Loading Spinner

Middle Eastern Coins

The earliest-known Middle Eastern coins were introduced by the Persian Empire in 6th century B.C. Most 6th-century Persian coins were melted down and replaced during Alexander the Great's conquest. Currency in the Middle East was dominated by first the Greeks, then later the Byzantine Empire. It took until the end of the 7th century A.D. for the Middle East to escape Byzantium's influence, when the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik created his own monetary system.

Abd al-Malik broke with Byzantine currency as a result of iconoclasm: being Muslim, the increasing usage of Christian iconography caused conflict. Many of the clerics of the time felt that the use of religious icons on something mundane like currency went against their religion, so Abd al-Malik opted for coins without images, using only inscriptions. The heavy use of legends with very limited types continues to trend in Middle Eastern coins today.

Modern-era Middle Eastern coins come in a diverse variety of shapes and metals. Some coins, such as the Jordanian half dinar, are bimetallic. Others show an impressive amount of history for one coin, like the British-made Palestinian coins minted after World War I. These coins had to be legible to three different groups of people in the same region while also avoiding offense. The resulting coins have their legends displayed in Arabic, Hebrew, and English and display their date of issue in both Gregorian and Islamic calendar dates.


Quick Facts

  • The dinar is a Middle Eastern unit of currency that has survived to the present day. It originated from the denarius, an ancient Roman coin
  • An Umayyad gold dinar from the early 8th century A.D. sold at auction for just over $6,000,000 in 2011, the third-highest record sale among all coins
  • Many coins minted by the Ottoman Turks display the date of issue in the Islamic calendar and regnal year

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

1994 Egypt .999 silver 5 Pounds. Features Osiris. Superb GEM proof.
Oct 13, 5:00 PM EDT
1994 Egypt .999 silver 5 Pounds. Features Osiris. Superb GEM proof.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$132 Bids
1993 Egypt .999 silver 5 Pounds. Features Tutankhamen’s burial mask. Superb GEM proof.
Oct 13, 5:00 PM EDT
1993 Egypt .999 silver 5 Pounds. Features Tutankhamen’s burial mask. Superb GEM proof.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$42 Bids
A Quartet of Israel JE5709 (1949) 250 Pruta
Oct 08, 11:30 AM EDT
A Quartet of Israel JE5709 (1949) 250 Pruta
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
An Interesting Mix of Earlier Israeli Coinage.
Oct 08, 11:30 AM EDT
An Interesting Mix of Earlier Israeli Coinage.
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$21 Bid
SULEYMAN II (1687-1691) CEYREK KURUSH AH 1099.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
SULEYMAN II (1687-1691) CEYREK KURUSH AH 1099.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €250- €500
€100 Bids
Israel 10 Sheqalim Gold PF 1987 20th Anniversary United
Oct 05, 12:00 AM PDT
Israel 10 Sheqalim Gold PF 1987 20th Anniversary United
by Papps Family Liquidation.com
Est: $1,440- $1,560
$5000 Bids
Israel 10 Sheqalim Gold PF 1983 Defense Forces
Oct 05, 12:00 AM PDT
Israel 10 Sheqalim Gold PF 1983 Defense Forces
by Papps Family Liquidation.com
Est: $1,440- $1,560
$5000 Bids
Israel 5 Sheqalim Gold PF 1986 Akko
Oct 05, 12:00 AM PDT
Israel 5 Sheqalim Gold PF 1986 Akko
by Papps Family Liquidation.com
Est: $720- $780
$5000 Bids
Israel 500 Sheqel Gold PF 1980 Jabotinsky
Oct 05, 12:00 AM PDT
Israel 500 Sheqel Gold PF 1980 Jabotinsky
by Papps Family Liquidation.com
Est: $1,440- $1,560
$5000 Bids
Israel 5 Sheqalim Gold PF 1985 Capernaum
Oct 05, 12:00 AM PDT
Israel 5 Sheqalim Gold PF 1985 Capernaum
by Papps Family Liquidation.com
Est: $720- $780
$5000 Bids
Israel 10 Sheqalim Gold PF 1981 People of the Book
Oct 05, 12:00 AM PDT
Israel 10 Sheqalim Gold PF 1981 People of the Book
by Papps Family Liquidation.com
Est: $1,440- $1,560
$5000 Bids
ARABIA, SOUTHERN. HIMYAR. 'AMDƑÅN BAYƑÅN YAHAQBI·∏Ç (AD 100-120) UNIT SILVER (14 MM, 1.7 G)
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
ARABIA, SOUTHERN. HIMYAR. 'AMDƑÅN BAYƑÅN YAHAQBI·∏Ç (AD 100-120) UNIT SILVER (14 MM, 1.7 G)
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €200- €400
€100 Bids
MAMLUKS. AL-ZAHIR RUKN AL-DIN BAYBARS I. AH 658-676 / AD 1260-1277, DIRHAM
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
MAMLUKS. AL-ZAHIR RUKN AL-DIN BAYBARS I. AH 658-676 / AD 1260-1277, DIRHAM
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €100- €200
€100 Bids
A Curious Unattributed Early Arabic Silver Coin
Oct 08, 11:30 AM EDT
A Curious Unattributed Early Arabic Silver Coin
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$20 Bids
A Decent Mix of Non-Silver Israeli Coinage.
Oct 08, 11:30 AM EDT
A Decent Mix of Non-Silver Israeli Coinage.
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$10 Bids
2 Bani coin, 1867W, MS 65 BN
Oct 11, 7:00 PM EEST
2 Bani coin, 1867W, MS 65 BN
by A10 by Artmark
Est: €0- €0
€500 Bids
2 Bani coin, 1867W, MS 64 RB
Oct 11, 7:00 PM EEST
2 Bani coin, 1867W, MS 64 RB
by A10 by Artmark
Est: €0- €0
€500 Bids
2 Bani coin, 1867H, MS 65 RD
Oct 11, 7:00 PM EEST
2 Bani coin, 1867H, MS 65 RD
by A10 by Artmark
Est: €0- €0
€750 Bids
2 Bani coin, 1867H, MS 65 RB
Oct 11, 7:00 PM EEST
2 Bani coin, 1867H, MS 65 RB
by A10 by Artmark
Est: €0- €0
€750 Bids
2 Bani coin, 1867H, PF 66 RD
Oct 11, 7:00 PM EEST
2 Bani coin, 1867H, PF 66 RD
by A10 by Artmark
Est: €0- €0
€3000 Bids
5 Bani coin, 1867W, MS 65 BN
Oct 11, 7:00 PM EEST
5 Bani coin, 1867W, MS 65 BN
by A10 by Artmark
Est: €0- €0
€1000 Bids
5 Bani coin, 1867H, PF 65 RD
Oct 11, 7:00 PM EEST
5 Bani coin, 1867H, PF 65 RD
by A10 by Artmark
Est: €0- €0
€2500 Bids
5 Bani coin, 1867H, MS 64 RD
Oct 11, 7:00 PM EEST
5 Bani coin, 1867H, MS 64 RD
by A10 by Artmark
Est: €0- €0
€500 Bids
10 Bani coin, 1867H, PF 64 RB
Oct 11, 7:00 PM EEST
10 Bani coin, 1867H, PF 64 RB
by A10 by Artmark
Est: €0- €0
€1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Middle Eastern Coins


A10 by Artmark

A10 by Artmark

Papps Family Liquidation.com

Papps Family Liquidation.com

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer