Four things...
The 5 Dinar coins for the 10th Anniversary of the Republic of Algeria.
Some recent Commemoratives of Algeria
Descriptive Details of Algeria's Bi-metallic Coins
The very latest Bi-metallic type of Algeria

The 5 Dinar coins for the 10th Anniversary of the Republic of Algeria.

    The 5 Dinars coins of general type KM-105 were made by the Paris Mint and have the privy marks of the Paris Mint. The dates “1962” and “1972” within the reverse design of this type reflects the fact that it is celebrating Algeria’s 10th anniversary of being a Republic. So if one didn’t know any better one would attribute all these coins to 1972 and therefore designate these pieces as being ND(1972). “ND” is used as “1972” can not quite be seen as a date since the two dates in the design have equal prominence and neither is on its own in a place where one would expect to find a date.

Algeria 5 Dinars of general type KM-105.
Algeria 5 Dinars of general type KM-105.

    So what could be of interest about these ? Well the privy marks are the interesting bit about these. There are two privy marks on each of these 5 Dinars coins, which is usual for the Paris Mint to use. Both privy marks apppear on the reverse. The first privy mark is the one to the left, i.e. the one above the “1972”, this is a cornucopia, the second privy mark is the one to the right, i.e. the one above the “1962” can actually be either of two privy marks. On some pieces this second privy mark is an owl and on others a dolphin. The second privy mark on Paris Mint coins is that of the Engraver General.
    Looking in "Monnaies Francaises" (10th Edition 1991 by Victor Gadoury), which is a French catalogue of French coins, it is detailed that the change of Engraver General’s privy mark from owl to dolphin came about when the engraver general changed from "Raymond Joly" to "Rousseau" in April of 1974. So it is most likely that the pieces of general type KM-105 with the dolphin privy mark were made no sooner than April 1974. Therefore it must be wrong to call these particlar pieces “ND(1972)” being as they include the dolphin privy mark. There is a good chance that they were made in 1974 (rather than a year or so later) so “ND(1974)” is the best answer for which date to give these pieces. It is rather likely that the "Standard Catalog of World Coins" changed its listings in-line with the above as a result of information I sent to them.

Privy marks for KM-105a.1 ND(1972) and KM-105a.2 ND(1974).
A close-up of the privy marks on each of the varieties.
LEFT - Cornucopia & Owl as on KM-105a.1 ND(1972), RIGHT - Cornucopia & Dolphin as on KM-105a.2 ND(1974).

    One final thing to say about these privy marks is that they soon wear flat. There is still a way to distinguish flattened privy marks though. The owl privy mark shows the left side of a perched owl - so this tiny mark is seen to run from North-West to South-East (i.e. it points towards the centre of the coin). On pieces with the owl privy mark the cornucopia privy mark at the other side of the coin points towards the centre of the coins too - hence giving some symmetry. The dolphin privy mark runs from North-East to South-West and these pieces have the cornucopia privy mark keeping symmetry by having rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise. A simple representation for this is - with owl “/     \”  and with dolphin “\     /”. The very same as this occurs on all other pieces with these privy marks on them e.g. French coins of the time. So that is how to tell the privy marks apart even if they are worn flat.
    Note: I am NOT sure which marks are on the silver versions or the essai version of this general type KM-105, the above information is ONLY to do with the Nickel pieces.

Some recent Commemoratives of Algeria

    I have as yet seen very little mention anywhere of some of Algeria’s more recent Gold and Silver non-circulating legal tender issues. Looking at even the 2001 edtion of the SCWC (Krause Publications) all that can be seen in this direction is a set of three Gold coins (1991/1411 dated pieces of 1, 2, and 5 Dinars, KM120, 121 and 122 respectively). But in November 2000 I first came across the site of the Bank of Algeria (a French language site) which includes a section about Algerian coins and banknotes at .  The new coins on this site are a new 2 Dinar coin in Gold and three 10 Dinars coins in Silver. All four coins portray a historical figure from Algeria’s past.
    The 2 Dinars is dated 1996/1417 and portrays Abd al-Qadir (also known as Abdel-Kader). He lived 1807 to 1883 (these and the AH equivalent dates are shown near to the portrait, dates appear similarly on the other three pieces). He led Algerians against the French until eventually the French annexed Algeria to France.
    The three 10 Dinar coins are all dated 1994/1415. The first portrays Jugurtha who was king of Numidia (the region now know as Algeria) from 118 to 105 B.C. during the period of great influence by the Romans. Jugartha lived from about 154 B.C. to 104 B.C., these dates are shown on the coins as “154-” to “104-” (Christian era) and “800-” to “750-” (Hejira Era). Negative numbers for dates on a coin - is that a first ! (Note the “-”, minus sign, written after the numbers must be the way this is done in Arabic, as opposed to the convention that says the “-” goes before a number.)
    The second of the three 10 Dinar coins portrays Imam Abd al-Hamid Ben Badis. Born in Constantine in 1889, Iman Ben Badis was well educated and for many years led the reformist movement in their struggle agains the French. He died on April 16th, 1940 and modern day Algerians celebrate that day each year as a holiday called “yaoum el-ilm” (meaning “day of knowledge”).

Algeria 10 Dinars 1994/1415 - Houari Boumedienne
Algeria 10 Dinars 1994/1415 portraying the late President Houari Boumedienne (Image from Wang Wei)

    The third of the three 10 Dinar coins portrays Houari Boumedienne (1932(?)-1978). From the early 1950’s Boumedienne was involved with the Algerian revolt, becoming a member of the Revolutionary Council in 1956. On independence in 1962 he became Defence Minister in the first Algerian government and in 1965 he became the head of state as he reamined until his death in 1978.
    Many more details about three of the four famous Algerians above (the exception being Jugurtha) are included on the page  (and the two pages adjoining it). Perhaps more of the people on those pages will one day be the subjects of future commemorative coins from Algeria. Wang Wei's site World Coins Garden also includes images of the three silver pieces mentioned here, his images quite likely give a better representation of the colours of these coins than those on the Bank of Algeria's site.

Descriptive Details of Algeria's Bi-metallic Coins

The following table is based on my translation of the French language "legislative" documents to be found on the site of the Bank of Algeria.

Algeria's bi-metallics described.

The very latest Bi-metallic type of Algeria

   A new Algerian 100 Dinars type has appeared on the numismatic market in the last few months. I first heard of this new type via an announcement from the WBCC (Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club). The new coin celebrates the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Algeria’s independence from France, an anniversary which passed on 5th July 2002. Like the Algerian 50 Dinars type KM-131) with the “star and moon” reverse, there is just a new reverse for this circulating commemorative 100 Dinars coin. The obverse and all other features/characteristics of the new 100 Dinars type are all as per the standard 100 Dinars type.

New Algerian 100 Dinars type (reverse).
The reverse of the new Algerian 100 Dinars type. (Image from Harald Muller.)

Looking a little closer at this special reverse design......

   Central to the whole design, a little below the central point of the core part of the coin, is the number “40” in western numerals then below this “2002 July 5” in western numerals and Arabic language/script. Above left of the “40” is an arc of five 5-pointed stars and above right of the “40” is what appears to be two super-imposed, right-facing, profile portraits. These profile portraits are part on the core and part on the ring of the coin and over the must be the foreheads is what seems to be the arabic word "aljazaïr" in arabic script, this is Arabic for “Algeria”. My first estimated GUESS at who these two profile portraits belong to is Ahmed Ben Bella who was the Algeria’s first president there is some definite resemblance and an obvious link between “first president” and “independence”. It does seem that the actual profiles are identical to one another. Finally to the left of the design, all the way around the left half of the ring part of the coin, in Arabic language/script the words "aldhikra alarbatun l'aid alistiqlal wa alshibab", meaning "40th jubilee of the feast of independence and youth".

   Pieces of this new coin were to be found at the Munich Numismata 2003 coin show held 8th/9th March of this year. A few examples have since appeared on eBay. Thanks to Harald Muller for the Arabic to English translations and other bits of information.

Algerian Tokens Page

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Last updated April 2003 - added info on new 100 Dinars type..