Great Saljuqs of Iraq & Khurasan

Gold Billion Dinar

Obverse

In field: Allah/la ilah illa/al-Muztazhir/billah Sanjar bin/Malikshah/‘adl “God, no deity other than al-Mustazhir billah, Sanjar bin Malikshah, just”

In margin (largely off flan): Muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa-din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi wa law kariha al-mushrikun “Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions, even though the polytheists may detest it” – Surah IX (al-Tauba) v. 33

Reverse

In field: Allah/Muhammad rasul/al-sadah/al-mu’azzam/Muhammad/bin Malikshah “God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, the mighty lord Muhammad bin Malik Shah”

Inner margin: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dinar Harat sanat thaman wa tisa’in wa arba’ mi’a “in the name of God this dinar was struck in Harat year eight and ninety and four hundred”

Outer margin (largely off flan): lillah al-amr min qabl wa min bad wa yawma‘idhin yafrahu al-mu’minum bi-nasr Allah “the command is God’s, past and future, and on that day the faithful will rejoice in the victory granted by God” – Surah XXX (al-Rum) v. 4

At 12:00 triangle or pyramid flanked by double dragons’ heads with mouths agape

In both obverse and reverse fields at 9:00 and 3:00 wand-like objects

Although the legends on this very rare coin are perfectly straightforward, containing the Islamic kalima and the name of the ruler as well as that of his brother and overlord, Ghiyath al-din Muhammad, the symbolism it contains is extraordinary, and unlike that seen on any orthodox Islamic coins. Both obverse and reverse are dominated by the gaping jaws of two dragons. On the obverse they are preparing to devour the head of a bull, while on the reverse there is a triangle of dots between the jaws. On both obverse and reverse wand-like objects appear at 9:00 and 3:00. The use of dragons in the design suggest a Chinese influence.

Great Saljuqs of Iraq & Khurasan

MaterialGold
TypeBillion Dinar
RulerUnknown
MintUnknown
DateUnknown
Weight3.34g
Diameter20.5mm