The northern Malaysian state of Kelantan has gone ahead with its plans to introduce a new official currency, releasing a series of gold and silver coins for use alongside the ringgit. The new currency has been designed along Islamic principles with a dinar containing 4.25 grams of gold and a dirham coin containing 3.0 grams of silver. The initial price for the gold dinar is RM582 (US$183) and the silver dirham is RM13, though these prices will fluctuate with their respective metal values.

According to the State government, which is controlled by Islamic party PAS, over 1,000 local businesses have signed up to accept the new currency and it can be used in transactions with state agencies as well. Whether or not to use an “Islamic currency” has been debated in Malaysia for some time now, with advocates including former PM Dr. Mahathir Mohamad pushing for its use nationally and internationally among Muslim nations. Whatever the new currency’s origins, purpose or official status, however, the value of its gold and silver remains uniform around the world. The coins may also gain extra value as collectibles.

source: Channel NewsAsia