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Coin (Obverse), a dirham of Nasr Il Ben Ahmad

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From Storr Rock, Skye

Postcard of Coin (Obverse), a dirham of Nasr Il Ben Ahmad.
© National Museums Scotland

Coin (Obverse), a dirham of Nasr Il Ben Ahmad

This silver coin is part of a hoard of hacksilver and Anglo-Saxon and Arabic coins buried at Storr Rock in Skye around 935 to 940. The mixture of coins from far-flung areas and silver bullion indicates that the hoard belonged to a Viking trader or settler.

The dirham was minted for Nasr II ben Ahmad, an Arabic ruler, in 921 or 922, but was over 20 years old when buried in the hoard.

The Arabic empire had vast resources of silver. Some of this wealth came to Europe via the Viking trading routes, through Russia and across the Baltic. The Scandinavians treated the coins as they did all silver: valuing it only for its bullion weight.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-060-134-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.C9687
Date: 921 - 922
Coin minted 921 or 922, but buried between 935 and 940
Material: Silver; slight flattening; moderate wear. Inscription: Obv. Arabic script / Rev. Arabic script
Dimensions: 28.00 x 27.50 mm D / Die Axis: 9.0
What: Coin, dirham
Subject: Queen Street Coin Collection
Who: Nasr II ben Ahmad
Skye Hoard (Trotternish), 1891
Where: Al-Shash / Tashkent
Scotland, Inverness-shire, Skye, Trotternish
Description: Nasr II ben Ahmad silver dirham, Arab (Samanid), Tashkent, 921 - 922 (309 AH)
  • Metcalf, D.M. The monetary significance of Scottish Viking-age coin hoards, with a short commentary. In: Graham-Campbell, James. The Viking-age gold and silver of Scotland (AD 850-1100). Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland, 1995, pp 16-25. 
  • SCBI (NMAS); Stevenson, R.B.K., no 702 
  • Stevenson, Robert B.K. Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles. National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. Part I. Anglo-Saxon coins (with associated foreign coins). London: British Academy, 1966, no. 702. 
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