First Coin to Record Islamic Phrase ‘There Is No God but Allah’ Expected to Sell in Set of 56 Gold Dinars for £500,000 at Auction
|April 26, 2013||Filled under Featured Article|
- Gold dinar from 690 AD minted in Damascus by the Umayyad dynasty
- Coin worth £300,000 weighs 0.15oz and is slightly larger than 5p piece
Going for auction in set of 56 gold dinars struck between 690 – 750 AD
The first ever coin to record the famous Islamic phrase ‘There is no God but Allah’ is set to sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds when it goes under the hammer.
The historic gold dinar from 690 AD was minted in Damascus by the Umayyad dynasty – the first Arab empire, which stretched from Spain in the west to India in the east at the peak of its power.
The coin, which weighs 0.15oz and is slightly larger than a 5p piece, comes in a set of 56 gold dinars struck between 690 and 750 – expected to sell for £500,000 at auction next month.
Dated 77 in the Islamic calendar, the words written on the coin translate in English to: ‘No God but God, Unique, He has no associate.
‘Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions. God is one, God is eternal. He does not beget nor is he begotten. In the name of God this dinar was struck in the year seven and 70.’
Andre Di Clement, head of Islamic coins at central London auctioneers Baldwin’s, said: ‘What makes these coins so important is that they are from the first Arab empire.
‘With Umayyad the Islamic world spread from India to Spain. One of the things they did was eradicate coinage from conquered lands and introduce their own coinage systems.
‘These coins, and coins like these, would have been used to finance the building of the Umayyad empire. Each year a new coin was made.
‘At this time they were far more advanced than anybody else in the world. Although the first coin is worth £300,000 it comes as part of a set. It is one of the finest examples known.
‘This is the most sought-after Islamic coin out there, whose legends set the pattern for centuries to come. The coins were introduced at a period of expansion.
‘It was a military campaign, where they conquered and converted people to Islam. They used to create the coins by melting down coinage from those they had conquered.’
The coins have been owned by the same European collector, now in his 80s, for the last 35 years. He built up the collection by attending auctions in the likes of Switzerland, France, the U.S. and Britain.
Mr Di Clement said: ‘He has children and grandchildren – none of whom are interested in the coins. He doesn’t want them to be wasted so that’s why he has put them up for sale.
‘He has been keeping them in a bank in recent years for security purposes, because of how much they are worth.’
The coins will be sold as part of a wider collection of Islamic coins by Baldwin’s on May 9. A similar collection of dinar coins from the same period sold for just under £1million in Switzerland last year.
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