Qalhati Amirs of Hormuz

Gold Dinar

Obverse

Within double linear circle: al-malik al-‘adil/sayf al-dunya wa’l-din/Nusrat bin Mahmud/lion passant to left “the just king, sword of the state and the faith, Nusrat bin Mahmud”

In margin anticlockwise: the kalima largely illegible or off flan

Reverse

Within double linear circle: Qa’an/padishah ‘alam/Sultan Ahmad/Jalal al-din Suyurgatmish/al-Sultan “Qa’an, padishah of the world (the Great Mongol), Sultan Ahmad, Jalal al-din Suyurgatmish, the Sultan”

In margin anticlockwise from 10:00: duriba bi-Hurmuz Dhu’l-Hijja sanat ahad wa thamanin wa sitt mi’a “struck in Hormuz Dhu’l-Hijja year one and eighty and six hundred”

The Qalhati Amirs of Hormuz were an Arab dynasty of Omani origin which ruled in Hormuz and the neighbouring island Jarun. Nusrat Shah took pains to “touch all the bases” by naming all three of his overlords – his immediate neighbour Suyurgatmish a-tabeg of Kirman, the Ilkhan, Sultan Ahmed, of Iran and the distant unnamed Mongol Great Khan in China. While these names all appear on this very rare dinar, as they did on Sayf al-din Nusrat’s two previous issues, the kalima here is in the obverse margin, and the benedictory formula after Nusrat’s name is replaced by a lion passant. This, and the double linear circles, are copied from the dinars of the Mamluk Sultan Baybars I. It would appear that Mamluk gold figured prominently in the Indian Ocean trade from the thirteenth century onward, possibly because the lion emblem was so popular with the people of Iran. It is also likely that this dinar was intended for export to India or Ceylon, and designed to give it parity in trade with the Mamluk coins on which it was modelled.

Qalhati Amirs of Hormuz

MaterialGold
TypeDinar
RulerSayf al-din Nusrat Shah bin Mahmud
MintHurmuz (port town on the northern shore of the Straits of Hormuz)
DateMonth of Dhu’l-Hijja 681 H (March 1283 CE)
Weight7.75g
Diameter21mm