A 1300-year-old Islamic gold coin sells for $4.7 million at a London auction

Coin collection may just be a hobby for a few of us. However, there are many across the globe who’d pay millions to get their hands on a precious dime. Proving thus is the sale of an ancient Islamic coin that recently went under the hammer for a whopping $4.7 million (3.6 million GBP). Yes, that’s right!

Belonging to the 723 AD, the exquisite coin is apparently made from gold mined from a site owned by the Caliph, a successor to the Prophet Muhammad. One of the only 12 in existence, the special Umayyad coin resembles a £1 penny and comes inscribed with the words – “Ma‘din Amir al-Mu‘minin bi’l-Hijaz” or “Mine of the Commander of the Faithful in the Hijaz” on it. The sale took place on Thursday and was executed by London auctioneers – Morton & Eden in favor of an anonymous bidder who paid twice the coin’s pre-sale estimate to own it.

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Commenting on the auction, Morton & Eden Islamic coins specialist Stephen Lloyd said: “The remarkable price paid today reflects the great rarity, beauty and historical significance of this fabulous coin. Dinars such as this are among the most sought-after of all early Islamic coins and represent the ultimate to which any collector of early Islamic coins can aspire.” The record for the most expensive coin sold is held by a 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar that fetched $9.8 million ( 7.7 million GBP) in the US in 2013.

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A lawyer with a zeal for writing, Ekta has a deep love for linguistics, travel, and philosophy. Not an adrenalin junkie but likes going on occasional hikes to beat the weekday blues. Her bucket list includes escapades to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Morocco.