Dinar and Dirham in Indonesia

Most of Indonesian people do not know that Dinar and Dirham were once made and applied in Indonesia as a legal money more than 600 years ago. Since the 14th centuries, the ancestors had been familiar with both kind of money.

In Ying Yai Sheng Lan book, written by Ma Huan, the office clerk and translator of Admiral Cheng Ho, during his visit to North Sumatera (1405-1433), said that Samudera Pasai used Dinar with 70% gold, and Keueh made from tin (1 Dinar = 1600 Keuehs). Samudera Pasai published first Dinar as Sultan Muhammad held the power (1297-1326).

In the period of Sultan Ahmad Malik az-Zahir, Dinar was better known as Derham Mas, published in 2 form, Derham and half Derham (1346-1383). Then when Aceh conquered Samudera Pasai (1524), tradition of publishing Derham Mas spreaded out to entire Sumatera and Malaka Peninsula, even Derham was still applied till Nippon army got landed in Seulilmeum, Aceh Besar, on 1942. Today, the use of gold unit (1 gold = 2.5 gr) can still be found in West Sumatera, as a measurement of trading, especially for land trading.


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