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714 Islamic Coin Umayyad Silver Dirham al-Walid ibn Abdel Malik Wasit 95 AH VF

  • $ 77.77

Description:  A beautiful toned very fine Umayyad silver dirham struck in 95 AH (714 AD) during the reign of the Caliph al-Walid son of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. Al-Walid ruled the Islamic world in the period 86-96 AH (705-715 AD). Al-Walid's father Abd al-Malik is the Umayyad Caliph responsible for the reformed coinage in the Islamic world. This beautiful coin clearly shows the mint location being Wasit in current day Iraq and the year of minting being 95 AH. The coin is toned and is much better than the photos suggest. The coin has nice, well struck, and very readable calligraphy. Please carefully review the scan as it is part and parcel of our description. 

Date: Struck 95 AH or 714 AD.  

Mint: The coin clearly shows mint location being Wasit in Iraq.  

Size and weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.5 grams and is ~25 mm in diameter. 

References: It is Album 128, is listed in Lane Poole Catalogue of the Collection of Arabic Coins Preserved in the Khedivial Library in Cairo Egypt as #188-190, and is listed in Wilkes as # 297. 

Condition: I would grade this coin as a good very fine with a nice and well centered strike having very readable calligraphy. The coin has a nice large flan, has dark toning, and has a misshapen edge. It has general wear commensurate with the coin's age and circulated status, but the calligraphy is very readable and clear. The coin also has some minor surface scratches on both sides as well as embedded soiling within the calligraphy. Other than that, the coin is problem free, with nice eye appeal, and is much better than the photos suggest. A nice coin worthy of a spot in your collection. Please see photo for additional condition information. 

Historic Perspective: The Muslim Arabs used existing gold and silver coinage in lands they conquered. At that time the nascent Islamic nation did not have a monetary system and did not strike neither gold nor silver coins, instead the conquering Arabs used the Byzantine monetary system already existing in Egypt for most of the gold coins and the Sassanian monetary system already existing in Iran for most silver coins with minor modifications. In 77 AH (699 AD) Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan the Umayyad caliph instituted a monetary system and began striking the first Islamic coins including the gold Dinar and silver dirham. The dinar weighed 4.25 grams, or one mithqal, of the highest purity gold possible. The dirham weighed about 2.85 of the purest possible silver composition, which would maintain a solid coin. At the time the center of power and the main gold coin mint was located in Dimishq (current day Damascus in Syria), while silver coins were minted throughout the Muslim empire.

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