Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC) has certified an extremely rare and historically important Islamic coin struck in the Seventh Century.
The Umayyad Dinar is dated AH77, the Islamic calendar equivalent of 696 AD, and was struck under the fifth Umayyad caliph, Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.
Caliph Marwan is an important figure in Islamic history because he was among the first generation of born Muslims and, as a leader, he established a single Islamic currency and installed Arabic as the language of the bureaucracy in what is now Syria and Iraq.
This AH77 Umayyad Dinar, which is now graded NGC AU 53, was likely minted in Damascus. It was struck from the same dies as the specimen that has been held in the collection of the British Museum since 1874.
"This rarity is truly exceptional," said Mark Salzberg, NGC Chairman and Grading Finalizer. "Its condition is outstanding and its history is extremely interesting. NGC is honored to have been entrusted to certify it."
The coin is particularly important because it is the first coin to focus on the tenets of Islam rather than being issued on behalf of or in honor of a political leader or dynasty. It also features the Shahada, the Islamic creed that is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and translates to
"There is no God except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger."
Only a handful of these coins are known to exist, and they are highly sought after because of their rarity and historical significance. Examples routinely sell for more than $200,000.
This particular piece is remarkably well preserved considering its age, and even retains some of its original mint luster. It is expected to attract spirited bidding when it is offered at the January 2020 Heritage Auctions NYINC sale.
"We are thrilled to present this rare and historic coin," said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions. "NGC’s expert authentication and grading will undoubtedly give our bidders greater comfort, maximizing the results for our consignor."
NGC has certified more than 44 million coins. Founded in 1987, the company provides accurate, consistent and impartial assessments of authenticity and grade. For more information about NGC and its grading services, visit NGCcoin.com.