One of the key coins in the Iraq Kingdom series is the 20 Fils of 1933, which is also dated 1252 Hijra. The correct date is 1352, but a small quantity was made with error dies and is now highly sought after. As scarce as it is, this coin is even rarer when collectors factor in grade, as this coin is very seldom available in anything better than VF.
Below is an example of a the 20 Fils, one with the correct Hijra date and the other with the error variety:
The NGC census shows 6 examples graded with the error date. The breakdown is as follows:
- F – 2 examples;
- VF – 2 examples;
- AU53 – 1 example; and
- AU58 – 1 example, which is currently in our collection.
Incidentally, we handled most if not all of the above examples. PCGS lists none in their population report.
Arguably the rarest coin of modern Syria is the gold Dinar of the Kingdom of Syria (KM 67). The obverse features a coat of arms with the inscription دينار المملكة السورية which translates to “Dinar of the Kingdom of Syria”, with the date 1920 at the bottom. The reverse features a Tughra style inscription that is hard to read but appears to have the name of the ruler Faisal bin Al-Hussein. The Kingdom officially existed for a few months, from March 8, 1920 to July 25, 1920. Faisal’s stay in Syria was cut short when he was expelled, initially to Britain, and eventually returning to Iraq as King in 1921. The crudely struck coin weighs 6.7 grams and has a diameter of 21 mm. Reportedly, fewer than 20 specimens exist and the coin was never officially issued.
Below is a set of concept designs considered for this elusive rarity, followed by an illustration of the actual coin.