Rare Islamic gold coin could fetch over £1m at auction

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A rare Islamic gold coin, believed to be the first of its kind to be auctioned, could sell for over £1million when it goes under the hammer later this month.

The 6th century gold dinar dates from the time when the Umayyad Caliphate ruled from the year 660 to 750.

Coins of the time are common but the Arabic phrase inscribed on the dinar is said to be rare.

The coin is estimated at £700,000 (Classical Numismatic Group/PA)

“Ma’din Amir al-Mu’minin”, meaning Commander of the Faithful, is associated with the formal title of leader of the Muslim community.

It was used for about three years, according to the Classical Numismatic Group (CNG), which organizes the auction.

The company says it is the first coin from the years 711-712, corresponding to the 93rd year of the Hijrah migration, to be auctioned.

The piece is estimated at £700,000 but could cost upwards of £1million, according to CNG.

Stephen Lloyd, Islamic Coin Specialist at CNG, said: “The small and remarkable Umayyad dinars… are surprisingly rare small, beautiful historical documents.

He added that the evidence indicates that the coins were “only ever minted in small quantities, which is consistent with their great rarity today”.

Rare Islamic Coin
The gold dinar dates from the time of the Umayyad Caliphate (classical numismatic group)

The coin also refers to the sixth Umayyad caliph, Al-Walid I.

He conquered northwest Africa, Spain, and lower Central Asia, and built the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, and the Grand Mosque in Damascus.

The coin will be offered at CNG’s Islamic auction in London on October 27.

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