720 Islamic Coin Umayyad Silver Dirham 'Umar ibn Abdel Aziz Basra Mintc101AH VF
Description: A beautiful good very fine or better Umayyad silver dirham struck in 101 AH (720 AD) during the reign of the Caliph 'Umar ibn Abdel Aziz. 'Umar ruled the Islamic world in the period 99-101 AH (717-720 AD). This coin is a great example or reformed Islamic coins which have been introduced 20 years earlier by Abdel Malik ibn Marwan. This beautiful coin clearly shows the mint location being Basra, a less common mint reference, with the year of minting being 101 AH. This is a nice coin with 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 101 AH or 720 AD.
Mint: The coin clearly shows mint location being Basra which is a scarcely referenced mint only active for 5 no consecutive years during Umayyad rule.
Size and Weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.7 grams and is ~27 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album 133, is listed in Lane Poole Catalogue of the Collection of Arabic Coins Preserved in the Khedivial Library in Cairo Egypt as No. 83, is Al-Ush 713, and it is Wilkes No. 243.
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 is bright and clean. It 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 only issue we see with the coin is a small area at the edge (See 10 O'clock) on both sides where it has been flattened with minor pinch marks, possibly because the coin was part of a piece of jewelry sometime in its life. Other than that, the coin is problem free and is much better than the photos suggest. 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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