Louvre Abu Dhabi unveils a rare treasure of Islamic silver coins – the Hoard of Jazira. This is subject of a major two-year project at the museum. The museum will display a rare hoard, dating from the reign of King Shapur II (A.D. 309-379) until that of Abbasid Caliph Al Ma’mun (A.D. 813-833). It contains a large amount of medieval Islamic coins.
This hoard of 2,861 silver coins manufactured in the Eurasian continent is supplemented by 67 additional single coins in gold or gold alloy. The coins are produced in the regions of the Mediterranean basin and Eurasia during a period of about 1,000 years (from the 6th to the 16th century).
The coins reveal regional and local history, signifying political changes, power struggles, and the changing value placed on precious metals.
Leading on the curation of the Hoard of Jazira, Guilhem André, Chief Curator at Louvre Abu Dhabi, noted, “this display will showcase a global monetary history. It highlights the trade, cultural exchanges and political dynamics revealing an interconnected world economy between distant regions. It testifies to the birth of Islamic coinage and its evolution.
The Sasanian drachmas, Umayyad dirhams, Abbasid silver coins, alongside the gold Byzantine solidus, the Genoese and Venetian gold coins, and more will prove how a simple coin can illustrate power relationships and rivalries among competing, growing empires well, as the emergence of major trade hubs.”
The new display will shed light on the transcontinental trade of gold and silver. The stylistic development of these coins works as an indicator of their evolving values in accordance with time and shifting geographies.
Quiet simply to say at the least it will provide you an insight into the process of evolving dynasties.