Islamic Coin Umayyad Silver Dirham Caliph Sulayman ibn Abdel Malik 98 AH 717 AD
Description: Umayyad silver dirham struck in 98 AH (717 AD) during the reign of the Caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik b. Marwan. Suleyman ruled the Islamic empire in the period 96-99 AH (715-717 AD). He is the third Caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. The coin clearly shows the date of minting and the name of the mint; Wasit. This coin is a great example of reformed Islamic coinage instituted by Abdel Malik b. Marwan. Please carefully review the scan presented as it is part and parcel of our description.
Date: Struck in the year 98 AH or 717 AD.
Mint: Mint listed on the coin as Wasit.
Size and weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.7 grams and is ~27 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album 131, al-Ush 978, Wilkes 297, and is not listed in Lane Poole Catalogue of the Collection of Arabic Coins Preserved in the Khedivial Library in Cairo Egypt.
Condition: I would grade this coin as a nice very fine to extremely fine with a well centered strike and beautiful Calligraphy. The coin is beautiful and is much better than the photos suggest. The coin shows a large dark spot in the bottom of the obverse, some minor wear and a few scratches as well as bag marks in the field. The reverse is evenly toned unlike the obverse which has the large darker spot. Be that as it may, this is a beautiful and very readable coin to add to your collection. Please see photos 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). On the other hand, silver coins, or dirhams were struck throughout the empire in various mints.
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