716 Islamic Coin Umayyad Silver Dirham Sullayman ibn Abdel Malik Mahi 97 AH VF+
Description: A beautiful good very fine or better Umayyad silver dirham struck in 97 AH (716 AD) during the reign of the Caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik. Sulayman ruled the Islamic world in the period 96-99 AH (715-717 AD). His father Abd al-Malik is the Umayyad Caliph responsible for the reformed coinage in the Islamic world, of which this coin is a great example. This beautiful coin clearly shows the mint location being Mahi or Mahayy, a less common mint reference, with the year of minting being 97 AH. This is a nice coin with beautiful toning. The coin has a very 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 97 AH or 716 AD.
Mint: The coin clearly shows mint location being Mahi or Mahayy which is a scarcely referenced mint only active for 9 years between 90-98 AH.
Size and Weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.6 grams and is ~27.5 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album 131, is listed in Lane Poole Catalogue of the Collection of Arabic Coins Preserved in the Khedivial Library in Cairo Egypt as No. 147, is Al-Ush 906, and it is Wilkes No. 286.
Condition: For international buyers, please note that the new US postal rates for overseas shipping are very high and we are unable to change them. Additional charges will be incurred depending on the value of the item. Please check the cost of shipping before bidding. I would grade this coin as a good very fine or better with a wonderful and well centered strike having beautiful Calligraphy. The coin is lightly toned with some imbedded residue/soiling within the calligraphy on both sides. The coin has some wear to the high points but the calligraphy is still beautiful, very readable, clear, and well defined. The coin has some surface scratches and some bag marks. The coin is much better than the photos suggest. The coin 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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