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Most interesting Islamic coins


Tetradogma

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Sorry - this is a bit of a broad question, long story short a friend of mine recently helped with some building work, wouldn't take any money but I want to get something to say thank you.

He has an interest in early Islamic and Ottoman Empire history and I know there are some very beautiful, but not super super expensive, gold coins from that period but really have no idea where to start. (I collect Classical Greek)

I don't want to mention anything as he'll try and talk me out of it but no idea where to start, would like something that appeals to his historical funny bone

Any thoughts hugely appreciated, again, sorry this is quite a broad query!

Thanks

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I collect a lot of Islamic coins, and here are a few types I find pretty interesting:

Turkoman Figural Bronzes - super cool designs, and fairly affordable

Husam_al-Din_Timurtash_26_2.png

Artuqids of Mardin. Husam al-Din Timurtash, AD 1122-1152. Dirham
(Bronze, 29 mm, 12.21 g, 7 h), Mardin. 
Spengler & Sayles 26; Album 1826.3; ICV 1198 (this coin).

Sayf_al-din_Ghazi_II_61.1.png

Zangids of Mosul. Sayf al-din Ghazi II, AD 1169-1180. Dirham
(Bronze, 32 mm, 15.56 g, 11 h), Mosul. 
Spengler & Sayles 61.1; Album 1861.2

Ottoman Gold - a lot more affordable than greek or roman gold, which is a plus
Sulayman_I_The_Magnificent_1317.png

Ottoman Empire. Sulayman I The Magnificent, AD 1520. Sultani
(Gold, 21 mm, 3.36 g, 1 h), Misr

 

Lastly, Ghaznavid multiple dirhams are some of the largest medieval silver you can find. Article that goes more in depth here: http://augustuscoins.com/ed/Samanid/Samanid.html

Yamin_al-Dawla_Abu'l-Qasim_1608.png

Ghaznavid Empire. Mahmud of Ghazni, AD 998-1030. Multiple Dirham
(Silver, 47 mm, 10.57 g, 4 h), Andaraba. AH 389

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3 minutes ago, Cordoba said:

I collect a lot of Islamic coins, and here are a few types I find pretty interesting:

Turkoman Figural Bronzes - super cool designs, and fairly affordable

Husam_al-Din_Timurtash_26_2.png

Artuqids of Mardin. Husam al-Din Timurtash, AD 1122-1152. Dirham
(Bronze, 29 mm, 12.21 g, 7 h), Mardin. 
Spengler & Sayles 26; Album 1826.3; ICV 1198 (this coin).

Sayf_al-din_Ghazi_II_61.1.png

Zangids of Mosul. Sayf al-din Ghazi II, AD 1169-1180. Dirham
(Bronze, 32 mm, 15.56 g, 11 h), Mosul. 
Spengler & Sayles 61.1; Album 1861.2

Ottoman Gold - a lot more affordable than greek or roman gold, which is a plus
Sulayman_I_The_Magnificent_1317.png

Ottoman Empire. Sulayman I The Magnificent, AD 1520. Sultani
(Gold, 21 mm, 3.36 g, 1 h), Misr

 

Lastly, Ghaznavid multiple dirhams are some of the largest medieval silver you can find. Article that goes more in depth here: http://augustuscoins.com/ed/Samanid/Samanid.html

Yamin_al-Dawla_Abu'l-Qasim_1608.png

Ghaznavid Empire. Mahmud of Ghazni, AD 998-1030. Multiple Dirham
(Silver, 47 mm, 10.57 g, 4 h), Andaraba. AH 389

Amazing, thank you, I had Sulayman I The Magnificent on my list, the danger is though the more I learn about this period of coins the more likely I am going to want to start collecting them - whats the saying, "ignorance is cheaper" or something?

Thanks for the info, will look them up, the Artuqids of Mardin bronze is very interesting - cheers

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A couple of cautions. Most, but not all, Islamic gold is 22K+. Don't overpay for "pale gold". Album's Checklist (available as a free pdf at stevealbum.com) notes the fineness of the gold for most dynasties. Ottoman gold should be nearly pure. I will also mention that while some Islamic gold may be available at just over melt with spot at $2000/ozt, some of those same coins were available at just over melt 20 years ago when spot was $300/ozt.

Edited by DLTcoins
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 This multiple dinar of the last Abbasid caliph, al-Musta’sim 1242-1258 AD, of 645 AH (1247-8 AD) has a mass of 13.22 grams.  It sold for $385 in the early 1990’s.  Earlier dinars are still inexpensive, though the increase in gold prices has driven prices upwards.  

 image.jpeg.1c30dfa22d7c45b087b502db679e8747.jpegimage.jpeg.b928108a070233dc4646a721f265675d.jpeg

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I find the Turkoman figural bronze coins particularly interesting.  They are the exception of the Islamic iconoclastic rule prohibiting the depiction of human figures on coinage.

 Artuqids of Mardin, Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan, AE dirham, AH 598(1201-02).

SS37.2; Album 1830.1.

14.25 grams

D-CameraArtuqidsMardinNasiral-DinArtuqArslanAH598(1201-02)SS37.2Album1830_114.25g7-27-22.jpg.d065104e1244b745326c79788ff1d8c2.jpg

 

Artuquids of Mardin, Qutb al-Din II -Ghazi II, AE dirham, AH 572-580 (1176-1184).

SS 31

11.8 grams

D-CameraArtuquidsofMardinQutbal-DinII-GhaziIIAEdirhamSS31Roma11.8g3-24-21.jpg.9827bd041b1ad03c20a8f26ff9710694.jpg

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12 hours ago, Tetradogma said:

the danger is though the more I learn about this period of coins the more likely I am going to want to start collecting them - whats the saying, "ignorance is cheaper" or something?

IMO a significant risk....

The gold coin of @Hrefn would be on my wish-list for its beautiful calligraphy and large size. As others have highlighted, the Turkoman figural bronze coins can also be very interesting for their artistry and history:

image.png.17c7db85161f0e931dfa4cb8441ea126.png

Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan, AE 1/2 Dirham, AH 597-637 (AD 1201-1239)
Obv: Male head facing slightly left, hair disheveled, garment fastened with a clasp at neckline to the right, surrounded by circular legends in angular transitional Kufic, ﺮﻜﺑﺭﺎﻳﺩ ﻚﻠﻣ ﻥﻼﺳﺭﺍ ﻖﺗﺭﺍ ﻦﻳﺪﻟﺍﻭ ﺎﻴﻧﺪﻟﺮﺻﺎﻧ
Translation: "Nasır al-Dunya wa al-din Artuk Arslan Malik Diyarbekr"
Rev: Script in five lines ﺏﻮﻳﺍ ﻦﺑ ﺮﻜﺑﻮﺑﺍ ﻝﺩﺎﻌﻟﺍ ﻚﻠﻤﻟﺍﻦﻴﻨﻣﺆﻤﻟﺍﺮﻴﻣﺍﻪﻠﻟﺍ ﻦﻳﺪﻟﺮﺻﺎﻨﻟﺍ ﺪﻤﺣﺍ ﺱﺎﺒﻌﻟﺍﻮﺑﺍ
Translation: "Abu 'l-'Abbas Ahmad al-Nasır li-din Allah Amir al-mu'minin al-Malik al-'Adil abu Bakr bin Ayyub"
Size: 22mm, 6.24g
Ref: Spengler-Sayles Type 40 p132
Notes: Spengler-Sayles suggest (and stop well short of concluding) that the obverse could be a representation of the sun personified, as the rulers of Mardin had an affinity for solar representations on their coins. Whatever the image represents - this particular seems to me to be well executed, good style, excellent condition with an even dark brown/green patina.

Here are a few other options....

I find a well struck silver dirham of the Abbasid caliphs appealing:

image.png.3dd21dc6372362a734c5698117fcbc69.png

Islamic, 'Abbasid Caliphate. Al-Mahdi, AH 158-169 / AD 775-785. Dirham (Silver, 26 mm, 2.94g), citing al-Mahdi as 'al-Khalifa al-Mahdi', Madinat al-Salam, AH 159 = AD 775/6.

as well as these dinner plate dirhams from the 10th century CE.

image.png.8e5203898c64c0471eef4d43b888776d.png

Samanid, Mansur I bin Nuh II (AD 961-976/AH 350-365) AR multiple dirham, Ma'din mint. Undated issue, Double reverse issue. it appears to be a muling of two reverses citing the ruler on both sides, late type, probably struck after Mansur's death in 365 and likely after about 370  : one side citing Mansur bin Nuh, the other side with just Mansur. Ref: mule of Album 1465+1465A see Zeno 308820

And for an early Islamic coin...

MuawiyahIUmayyadCaliphate.jpg.5ab9c409df38d207bc0ce42b0855e56c.jpg

Islamic, Umayyad Caliphate, time of Mu'awiya I ibn Abi Sufyan, AH 41-60 / AD 661-680, AR Drachm, Khusro type, BYŠ (Bishapur) mint, dated AH 48 (AD 668/9).

Obv: Crowned Sasanian-style bust right; rabbi and bismillah in Arabic in outer margin

Rev: Fire altar with ribbons and attendants; star and crescent flanking flames; date to left; mint to right

Ref: SICA I 122-7; Walker, Arab-Sasanian 25; Album 5

Note: This type is now identified as an issue of Ziyad b. Abi Sufyan as governor of al-Basra, before he was granted the governorship of al-Kufa as well. (Album 5) administrator of the Umayyad caliphate, governor of Basra in 665–670, first governor of Iraq and virtual viceroy of the eastern Caliphate between 670 and his death.

Edited by Sulla80
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