Arab-Armenian Coin Of Muḥammad Bin Marwān, c. 75-78 AH / 694-697 CE

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First Composed: 25th January 2015

Last Modified: 28th February 2015

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Arab-Armenian coin issued by Muḥammad ibn Marwān in 75-78 AH.


c. 75-78 AH / 694-697 CE.


Obverse field: Bust of Khusraw II to right with name HWSRWY in Pahlawi before. Obverse margin: In an unpointed Arabic script Muḥammad ("Muḥammad"). Roman letter ‘T’ replaces star in crescent at 6 o'clock.

Reverse field: Typical Arab-Sassanian fire-altar with attendants. Date (‘29’?) to left, mint-letter Š to right. Uncertain letters or symbols replace stars to either side of flames.


Weight = 3.21 gms. This coin belong the group of drachms struck in Armenia or Azerbaijan during the 70s hijra, but they are remarkable for the Roman or Greek letters (‘T’, ‘M’ or ‘Σ’) which replace stars in crescents on one or both sides. Further research will throw the light on the meaning and significance of these letters. Preliminary observation suggests that these letters give evidence that Arabic was not yet fully established as an administrative language in the region and that Greek-speaking workmen or officials were still involved with minting in Armenia at the time.[1,2]


Private collection.

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[1] "Important Coins Of The Islamic World", Morton & Eden Ltd. (In Association With Sotheby's), 2012, Catalogue No. 54 (23rd April 2012), Lot 26. Also see Lot 27.

[2] S. Album, Checklist Of Islamic Coins, 1998, 2nd Edition, p. 19.

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