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Coin collector recounts UAE currency history

Moataz has been collecting coins for more than 24 years

Gulf News


Sharjah: While many coin collectors enjoy searching for ancient and rare coins, they are usually unaware of the background and detailed history behind them.

Passionate coin collector Moataz Mohamed Osman, the operational director of Sharjah Expo Centre, has embraced his hobby of collecting Emirati coins and stamps for over 24 years and has finally decided to share his passion along with the UAE’s currency history in his latest book ‘Emirates Currencies History.’

His book signing, which took place at this year’s 31st edition of the Sharjah International Book fair (SIBF), attracted many coin collectors who are interested in finding out the entire history of the UAE’s currency.

“Its very sad but there areno books in the market on the history of the UAE’s currency,” said Moataz who spent four and a half years conducting his research and writing his book.

With his new release being his latest book on coins and stamps out of three, Moataz has chosen to write the first edition of his book on UAE’s currency history in English with the aim of attracting a wider audience.

“My first two books were in Arabic, but I think this one being in English will interest more people,” he said.

His new literary ventureincludes the history of each coin that was used in the UAE as the country’s currency at some point, dating back to the first dirham used in the Greek times.

“I like to focus on the patterns, logos, and details in the currency which shows which area and time the currency came from,” said Moataz, who pointed out that the details on a coin indicates its origin.

“The signatures on the currency also explain the period it was used in,” he added.

Moataz visited Lebanon multiple times and India over 20 times while he was conducting his research.

“The first Indian rupee was also used in the UAE, so going to India was very necessary and helpful,” he said.

Through his latest release, Moataz hopes to teach beginners who are interested in collecting coins how to identify rare currency and point out the differences between similar coins through their logos and patterns.

“I want to teach beginners what to look for in a coin,” he said.

Besides collecting, gathering and writing, Moataz has also talked about the history of coins at several events at the Bastakiya Museum.

Along with his role at the Sharjah Expo, Moataz is a member of the Royal Philatelic Society in London. He is also an international legal arbitrator at the International Legal Arbitration Centre in the UAE, and has a BA in legal studies from Cairo University, Egypt, and a diploma of engineering construction projects from the UAE.

Moataz’s first edition of his book ‘Emirates Currencies History’ is now available at Dubai bookstores.