Samanid Silver Dirham Pendant (LCNCC:2014.16)

A pierced and gilded Samanid silver dirham found in Baumber, Lincolnshire

An Arabic silver dirham minted c.905-906 CE [Hijra 293] for the Samanid ruler, Isma’il ibn Ahmad (849-907 CE), that has subsequently been pierced and gilded so that it could be worn as a pendant. It was probably minted in Balkh, Afghanistan. The Vikings often repurposed items like this. The dirham was a unit of weight used across North Africa, the Middle East, and Persia, with varying values which also referred to the type of coins used in the Middle East during the Viking Age. These coins were extremely prized possessions not only for their silver value but as a way of displaying one’s wealth and vast trade connections. Millions of Arabic dirhams would have been imported throughout the Viking world and are mostly found in hoards.

Object Type

Pendant

Date

circa 905 — 906

Style

Ascribed Culture

Original/Reproduction

Original

Material

Collection

Viking Objects

Current Location

The Collection, Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Keywords

Arabic, Currency, Danelaw Saga, dirham, gilded, jewellery, pendant, silver

Further information

You can see the original at The Collection, Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

This object is related to Baumber, Lincolnshire.
Find out about Baumber, Lincolnshire.

Acknowledgements

The Collection