Umayyad Silver Dirham Abdel Malik ibn Marwan 82 AH 701 AD al-Basra Mint
Description: A beautiful extremely fine or better Umayyad silver dirham struck in 82 AH (701 AD) during the reign of the Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. Abdel Malik ruled the Islamic world in the period 65-86 AH (685-705 AD). Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan is the Umayyad Caliph responsible for the reformed coinage in the Islamic world and as such this coin represents one of the earliest true and purely Islamic coins. This beautiful coin clearly shows the mint location being al-Basra and the year of minting as 82 AH. This is a very nice coin with a nice gray toning and truly has great eye appeal. The coin has a pleasing appearance and looks much better in reality. Please carefully review the photos as they are part and parcel of our description.
Date: Struck 82 AH or 701 AD.
Mint: The coin clearly shows mint location being al-Basra.
Size and Weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.8 grams and is ~26 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album 128, is listed in al-Ush's Arab Islamic Coins Preserved in the National Museum of Qatar as #711 and as Wilkes as #243.
Condition: I would grade this coin as a good extremely fine or better with a good and well centered strike having beautiful Calligraphy. The coin is nicely toned and has great eye appeal. The coin shows minimum wear to the calligraphy. The coin also has some scratches and minor bag marks. Other than that the coin is problem free and looks much better than the photos shows. 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.