706 AD Islamic Coin Umayyad Silver Dirham al-Walid ibn Abdel Malik Al-Wasit 87H
Description: A beautiful good extremely fine or much better Umayyad silver dirham struck in 87 AH (706 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 al-Wasit and the year of minting being 87AH. This is a nice coin that is nicely toned. The coin has a pleasing appearance and is much better than the photos suggest. Please carefully review the photos presented as they are part and parcel of our description.
Date: Struck 87 AH or 706 AD.
Mint: The coin clearly shows mint location being Al-Wasit Iraq.
Size and weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.8 grams and is ~26.5 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 #165 and is listed in al-Ush's Catalog of Islamic Coins Preserved in the National Museum of Qatar as No. 966.
Condition: I would grade this coin as a good extremely fine or much better with a wonderful and well centered strike having beautiful Calligraphy. The coin is nicely toned and has nice eye appeal. It has wear to the higher points but the calligraphy is still very readable and clear. The coin has some surface scratches and some minor bag marks. The coin is much better than the photos suggest. It is problem free, great looking, and is much better than the photos show. Definitely a high quality and beautiful coin. 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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