Scandinavian Viking silver bullion bracelet dirham

Scandinavian Viking silver bullion bracelet dirham

Code: 11017

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This is an interesting Dirham coin, pierced for use as part of a Slavic Viking bracelet or necklace.

The coin was originally minted between the years 796 - 797 A.D. in Baghdad (Iraq) for the Abbasid Caliphate, of Harun al-Rashid (a similar coin is listed here for comparison). 

It was discovered in Estonia, far from the original mint in Iraq so likely played a role in the trade of amber, furs and human slaves! Plenty of research has been carried out into this type of Arabic Dirham found within Viking age contexts, see for example 'Vikings came in search of dirhams', or 'Dirhams for Slaves' for an Oxford University research project.

The piercings on this coin are very characteristic and often associated with bracelets or necklaces, a similar one found in from Blekinge, southern Sweden See 'Islamic coins as jewellery: finds from Viking England' for further examples and discussion. This example is likely a fourree, being lighter and struck from a base silver.

DENOMINATION: Dirham

CULTURE: Abbasid Caliphate - reused as a money bracelet by Scandinavian Vikings.  

DATE: 796 - 797 A.D.

SIZE: 24mm diameter

MATERIAL: base silver

WEIGHT: 2.43 grams

ATTRIBUTION: Album 219.2, Citing Ja’far on reverse

PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection (this is not a British find!)