as-Sikka السكة
The Online Journal of The Islamic Coins Group 
as-Sikka is a peer reviewed publication
ISSN 1496-4414 

Winter 2000AD / 1421AH       Vol. 2.3


An Arab-Sassanian Dirham of Dimashq (year 72 A.H.)
By M.S.Jazzar

dimashq.JPG (42377 bytes)

(I wanted list members to share the pleasure of seeing this coin and be sure that it does exist, so I sent scans of it to Fawzan with minimal information. But it seems that Fawzan is a perfectionist and wants to put me to work. He asked me to write a caption about it. For a while I wanted to pass this request to experts : say, Steve Album or Stuart D. Sears. Then I noticed that both are really busy now. So this is my contribution.)

This coin is one of the very few experimental forerunners of the Reformed Coinage of the Umayyad Caliph Abd el Malik b. Marwan. It is a Khusru II type dirham with the mint-name Dimashq, which was the capital of the Islamic Khilafah at the time. The mint-name and the date are written in Kufic Arabic script.

The weight of the coin is 2.94 gm.The diameter is 25 mm. Walker reported two dates for this type of coins: 73 A.H. & 74 A.H. Steven Album reports years 72,73 & his A-List.

Any how ,with my limited access to catalogs, I could not find details about the format of year 72 coin. The two coins in Walker for years 73 & 74 A.H.( # N.1 and DD.1 page 23) differ from our coin (year 72 A.H.):

(1) The Arabic in margin of year 73 coin reads:
dimashq1.JPG (4892 bytes)
While on year 74 con it reads:
Dimashq2.JPG (5174 bytes)
On year 72 coin it reads:
dimashq3.JPG (3025 bytes)

(2) and more interesting, the dates on years 73 & 74 coins are located on the left side of the fire alter. While the mint name is on the right. ( to my knowledge).This is the formula for all Sassanian and Arab Sassanian dirhams. On year 72 dirham , the mint is located on the left and the date is on the right. May be this coin is unique in this respect. Is it unique?

I do invite comments about this coin.


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