747 Silver Islamic Coin Dirham Marwan II Last Umayyad Caliph Al-Wasit 129 AH VF+
Description: A nicely toned very fine or better Umayyad silver dirham struck in 129 AH (747 AD) during the reign of the Caliph Marwan II son of Muhammad ibn Marwan. Marwan II ruled the Islamic world in the period 127-133 AH (744-750 AD). Marwan II was the last Umayyad caliph before the Abbasid revolt toppled the Umayyad dynasty. This beautiful coin is nicely toned with some encrusted dirt along the edges. It clearly shows the mint location as being al-Wasit and the year of minting as being 129 AH. The coin has a pleasing appearance and looks much better than the photos suggest. Please carefully review the photos as they are part and parcel of our description.
Date: Struck 129 AH or 747 AD.
Mint: The coin clearly the mint as al Wasit in current day Iraq.
Size and Weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.9 grams and is ~24 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album 142, listed in Lane Poole Catalogue of the Collection of Arabic Coins Preserved in the Khedivial Library in Cairo Egypt as number 243, and is listed in Wilkes as #297.
Condition: For international buyers, please note that the 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 very fine or better with a well centered strike and beautiful Calligraphy. The coin is beautiful, nicely toned with some encrusted dirt along the edges. It has minor wear throughout commensurate with its age and circulated status. It very readable and its calligraphy is well struck. It is much better than the scan suggests. Please see photos to appreciate the quality of this coin and 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. The dinar weighed 4.25 grams, or one mithqal, of the highest purity gold possible. At the time the center of power and the main gold coin mint was located in Dimishq (current day Damascus in Syria).
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