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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton IX, Lot: 1804. Estimate $7500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 January 2006. 
Sold For $15000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EARLY ISLAMIC, Umayyads. temp. Sulaiman. 715-717 AD. AV Solidus/Dinar (4.16 gm, 1h). Dated AH 98 (716/7 AD). Al-Andalus mint (Spain). FERITOS SOLI IN SPAN ANXCI (Feritos Solidus in Spania Anno XCI); eight-pointed star / "Muhammad rasul Allah" in two lines across fields, "bismillah struck was this dinar in al-Andalus in the year eight and ninety" in outer margin. Balaguer 49; Miles, Umayyads, 1e; Gomez 7; cf. Walker, Arab-Byzantine, p. 79, C.17; Kazan -; cf. Album 122. Good VF, good strike on large flan. A very rare and early bilingual dinar of Muslim Spain. ($7500)

A similar example appeared in Sotheby's 12 July 1993, lot 171 where it realized £19,800.

The eight-rayed star on the obverse of this coin is similar to an earlier all-Latin dinar struck in Spain and dated by its reverse indictional formula to 712/713 AD, and fractional dinars struck in North Africa with a Byzantine-style reverse (see lot 1797 above). Unlike these other examples, however, the blundered Christian legend on the obverse is accompanied by a well-executed Arabic legend on the reverse, and shows a Muslim celator unfamiliar with the Latin. The presence of the first two types show that as the Umayyads were expanding their control over North Africa and into the Iberian Peninsula during the first two decades of the eighth century AD, the Umayyads struck coins on these earlier models to facilitate their control over the local Christian population. Like a similar one struck in Africa at the same time, our bilingual coin, struck for only two years and with a specifically Islamic reverse, suggests that such facilitation was was becoming unnecessary as the Umayyads were quickly beginning to assert their control of their newly-won territories and replacing such issues with standard Umayyad types.