For a world coin collector, it is helpful to be able to read numbers in these different languages. It lets you figure out the date on a coin, and its quantity or denomination (e.g. 25 cents) which are both important for proper cataloging of your collection.
The Eastern Arabic Numerals
The symbols that Middle Eastern Arabic uses to represent the numbers from 0 to 9 are referred to as Eastern Arabic Numerals. They are shown here with their European equivalent:
٥ looks like 0, but means 5. ٦ looks like 7 but means 6.
Numbers that are larger than 9 use combinations of these symbols just like we do with the European numerals:
- 10 = ١٠
- 25 = ٢٥
- 713 = ٧١٣
|Left to right: 2, 25, 100|
Most coins from Arabic or Islamic countries use the Islamic Calendar, which began (Year 1) in 622 A.D. (by the Gregorian calendar we use in the United States). That is why the dates on modern Arabic coins are usually in the 1300s and 1400s - it's not because the coins are 600-700 years old.
Here are some date examples on actual coins:
|Left to right: 1984 and 1404, 1965 and 1385, 1956 and 1375|