DEFINITION of 'MAD (Moroccan Dirham)'

The currency abbreviation for the Moroccan dirham (MAD), the currency for Morocco and the de facto currency of the Western Sahara region. The Moroccan dirham is made up of 100 santimat (plural); popular language often refers to five santimat as a "rial", and one santim as a "franc".

BREAKING DOWN 'MAD (Moroccan Dirham)'

The dirham was used in Arabia and the Levant (a large area in Western Asia bounded by the Taurus Mountains and the Arabian Desert) in pre-Islamic times before the introduction of modern coins in 1882. Silver coins denominated in dirham were used until 1882, at which point the dirham became a subdivision of the Moroccan rial. The rial was replaced in Spanish Morocco by the Spanish peseta in 1912, and in French Morocco by the franc in 1921. The franc was then replaced by the dirham in 1960 when it was reintroduced. The franc remained in circulation until 1974, when it was replaced by the santim.

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