7th Century Arab-Byzantine Follis


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Exceptional opportunity to own a 7th century Arab-Byzantine Follis. This bronze coin was minted specifically so trade would continue between the conquered lands of the ever-widening Muslim Empire. The obverse features a caliphate, or Muslim ruler, holding symbols of Christianity that harkened back to the Holy Roman Empire. The large M on the reverse was the Greek alphabetic equivalent of the number 40, indicating the coins denomination of 40 Nummi. Because the coins were struck by hand, shapes and sizes vary greatly, but most range from 16-24 mm in diameter.

To hold a follis in your hands is to follow cargo back and forth as it made its way from the Caspian Sea, across the fertile valley of Mesopotamia, the Arabian peninsula, North Africa’s coast, and Iberia before reaching the open Atlantic Ocean. Imagine these rough-worn coins as they bought and sold fragrant spices, porcelain, silk, glittering gemstones, metals, and much more. A single coin comes to you in a double-pocket, 2" x 2" holder with a story card. Make this fascinating 1,300-year-old follis an addition to your collection today!