The Aeolian Hall
Bloomfield Place New Bond Street London W1A 2AA
Single gold dinar alone estimated at £280,000
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.