Saudi Arabia was founded in 1902 when a leader named Abdul Aziz ibs Saud and his followers captured the Ottoman fort at Riyadh. Abdul Aziz declared a jihad (holy war) against the Ottomans with the support of conservative Islamic clergy. The nearby land of Hejaz was conquered following World War I, consolidating what is now Saudi Arabia. Arabic coins often celebrate this history as well as other cultural events. There are a few ways to identify Arabic silver coins.
- Skill level:
Purchase or borrow a copy of a coin catalogue that lists coins from around the world and provides examples and statistics about the coinage. One example is the Krause series of World Coin Catalogues, which contains in-depth identification and information about Arabic silver coins.
Find a conversion chart that will translate numerals in Eastern languages, making identifying an Arabic silver coin easier. Conversion charts are available in most coin catalogues and at websites such as WePlan.com. (See Resources)
Look for the image of a Toughra on the coin. The Toughra was a monogram of the current ruler's name and title at the time. Examples can be viewed at ChiefaCoins.com.
Look for coins that are between 17 mm and 37 mm in size. These are common characteristics of early Arabic coins. Most have Arabic written on the coin, and some coins will have a circle in the middle with four sections surrounding the circle, all with elaborate designs.
Tips and warnings
- If in doubt about a coin's origin, take it to an antique or coin collector for assistance.
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