28 March 2012
A unique and historically important first dinar believed to have been produced with gold from the 'Mine of the Commander of the Faithful' is expected to sell for up to £1 million in a sale of Islamic coins at specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden this month. ...
A unique and historically important first dinar believed to have been produced with gold from the 'Mine of the Commander of the Faithful' is expected to sell for up to £1 million in a sale of Islamic coins at specialist London auctioneers Morton & Eden this month.
The existence of the gold coin, dated 89h (708AD), previously in a private European collection, was first reported in the mid-1990s, but the sale catalogue is the first time a photograph or full description of it has been published. It has never before been offered at auction.
In April last year, Morton & Eden sold two other Umayyad 'Mine of the Commander of the Faithful' dinars for £768,000 and £3,720,000. This latter coin became the most valuable coin ever sold in a European auction.
Morton & Eden specialist Stephen Lloyd said the success of last year’s sale had stimulated the appreciation of early Islamic coins with the result that several important examples had come to the market, many for the first time.
'This latest sale brings together a remarkable group of unique, historically important and rare coins. For the first time collectors will have the opportunity to see these pieces offered together in one place,' he said. 'Historic, beautifully preserved and of the highest rarity, the unique al-Walid dinar is the earliest known bearing the legend ‘Mine of the Commander of the Faithful’ which has intrigued scholars and collectors for decades.'
The site of the Mine of the Commander of the Faithful has been identified as Ma`din Bani Sulaim, located north-west of the Holy City of Mecca, a site which is still worked today. Records show that the Caliph al-Walid (86-96h) purchased land in the area containing at least one gold mine, almost exactly when these dinars were made.
The sale will be on public view on Wednesday- Friday April 18-20 from 10am to 4.30pm, with highlights on Sunday April 22 from 12 noon to 5pm or by previous appointment. For further information, please contact Stephen Lloyd, telephone 020 7493 5344 or [email protected]