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

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Egyptian BASTET Encapsulated .999 Silver Clad Coin
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Egyptian BASTET Encapsulated .999 Silver Clad Coin
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$61 Bid
1968 Israel Specimen Set.
Oct 20, 5:00 PM EDT
1968 Israel Specimen Set.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
Große Sammlung Münzen Israel: Kursmünzensätze, Silber-Gedenkmünzen usw., 1970er/80er Jahre
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CEST
Große Sammlung Münzen Israel: Kursmünzensätze, Silber-Gedenkmünzen usw., 1970er/80er Jahre
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €600- €800
€2000 Bids
LIBAN Liban (République du). Coffret de 3 essais de 10, 25 et 50 piastres 1
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
LIBAN Liban (République du). Coffret de 3 essais de 10, 25 et 50 piastres 1
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€4,0000 Bids
SYRIE Syrie, sous mandat français (1920-1946). Coffret de 3 essais de 10, 2
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
SYRIE Syrie, sous mandat français (1920-1946). Coffret de 3 essais de 10, 2
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€3,0000 Bids
SYRIE Syrie indépendante (1941-1958). 2 1/2 piastres, frappe d’essai ? en a
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
SYRIE Syrie indépendante (1941-1958). 2 1/2 piastres, frappe d’essai ? en a
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€1,0000 Bids
TURQUIE Mehmed VI (1918-1922). 500 kurush AH 1336/5 (1922), Constantinople.
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
TURQUIE Mehmed VI (1918-1922). 500 kurush AH 1336/5 (1922), Constantinople.
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€10,0000 Bids
TURQUIE Mehmed VI (1918-1922). 250 kurush AH 1336/4 (1921), Constantinople.
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
TURQUIE Mehmed VI (1918-1922). 250 kurush AH 1336/4 (1921), Constantinople.
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€3,0000 Bids
MAROC Hassan Ier (1873-1894). Série de cinq pré-séries de 1/4 de fels, 1/2
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
MAROC Hassan Ier (1873-1894). Série de cinq pré-séries de 1/4 de fels, 1/2
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€10,0000 Bids
MAROC Moulay Yussef (1330-1346 AH / 1912-1927). Essai de 5 mouzounas AH 134
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
MAROC Moulay Yussef (1330-1346 AH / 1912-1927). Essai de 5 mouzounas AH 134
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€3000 Bids
MAROC Moulay Yussef (1330-1346 AH / 1912-1927). Essai de 10 mouzounas AH 13
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
MAROC Moulay Yussef (1330-1346 AH / 1912-1927). Essai de 10 mouzounas AH 13
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€3000 Bids
OMAN Sultanat d’Oman (depuis 1971). Série de 7 monnaies, 500, 200, 100 et 5
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
OMAN Sultanat d’Oman (depuis 1971). Série de 7 monnaies, 500, 200, 100 et 5
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€10,0000 Bids
OMAN Sultanat d’Oman (depuis 1971). 1 saidi rial, Flan bruni (PROOF) AH 139
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
OMAN Sultanat d’Oman (depuis 1971). 1 saidi rial, Flan bruni (PROOF) AH 139
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€3,0000 Bids
PALESTINE Palestine sous administration britannique (1922-1948). Jeton moné
Oct 21, 9:30 AM CEST
PALESTINE Palestine sous administration britannique (1922-1948). Jeton moné
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€2,0000 Bids
ÉGYPTE Second Empire / Napoléon III (1852-1870). Cliché uniface du jeton de
Oct 20, 1:30 PM CEST
ÉGYPTE Second Empire / Napoléon III (1852-1870). Cliché uniface du jeton de
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€2000 Bids
ÉGYPTE Abdülmecid Ier ou Abdul Mejid (1839-1861). 20 qirsh AH 1255-2 (1840)
Oct 20, 1:30 PM CEST
ÉGYPTE Abdülmecid Ier ou Abdul Mejid (1839-1861). 20 qirsh AH 1255-2 (1840)
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€3,0000 Bids
ÉGYPTE Abdülaziz (1861-1876). 500 Kurush (500 Qirsh ou 5 livres) AH 1277/8
Oct 20, 1:30 PM CEST
ÉGYPTE Abdülaziz (1861-1876). 500 Kurush (500 Qirsh ou 5 livres) AH 1277/8
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€10,0000 Bids
ÉGYPTE Abdülhamid II (1876-1909). Qirsh AH 1293/27 (1901), W, Berlin. PCGS
Oct 20, 1:30 PM CEST
ÉGYPTE Abdülhamid II (1876-1909). Qirsh AH 1293/27 (1901), W, Berlin. PCGS
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€1000 Bids
ÉGYPTE Fouad Ier (1917-1936). 500 piastres, Flan bruni (PROOF) AH 1351 (193
Oct 20, 1:30 PM CEST
ÉGYPTE Fouad Ier (1917-1936). 500 piastres, Flan bruni (PROOF) AH 1351 (193
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€12,0000 Bids
ÉGYPTE Fouad Ier (1917-1936). 500 piastres, Flan bruni (PROOF) AH 1351 (193
Oct 20, 1:30 PM CEST
ÉGYPTE Fouad Ier (1917-1936). 500 piastres, Flan bruni (PROOF) AH 1351 (193
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€9,0000 Bids
ÉGYPTE République d’Égypte (1953-1958). Coffret de 10, 5 et 1 millième (mil
Oct 20, 1:30 PM CEST
ÉGYPTE République d’Égypte (1953-1958). Coffret de 10, 5 et 1 millième (mil
by MDC Monaco
Est: €0- €0
€5000 Bids
GROUPING OF GEM STONES & PERSIAN COIN
Oct 19, 10:00 AM PDT
GROUPING OF GEM STONES & PERSIAN COIN
by I.M. Chait Gallery
Est: $300- $400
$1500 Bids
1967 Israel Silver 10 Lirot Victory Coin with Case
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
1967 Israel Silver 10 Lirot Victory Coin with Case
by Showplace
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Middle Eastern Coins


MDC Monaco

MDC Monaco

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Pasarel

Pasarel