Umayyad Silver Dirham Al-Walid ibn Abdel Malik 94 AH 713 AD Wasit Iraq Mint
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Description: A beautiful very fine or better Umayyad silver dirham struck in 94 AH (713 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 Wasit in current day Iraq and the year of minting being 94 AH. This is a nice coin that is very readable and displays a nicely toned surface. The coin has a pleasing appearance and is much better than the scan and photo suggest. Please carefully review the scan as it is part and parcel of our description.
Date: Struck 94 AH or 713 AD. Mint: The coin clearly shows mint location being Wasit in current day Iraq.
Size and Weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.9 grams and is ~27 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album 128, al-Ush #974, and is listed in Lane Poole Catalogue of the Collection of Arabic Coins Preserved in the Khedivial Library in Cairo, Egypt as #182-187.
Condition: I would grade this coin as very fine or better with a well centered strike having beautiful Calligraphy. The coin has a light toning and has little wear making the beautiful calligraphy very readable and clear. The coin is much better than the scan shows. The coin also has some minor surface scratches and minor soiling within the calligraphy. The coin is problem free, great looking, and is much better than the scan shows. Definitely a high quality and beautiful 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.