Estimate: 20 000 GBP
Umayyad, dirham, without mint-name, 79h, 2.41g (Klat 1, same dies), evenly clipped, about very fine and extremely rare. Although reformed gold dinars had been struck at Damascus since 77h, it appears that production of the related silver coinage did not begin until two years later. The westernmost of the early dirham mints, Damascus had no tradition of striking silver coinage - in contrast with most of the dirham mints in the eastern part of the Islamic world, most of which had previously issued Arab-Sasanian drachms. At Damascus, therefore, the obvious prototype for the first post-Reform dirhams will have been the associated mintless dinars then being struck there, rather than Arab-Sasanian types which almost always include both mint and date. This may explain why the very first of the new silver coins from Damascus - including the present coin - omit the mint-name, just as the gold dinars do. With more than forty other silver mints then active, however, the inconsistency of having mintless dirhams struck at Damascus alone must soon have become apparent, and the mint-name was quickly incorporated on all other silver struck there from 79h until the fall of the dynasty in 132h.