BOSTON (April 4, 2012) – Unique gold coins are at the center of two upcoming auctions – one in the U.S., one in London, according to published reports.
Additional precious metal coins will be up for auction beginning this Saturday in Vancouver, Washington, Auction Central News reports. The metals include rare gold and silver, such as American silver eagles, other large-size silver coin lots and foreign coins.
Sterling flatware and Liberty half dollars also are available for interested bidders to pursue via online access as well.
Toward the end of this month, a gold coin from the early eighth century is likely to be auctioned for the equivalent of 1 million British pounds, which is roughly $1.59 million, according to Coin Week. That coin is one of the many Islamic coins that will be up for auction in London on April 23.
The 1,300-year-old dinar is thought to consist of gold from "Mine of the Commander of the Faithful," the publication reports.
The auction house, Morton & Eden, last year sold two other dinars believed to have derived from the same mine. One dated 711 AD sold for 768,000 British pounds, which equals almost $1.218 million. The second is dated 723 AD and it sold for 3.72 million British pounds, which is equivalent to almost $5.9 million.
Stephen Lloyd, a specialist with the English auction house, said successes from last year's auction of the two coins piqued appreciation of early Islamic coins. As a result, many early Islamic coins made their appearance on the market for the first time.
"This latest sale brings together a remarkable group of unique, historically important and rare coins. For the first time collectors will have the opportunity to see these pieces offered together in one place," Lloyd told the news source. "Historic, beautifully preserved and of the highest rarity, the unique al-Walid dinar is the earliest known bearing the legend 'Mine of the Commander of the Faithful' which has intrigued scholars and collectors for decades."
The Mine of the Commander of the Faithful is in Saudi Arabia, northwest of the Islamic holy city of Mecca. Ma`din Bani Sulaim continues to be worked for precious metals to the day. Caliph al-Walid acquired land in the area that encompassed at least one gold mine, according to records. The period coincides almost precisely with when the dinars were struck.
Lloyd said experts largely agree as to the source of the gold in the coins.