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Islamic Coins

A Checklist of Islamic Coins

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Numbered list of coin-issuing Islamic rulers from c.652 to c.1890 by denomination and often by type. Brief introduction to Islamic coin collecting & short notes on coinage and standard references throughout. Bibliography with much background information. Six-level rarity guide. Includes North Africa, the Middle East, Anatolia & the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Does not include India & eastward.
BK10142. A Checklist of Islamic Coins by Stephen Album, 1998, 2nd edition, 151 pages, paperback, not the current edition, worn ex Forum copy; $9.00 (€8.01)
 


Crusaders(?), Imitative of Zangids of Syria, c. 1146 - 1200 A.D.,

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This coin is a crude imitative of an Islamic fals of the Zangids of Syria, Nur al-Din Mahmud, struck at Halab (Aleppo, Syria), 1146 - 1173 (Spengler-Sayles 73, Album 1850). That type was itself also imitative, copying a Byzantine follis of Constantine X, struck at Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey), 1059 - 1067 (DOC III 8, SBCV 1853). The quality of the Zangids fals vary greatly and it can be difficult to distinguish between Halab mint issues and imitatives. This example is very crude and if any can be attributed to the crusaders, this is one.
BZ77974. Bronze follis, Malloy Crusaders -; cf. Spengler-Sayles 73 (notes "barbaric" imitations), Album 1850 (notes imitations are perhaps struck by the Crusaders), F, desert patina, tight flan, weight 2.798 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 1150 - 1200 A.D.; obverse two Byzantine style imperial figures (Constantine X and Eudocia) standing facing, supporting between them labarum resting on three steps, EX downward on left, imitation of Kufic legend inner left; reverse Christ standing facing, nimbate, book of Gospels in left hand, right hand on hip, IC - XC flanking head, blundered imitation of legend around; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


Islamic, Umayyad Caliphate, Damascus, c. 680s A.D., Arab-Byzantine Coinage

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While the Muslims administered the city, the population of Damascus remained mostly Christian—Eastern Orthodox and Monophysite—with a growing community of Muslims from Mecca, Medina, and the Syrian Desert. The governor assigned to the city which had been chosen as the capital of Islamic Syria was Mu'awiya I. After the death of Caliph Ali in 661, Mu'awiya was chosen as the caliph of the expanding Islamic empire. Because of the vast amounts of assets his clan, the Umayyads, owned in the city and because of its traditional economic and social links with the Hijaz as well as the Christian Arab tribes of the region, Mu'awiya established Damascus as the capital of the entire Caliphate. With the ascension of Caliph Abd al-Malik in 685, an Islamic coinage system was introduced and all of the surplus revenue of the Caliphate's provinces were forwarded to the treasury of Damascus. Arabic was also established as the official language, giving the Muslim minority of the city an advantage over the Aramaic-speaking Christians in administrative affairs. It is critical to note that, at the time Damascus was conquered by the Muslims, the majority of Arabs were either pagans or Christians. Damascus itself was predominantly Aramaic with Arab speaking people.
BZ77973. Bronze fals, Walker BMC 7; SICA I 560; DOCAB 49; Album 3517.1 (S), Mitchiner WOI -, aF, rough, weight 3.450 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, Dimashq (Damascus) mint, c. 650 A.D.; obverse DAMACKOC, emperor standing facing, long cross scepter in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand, bird standing right atop T on left, ΛEO curving downward on right; reverse large M (40 nummi), rho-cross monogram above, arc over horizontal line below, ANO downward on left, X/Y/II (frozen pseudo regnal year 17) in three lines on right, ∆AM (Damascus) in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $35.00 (€31.15)
 


Islamic, Umayyad Caliphate, Damascus, c. 680s A.D., Arab-Byzantine Coinage

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Damascus is the capital of Syria and is now, due to civil war fighting in Aleppo, most likely the largest city of Syria. First settled in the second millennium B.C., Damascus was the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750. After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad. Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods. During Ottoman rule, the city decayed while maintaining a certain cultural prestige. Damascus today is a major cultural and religious center of the Levant.
BZ77975. Bronze fals, Walker BMC 7; SICA I 560; DOCAB 49; Album 3517.1 (S), Mitchiner WOI -, Fair, porous, weight 3.449 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Dimashq (Damascus) mint, c. 650 A.D.; obverse DAMACKOC, emperor standing facing, long cross scepter in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand, bird standing right atop T on left, ΛEO curving downward on right; reverse large M (40 nummi), rho-cross monogram above, arc over horizontal line below, ANO downward on left, X/Y/II (frozen pseudo regnal year 17) in three lines on right, ∆AM (Damascus) in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $38.00 (€33.82)
 


Roman-Byzantine or Early Islamic, Bronze Disk Weight, c. 350 - 650 A.D.

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This is light for a nomisma weight and we would suspect it is a game piece but Weber insists all these types of bronze with concentric rings are weights. He suggests some may be early Islamic.
BZ90517. cf. Weber Byzantinische 127, VF, green patina, weight 3.570 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, obverse concentric circles (appear to cast); reverse plain; $45.00 (€40.05)
 


Kingdom of Sicily, Henry VI (HRE), 1194 - 1197

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Henry VI was King of Germany from 1190 - 1197, Holy Roman Emperor from 1191 - 1197, and King of Sicily from 1194 - 1197. In 1197, his German soldiers mercilessly suppressed a revolt in Italy, especially in southern Sicily. In this same year, Henry prepared for a Crusade, but, on 28 September, he died of malaria (or he may have been poisoned) in Messina. His son, Frederick II, inherited both the Kingdom of Sicily and the Imperial crown.
ME72172. Billon dirham fraction, Biaggi 1780 (R2), Spahr 2 (RR); MIR IV 457 (R); MEC Italy III, 477, VF, typical tight flan, slightly off center, weight 0.944 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Palermo mint, 1194 - 1195; obverse Arabic legend in Nashki script: Harir / quaysar / aughust (Henry Caesar Augustus); reverse + / Z REX / SICI +; rare; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Islamic, Seljuqs Sultanate of Rum, Kaykhusraw I, 1192 - 1196, 1204-1210

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Kaykhusraw I, the eleventh and youngest son of Kilij Arslan II, succeeded his father in 1192. He ruled 1192-1196 and 1205-1211, but had to fight his brothers for control of the Sultanate. He married a granddaughter of the Byzantine emperor Manuel I Komnenos. In 1207 he seized Antalya from its Frankish garrison and furnished the Seljuq state with a port on the Mediterranean. According to Niketas Choniates, he was killed in single combat by Theodore I Laskaris, the emperor of Nicaea, during the Battle of Antioch on the Meander.Seljuqs of Rum
IS67182. Bronze fals, Album 1207, Mitchiner WOI -, F, weight 2.506 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 315o, 2nd reign, 600 - 607 AH, 1205 - 1211; obverse horseman riding right, sword in right, two stars above; reverse Arabic inscriptions, no mint or date, including title "Abul-Fat-h"; $45.00 (€40.05)
 


Islamic, Seljuqs Sultanate of Rum, Kaykhusraw I, 1192 - 1196, 1204-1210, Brockage

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Kaykhusraw I, the eleventh and youngest son of Kilij Arslan II, succeeded his father in 1192. He ruled 1192-1196 and 1205-1211, but had to fight his brothers for control of the Sultanate. He married a granddaughter of the Byzantine emperor Manuel I Komnenos. In 1207 he seized Antalya from its Frankish garrison and furnished the Seljuq state with a port on the Mediterranean. According to Niketas Choniates, he was killed in single combat by Theodore I Laskaris, the emperor of Nicaea, during the Battle of Antioch on the Meander.Seljuqs of Rum
ME65438. Bronze fals, cf. Album 1202, Mitchiner WOI 957, Zeno OCD 121946 (all same type, not brockages), VF, brockage, weight 3.135 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, obverse horseman right, sword in right at shoulder, star at each side of his head, ornament below; reverse incuse of obverse (normal reverse is Arabic script); $95.00 (€84.55)
 


Islamic, Zangid Atabegs of Sinjar, Qutb al-Din Muhammad, 594 - 616 AD, 1197 - 1219 A.D.

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The obverse is imitative of a bronze of Caracalla struck at Edessa, Mesopotamia.
IS47246. Bronze dirhem, Spengler-Sayles 81, Album 1880.2, Mitchiner WOI 1139 - 1140, F, obv off center, weight 9.677 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 45o, Sinjar mint, 596 - 600 AH, 1199 - 1204 A.D.; obverse Kufic inscription: mint name and date (date off flan), bare headed, curly-haired, draped a cuirassed Roman-style bust left, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left shoulder; reverse cursive four line Kufic inscription: names and titles of the Abbasid Calif al-Nasir and Qutb al-Din Muhammad; Zengid tamga (stylized fulmen) below; $19.00 (€16.91)
 


The Coinage of the Ayyubids

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BW40234. The Coinage of the Ayyubids by Paul Balog, Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication Number 12, London, 1980, 334 pages, 50 plates, hardcover, dust jacket, new; $40.00 (€35.60)
 










REFERENCES

Akin, A. "An 'Abbasid Fals of Sijistan Struck On Chinese-Style Planchet" in Oriental Numismatic Society Newsletter, No. 164 (2000).
Album, S. A Checklist of Islamic Coins. (Santa Rosa, CA, 2011).
Album, S. "A hoard of silver coins from the time of Iskandar Qara Qoyunlu" in NC 1976.
Album, S. "An Arab-Sasanian Dirham Hoard From the Year 72 Hijri" in Studia Iranica 21 (1992).
Album, S & T. Goodwin. Sylloge of Islamic Coins in the Ashmolean Museum. (Oxford, 2002).
Artuk, I. & C. Istanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri Teshirdeki Islâmî Sikkeler Katalogu. (Istanbul, 1971 - 1974).
Balog, P. "Islamic Bronze Weights from Egypt" in JESHO 13 (1970), pp. 235 - 255.
Balog, P. The Coinage of the Ayyubids. RNS Special Publication 12. (London, 1980).
Bates, M.L & F.L. Kovacs. "A Hoard of Large Byzantine and Arab-Byzantine Coppers" in NC 156, 1996.
Berman, A. Islamic Coins. Exhibition catalog. (Jerusalem, 1976).
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Lowick, N.M. "Seljuq Coins" in NC 1970.
Malek, H.M. The Dabuyid Ispahbads and early 'Abbasid governors of Tabaristan: History and Numismatics. RNS Special Publication 39. (London, 2004).
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Zeno.ru - Oriental Coins Database. Online: www.zeno.ru.

Catalog current as of Wednesday, September 28, 2016.
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Islamic Coins