Dinar of al-Mustansir Billah (reigned 1036–1094), struck at Misr (Cairo), 1068/68. Gold, diameter 22 mm. Bank al-Maghrib, Rabat, Morocco, 521508. Photograph by Fouad Mahdaoui

In its heyday the dynasty controlled parts of the Niger River, the Sahara Desert, and the Mediterranean Sea, all major conduits of trade. Almoravid mints struck dinars in many corners of the dynasty’s territory and produced more gold currency than any other empire in the western Islamic lands. Their coinage was highly valued because it was made from West African gold, which was purer than gold from any other known source.