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September Islamic CCO to Offer Rare Qalhati Amirs Dinar

When one speaks of “Islamic Coinage” there necessarily must be some further qualifiers provided, considering the vastness of time and space over which various Islamic rulers issued coinage. Islamic coinage was issued in as diverse places as present day Morocco, Italy, Russia, Indonesia, and China and nearly every country in between those extremes. Given the plethora of issuers, some types are quite rare, issued only briefly by transitive ruling authorities. Occasionally, there appears an extremely rare type that has been offered only very infrequently. One such item is the Qalhati Amirs Heavy Dinar offered in our September 2024 CCO auction of  Islamic coins. Dated AH 681 (1282/83) from the Hormuz Mint, this piece is from what is now the coast of Iran on the Straits of Hormuz. It was issued during the rule of Sayf al-Din Nusrat Shah, son of Mahmud, the first New King of Hormuz.

The Qalhati Amirs (also known as the Kings of Hormuz) were rulers who filled a power vacuum in Iran after the collapse of Abbasid power, leaving varied factions fighting for control. Ruling over the narrowest portion of the Strait of Hormuz and having influence on both the Iranian and the Omani side, at its height the Qalhati Amirs had significant autonomy from larger surrounding powers, as it was located at a critical trade chokepoint. The kingdom itself remained quasi-independent throughout the rise of European empires, becoming a client state of the Portuguese in the late 16th century. Ultimately Hormuz was subsumed into the Safavid Empire, unable to continue to leverage its important strategic position against larger foes.

Coinage from the entire history of the Qalhati Amirs is quite limited, as other currencies were likely allowed to circulate freely in place of a local issue. The piece offered in the September Islamic CCO is from the early period and is one of only a select few of this type to have ever been offered. Graded AU-58 by NGC, it is also the finest certified of the type. We can only find one other example of this type trading in the recent past, making this an item that is certain to be desired by the many collectors of Islamic rarities.

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