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Morton & Eden to sell coins from the dawn of Islam; Single gold dinar alone estimated at £280,000

April 4, 2013 in Ancient Coins, Antique Coins, Auctions, Coins, Gold, Gold Coins, History, Numismatica, Numismatics, Treasure, World Coins

April 4th, 2013 (www.artdaily.org)

LONDON.- Specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden will sell three of the earliest and rarest Islamic gold coins in a sale of Important Coins of the Islamic World on Monday April 22. Struck only a few decades after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, the coins tell the story of how the early Muslims created one of the largest and most influential empires the world has ever seen. Together, they are expected to sell for more than £350,000.

Two of the three coins look like Byzantine solidi and bear the portraits of Christian Byzantine emperors who ruled in the early decades of the 7th century AD. However, closer inspection reveals subtle differences from the thousands of regular solidi which survive.

In the present examples, all Christian symbols have been discreetly but thoroughly removed. In fact, these are Islamic coins, struck from subtly modified dies in the provinces which the Muslims had conquered from the Byzantines.

Stephen Lloyd of Morton and Eden said: “In the first few decades of Islam, the Muslims conquered huge areas of the Near and Middle East in only a few decades. In places like Egypt, Syria and Jordan, people had been using Byzantine gold solidi for centuries, and there were still plenty in circulation for years after the Muslim conquests.

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