Umayyad Silver Dirham Sulayman ibn Abdel Malik 97 AH 716 AD Rare Istakhr Mint
Description: A beautiful good very fine or better Umayyad silver dirham struck in 97 AH (716 AD) during the reign of the Caliph Sulayman son of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. Sulayman ruled the Islamic world in the period 96-99 AH (715-717 AD). Sulayman'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 Istakhr and the year of minting being 97 AH. The coin has a lovely well-centered strike, a very pleasing appearance, and is much better than the scans suggest. Please carefully review the scans as they are part and parcel of our description.
Date: Struck 97 AH or 716 AD.
Mint: The coin clearly shows mint location being Istakhr. Size and weight: This is a silver dirham, weighs ~2.8 grams and is ~27 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album 131, it is listed in Al'Ush Catalog of Islamic coins preserved in the national museum of Qatar as#683, is Wilkes #238 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 good very fine or better with a wonderful and well centered strike having beautiful Calligraphy. The coin is has a dark toning along the edges both on the obverse and reverse. It has wear commensurate with its circulated state and age with very readable and clear calligraphy. The coin still retains some luster and is much better than the scan shows. The coin also has some minor surface scratches and slight double strike on the reverse. Other than that 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.
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