Patterns were ordered by Mohammed III for a new gold and silver coinage in 1201 AH to be struck in Madrid in preparation for the payment of large sums of taxes which were expected to be due from the export of Spanish grain to Morocco.
The gold pattern Matbu' Kabir (Eustache Alawites, 170) of the same design and date is very rare but examples exist, mainly in museums. Production of the accompanying silver pattern Dirhem was also recorded (see Eustache, vol. II p.749), but the coins disappeared without trace and were unknown until the discovery of the above specimen. (Records show that additional patterns for a smaller gold coin and a billon coin were also produced but examples have yet to be traced.) Together they represent the first coinage known which was ordered by an Islamic state and produced at a European mint.