How do I sell my rare coin?
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20 posts in this topic

Since it looks like a gold coin of some age, first you will need to have it attributed, authenticated, and graded. From the small photos, I can't make out enough of the legend to identify it. I believe I see the the Kalima on the obverse, but the Kalima is a constant on most ancient and medieval Islamic coinage (as I am sure you know; likewise you can surely read the legend better than can I). What is uncommon here is the portrait, for obvious reasons.

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1 hour ago, JKK said:

Since it looks like a gold coin of some age, first you will need to have it attributed, authenticated, and graded. From the small photos, I can't make out enough of the legend to identify it. I believe I see the the Kalima on the obverse, but the Kalima is a constant on most ancient and medieval Islamic coinage (as I am sure you know; likewise you can surely read the legend better than can I). What is uncommon here is the portrait, for obvious reasons.

The real Islamic currency in the era of Caliph Abd al-Malik bin Marwan in the year 74 AH - 693 AD, when the railway had its own role that followed the ruling authority and was under the supervision of judges

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I spent some quality time with MWI looking for this. Wasn't surprised to find that the style was imitative of Byzantine solidi; in fact, the reverse here looks like MWI 102 if the cross atop the ziggurat thing were removed (not hard to imagine them doing that in context). Mitchiner adds that these were occasionally imitated in the central provinces of the Caliphate, but more commonly in the western provinces (makes sense). Thanks to your pointing out of the timeframe, I had a look at zeno.ru to see if I could find any matching AV dinars. As you can see from my search, I found a number that were similar but no exact matches. I broadened my search and still came up with nothing, except that I'm pretty sure we can rule out al-Andalus (for those of you following along who don't get the reference, that's Spain under Islam) and Africa.

In any case, in order to sell it you will certainly need to have it authenticated, attributed, graded, and encapsulated. No one who would want and could afford it would buy it otherwise.

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4 hours ago, Just Bob said:

Looks like the Metropolitan Museum has an example in its collection.

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/479442

 

Jeez, Bob, how in hell did you find that? Amazing example and yeah, looks to be a perfect match. Looks like the Caliph is carrying a wooden paddle. I can make out more of this blown-up image. As the OP surely knows, the legend on the obverse is the Kalima (basic statement of Sunni Islamic faith). The reverse I can't make out very well; looks like the Bismallah "In the name of God..." which is normally followed by "the merciful, the compassionate" but I am not quite locating that part of the inscription. Of course, this coin leaves out the dots, which are integral parts of the letters, so that's just wonderful. Between that and the early -script it's a bit of a challenge, more so than on most Umayyad coinage. A few centuries later, there would be very few human images on any Islamic world coinage, unless one counts the bull-and-horseman jitals, which are hardly precise in execution either of the equine, bovine, or human form.

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8 hours ago, JKK said:

Want to know how it works in reality? When you finish reading, it will make sense.

I reserve the admiration for my own mentors. I am the least of my kind by comparison. There's a guy in our club who is published on academia.edu, and he makes me look like an ourangoutang (not on purpose; he just knows that much). I just about qualify to hold the book for him while he looks it up, or hand him loupes or tools, maybe sweep the floor or do some dusting. And he always gives most generously of his knowledge. I still remember when he invited me to his house to view a collection of medieval Indian gold. Holy *spoon*. About ten album pages of nothing but medieval gold. I'd have paid. That was second only to the privilege of seeing the Smithsonian's numismatic room.

For me, it began in about 1983 when I was taking early Roman Imperial history (think Suetonian era) and the professor (Arther Ferrill; one can look him up, author of several excellent books) brought in Roman coins to show us. He taught us how to read the inscriptions; how many times they had been consul, being Pontifex Maximus, all that hooraw. I found it amazing, the idea that I might be able to make out these coins that were nineteen centuries old, so greatly ancient. Later I would find out that most of them weren't even very expensive. Aurei were costly, sure; so was anything of Caligula, or Otho, etc. But many of them could be had very reasonably. And each and every one, and the research involved, would move one forward one notch.

The end result is many of those single notches and where they take us. Greek coin saying "SARDIANION"? Ah, Sardis, in whatever case in Greek means "of Sardis." Little dinky tiny 1/12 stater, electrum, Ionian? Damn, who used coins that were more like flattened buckshot? Buttload of Afghan stuff, more jitals than the mind can comprehend, need to get Tye for reference, shocked to find some are of Jinghiz Khan, dig dig dig. You mean there are like several dozen subtypes of Tye #347? Who would care? Me, it seems. Oh *spoon*, Arabic ----script wasn't enough, going to have to get a book on Devanagari (Indian ----script). Kushan? Is this legend even Greek? What the hell! Mauryan punchmark coins; little rectangles with various hammered symbols. Who does this? Who is this nuts?

Me, evidently.

What people would find, if they delved into ancients, is what my old prof Rodney Stark (sociology; you could look him up as well, last known at Baylor) said is true: of historians, the antiquarians are among the most helpful, sharing, and kind. The real truth is this is one of the easiest numismatic fields because all the people in it want to help you. On another forum, as I was bungling my way through Afghan stuff, they went so far as to give me hints but let me dig for the attribution myself. Why? To teach. To let me figure it out with a little guidance; so I would learn for myself. That's how this field works. In my turn, it will fall to me to try and show respect to my mentors by acting as they did. I hope I don't ever embarrass them.

Anyway, that's how we catch this chronic illness. Thanks for the kind words. They deserved an explanation.

Well now my admiration for your knowledge of ancients is a far second to the admiration I have for your approach towards other numismatists whether a past mentor or newbie. I only hope many of us can be as humble and helpful to others as you are, and this hobby will be strong for many generations to come. 

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40 minutes ago, Woods020 said:

Well now my admiration for your knowledge of ancients is a far second to the admiration I have for your approach towards other numismatists whether a past mentor or newbie. I only hope many of us can be as humble and helpful to others as you are, and this hobby will be strong for many generations to come. 

I had good examples; I just tried to fit in by following them. But thanks.

Perhaps the thing that stands in the way for most is that some of the reference works...wish I'd been born with more kidneys. They're expensive. While they are not absolutely obligatory to get started, some become important to progress. Naturally, most are out of print. I can see why people would look at a $500 reference work and say, "I could have a nice Ionian tet for this money. I could have a Spanish doubloon for not much more than this. Which would I rather have?" It's a valid question. Asked it of myself oh, couple dozen times.

The other thing might be the alphabets, depending on what part of the world. But those are trivial; they can be worked out with a reference, or simply learned. I had advantages there (language junkie), but then you find out how many different ways there are/have been to write a given -script. It's also fun when the dies are bigger than the planchet, enough so that you'd need three or four of each side just to have a full picture of what all could be on the coin depending on where exactly the planchet was when the die was struck. Imagine a half dollar die having struck on nickel planchets and you just welcomed yourself to Afghan and Mughal coinage (ahlan wa-sahlan). That's how this is.

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9 minutes ago, JKK said:

I had good examples; I just tried to fit in by following them. But thanks.

Perhaps the thing that stands in the way for most is that some of the reference works...wish I'd been born with more kidneys. They're expensive. While they are not absolutely obligatory to get started, some become important to progress. Naturally, most are out of print. I can see why people would look at a $500 reference work and say, "I could have a nice Ionian tet for this money. I could have a Spanish doubloon for not much more than this. Which would I rather have?" It's a valid question. Asked it of myself oh, couple dozen times.

The other thing might be the alphabets, depending on what part of the world. But those are trivial; they can be worked out with a reference, or simply learned. I had advantages there (language junkie), but then you find out how many different ways there are/have been to write a given --script. It's also fun when the dies are bigger than the planchet, enough so that you'd need three or four of each side just to have a full picture of what all could be on the coin depending on where exactly the planchet was when the die was struck. Imagine a half dollar die having struck on nickel planchets and you just welcomed yourself to Afghan and Mughal coinage (ahlan wa-sahlan). That's how this is.

I can only imagine the library required. Over the last year and a half I have purchased probably nearing 40 numismatic books, and I only collect US coinage. I will say the best tough love advice that I got, albeit bluntly, from some forum members was to put it in the time and read. Looking back now I asked some embarrassingly dumb questions in the beginning, but Im glad I was pushed to put the time it. It will pay off and start to click if you do. Now I fall asleep every night with a numismatic book of some sort in my hand. 

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My apologies to the OP. I have totally derailed your post. Hopefully you got what you needed. I’m just in awe of the ancients. I may venture into that territory some day, but for now I love watching the detective work to figure out where in the world and in what era a coin comes from. You don’t do that with US coinage haha. 

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1 minute ago, Woods020 said:

I can only imagine the library required. Over the last year and a half I have purchased probably nearing 40 numismatic books, and I only collect US coinage. I will say the best tough love advice that I got, albeit bluntly, from some forum members was to put it in the time and read. Looking back now I asked some embarrassingly dumb questions in the beginning, but Im glad I was pushed to put the time it. It will pay off and start to click if you do. Now I fall asleep every night with a numismatic book of some sort in my hand. 

It was good advice. There's more than enough depth and detail in US coinage for lifetime learning. All the people who know a lot spent a lot of time looking at coins and reading up on them.

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1 hour ago, Woods020 said:

You don’t do that with US coinage haha. 

You got that right!! We have become spoiled (or at least I know I have) with the ease of the internet and the popular TPG sites and the other well known reference websites.  This stuff is WAY beyond my pay grade but I am loving learning more about these types of coins....... Tremendous job to those on this forum who have devoted their lives to Numismatics, a major Kudos!!!

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Excellent collective sleuthing. Please let everyone know the result when you get it back from NGC.

Edited by RWB
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This coin and the one linked to the Met site do not match. The borders don't look anything alike. Lots of other areas don't match up. 

Immediate gut feeling when seeing the pictures was that the coin looks modern in strike. I suspect you coin is counterfeit. 

Edited by gmarguli
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[If the OP were simply looking for someone -- anyone -- to point him in the right general direction, I believe his mission was accomplished.  Unfortunately, all possibilities, both positive and negative, must be considered.  Member Just Bob has given us a valuable lead and link.  If I may, I would suggest the OP contact the Met, obtain the name of the curator or archivist of exhibits with a view to providing him with photographs of the coin, obverse and reverse, for identification and comment. I think it best to know what you have before considering submission which necessarily entails time and expense.]

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On 6/21/2021 at 12:16 PM, gmarguli said:

Immediate gut feeling when seeing the pictures was that the coin looks modern in strike. I suspect you coin is counterfeit.

My immediate impression as well.  Unfortunately.

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