715 Islamic Coin Umayyad Silver Dirham Sulayman ibn Abdel Malik Wasit 97 AH XF
Date: Struck 97 AH or 715/716 AD.
Mint: The coin clearly shows mint location being Wasit in current day Iraq.
Size and weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.9 grams and is ~26 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album 131, is listed in Al'Ush Catalog of Islamic coins preserved in the national museum of Qatar as #977, is listed in Lane Poole Catalogue of the Collection of Arabic Coins Preserved in the Khedivial Library in Cairo Egypt as #194, and it is Wilkes 297.
Condition: I would grade this coin as extremely fine or better with a well centered strike and having beautiful Calligraphy. The coin shows nice toning with some areas of darkness due to staining. The obverse has soiling imbedded into small crevasses within the calligraphy, which can be seen in the photos. However, none of these issues is a problem and the coin is much better than the scan shows. It has even wear to the high points but is still very readable. It has some scratches and bag marks as well as some minor additional areas of staining all of which can be seen in the photos. Other than that, the coin is problem free and looks much better than the scan shows. It is a nice looking 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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