Madinat al-Salam or Baghdad Iraq Abbasid Silver Coin Al-Mahdi Dirham 166 AH / 783 AD Very Fine
Description: Silver Dirham from Al-Mahdi, who ruled the Muslim empire in the period 158-169 AH (775 - 785 AD). Al-Mahdi the third caliph of the Abbasid dynasty. His full name being Abu Abdul Allah al-Mahdi. This is a dirham, weighs ~2.8 grams and is ~23 mm in diameter. The coin shows the date of minting as 166 AH and the mint as Madinat al-Salam or current day Baghdad the capital of current day Iraq. The obverse of the coin has the words "Muhammad Rasul Allah Suli Allah 'Alihe Wa Salam; al-Khalifa al-Mahdi" with one dot below it in the center and along the edge the verse "Muhammad Rasul Allah, arsaluh bil huda wa din al haq liazharuh 'al al din kulh walaw karah al mushrikon". The reverse shows the name of the mint and the date in a circle along the edge. It also has the words "La Illaha ella Allah, Wahduh la Sharik Lah" in the center. Please note the coin is much better than the scan with very well defined and legible calligraphy. A definite quality coin. Please carefully review the images presented as they part and parcel of our description.
Date: 166 AH or 783 AD.
Mint: Madinat al-Salam or current day Baghdad the capital of current day Iraq.
Size and Weight: This is a dirham weighs ~2.9 grams and is ~23 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album #215.1, and listed in LaVoix as#133. It is not listed in Al'Ush Catalog of Islamic coins preserved in the national museum of Qatar but is similar to #1535 except it is dated 166AH instead of 162. It is also not listed in Lane Poole's Catalogue of Islamic Coins Preserved in the Khedivial Collection in Cairo Egypt.
Condition: I would grade this coin as very fine. The coin has very readable calligraphy and is a nice looking coin. The coin has some weakness of strike along the edges especially on the reverse. It does retain quite a bit of luster but has some light deposits along the bottom portion of the reverse. It also has a few scratches in the field and shows some wear to the high points, but has no losses. The coin also has some minor bag marks and is also slightly crimped with a slight wave in the flan. Be that as it may the coin is very nice and would make a great addition to your collection. Please note the coin itself is much better than the scan shows with very well defined and legible calligraphy. A definite quality coin. Please see scan for additional condition information.
Historic Perspective: Abbasid is an Arabic ruling dynasty, originally based in Madinat al-Salam (current day Baghdad) that expanded the Muslim empire and lasted from 750 Ad to 1258 AD. It was named for al-Abbas (566?-652), paternal uncle of the prophet Muhammad. ). Al-Safah leaded the revolt against the Umayyad established and became the first Abbasid Caliph upon the overthrow of the Umayyad caliph in 132 AH / 749 AD. During the first century of the Abbasid rule the empire experienced a time of unprecedented cultural, artistic and economic development, particularly during the reigns of Harun al-Rashid (786-809) and his son al-Ma’mun (813-833).