Umayyad Silver Dirham Al-Walid ibn Abdel Malik 90 AH 709 AD Al-Wasit Iraq Mint
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Description: A beautiful, large flan, good fine or much better Umayyad silver dirham struck in 90 AH (709 AD) during the reign of the Caliph al-Walid son of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. Al-Walid ruled the Islamic world in the period 86-96 AH (705-715 AD). Al-Walid's father Abd al-Malik is the Umayyad Caliph responsible for the reformed coinage in the Islamic world. This beautiful coin clearly shows the mint location being al-Wasit and the year of minting being 90 AH. This is a nice coin that is nicely toned. The coin has a very pleasing appearance, which is a bit faded in the scan but is much better in reality. Please carefully review the scan as it is part and parcel of our description.
Date: Struck 90 AH or 705 AD.
Mint: The coin clearly shows mint location being Al-Wasit Iraq.
Size and Weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.6 grams and is ~25 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album 127 and is listed in Lane Poole Catalogue of the Collection of Arabic Coins Preserved in the Khedivial Library in Cairo Egypt as #170.
Condition: I would grade this coin as a good very fine with a good and well centered strike having beautiful Calligraphy. The coin is nicely toned and has a very pleasing appearance. It is much nicer than the photos suggest. The calligraphy is very clear and is fully readable. The coin has some minor scratches in the field which are being mentioned for completeness. The coin is problem free and looks much better than the scan shows. It is a nice looking 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.