Coin Weight

Object Name: Coin weight

Date: 808–810

Geography: Attributed to Egypt

Medium: Glass

Dimensions: H. 1/8 in. (0.3 cm)
W. 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)
D. 1 1/16 in. (2.7 cm)
Wt. 0.2 oz. (5.7 g)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1908

Accession Number: 08.256.20


Some weights made in Byzantine-period Egypt were made of glass and stamped in Greek. Glass was a preferable medium for these weights, since they could be made relatively easily and any chips or alterations were immediately visible to the naked eye. The practice of using glass coin weights continued into the Islamic period. This weight equals one mithqal, the weight of a dinar or standard gold coin. It includes an inscription mentioning its weight, equivalent value, and the name of the governor, al-Hasan ibn al-Bahbah (r. 808–10).