont at the Genoa mint by a member of the Vescova family.  It was struck in multiples of 27 and 54 and had on the obverse arms supported by angels and on the reverse a saint offering a blessing.

[Italian States-Albera]

Milesima - [Spain]

Miliarensis - As a Byzantine coin, it was first issued in 720 by Leo III at a weight of 2.27 grams as a ceremonial piece.  Later, it became a regular issue for general circulation.  The miliarensis was struck until 1092.  In its early history, it had a value, in relation to gold, of 1/12 nomisma.

[Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire]

Millieme - [Egypt, Libya]

Millim - [Sudan, Tunisia]

Millime - [Tunisia]

Milreis - A coin equal to 1000 reis.

[Brazil]

Mining Pfenning - A copper coin of Transylvania struck in the early 17th Century.  It had as design elements a pick and hammer.

[Transylvania]

Miscals

Mite - Variant form of myte.

Mocenigo - A silver coin of Venice equal to 24 soldi.

{From Pietro Mocenigo (1474-1476) the Doge who first introduced the coin}

[Italian States-Venice]

Mohar - [Nepal]

Mohur - Also moor, mohr, moher, more, muhar.  A gold coin, originally Persian, but used in India from the 16th century onward.  Later, it was the official name of the chief gold coin of British India (Yule), weighing 180 grains troy, and containing 165 grains of pure gold; its value is 15 rupees.

Old gold coin of the Moguls that circulated in India from the 16th century.  Any one of several gold coins formerly issued by the Indian states (as Bikaner, Gwalior, Hyderabad) and by Nepal and Tibet.  Gold coin worth 15 rupees.  It was issued until 1918.

{From Hindi muhur, muhr gold coin, seal.  From Perisan muhr, akin to Sanskrit mudr~ seal, sign, token.}

[India-British, Indonesia, Maldive Islands]

Mon - A family crest.

[Japan]

Mongo - Plural mongo, mongos.  An aluminum coin and monetary unit of the Mongolian People's Republic, the 100th part of a tugrik.

{From Modern Mongolian möngö <»>(»(>) silver, money.}

[Mongolia]

Morabatino - A gold coin first issued by Sancho I (1185-1211) of Portugal and last struck by Alfonso III (1248-1279), the principal device being the King mounted to the right while the reverse was the usual five shield cross.  See maravedi.

[Portugal]

Moraglia - Variant name of the muraiola.

Mouton - A gold coin of Hainault showing a knight on horseback.

{Possibly from mount?}

Mozzo - [Italian States]

Mun - [Korea]

Mung

Munzgulden - [Switzerland-Cantons]

Muraglia - Variant name of the muraiola.

Muraglioli - Coin equal to 1/10 lira in Modena.

[Italian States-Modena]

Muraiola -.

Myte - Half-pfennig coin used on the Lower Rhine.

[German States]

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