Dialogue on 24K and 22K of Dinar

(HA) : The result of deliberations of the scholars ulama (Bahth al-Masa’il) of Nusantara: Nisab of Zakat Maal of Gold is 20 Mithqal. 1 Mithqal = 1 dinar. According to the Prophet SAWW “7 Dinars equivalent to 10 Dirhams”. So the size for nisab should be equal to 88.8 grams of gold. And not 85 grams of gold as nisab. It is the opinion majority of ulama from 5 madhhabs (jumhur ulama nusantara)’

(UV) : The opinion of the majority of the ulema is that the Dinar is not a currency and they accept paper currency as means to pay zakat. The opinion of this pro-capitalist ulema is no longer qualified. May be one day they are capable of saying that people should not pay zakat with paper money. But not today and not them. The nisab of the zakat is twenty dinars. Full stop. The nisab has nothing to do with amount of gold since gold and dinar are two different things both in function and in value. For example jewellery which is worn is also gold but does not pay zakat. Nuggets of gold which are not in circulation are also made of gold but they are not weighted, they are valued in Dinar. But I am afraid they do not know that either.

During more than 6 centuries the Dinars used in North Africa was made of West African Gold with an average gold content of 20.5 carats. The nisab was never altered.

Industrial and practical considerations regarding the use of pure gold 24 carats in the manufacturing of gold coins.Different materials have different strengths. Precious metals and their alloys have been tested for their strength and this data is known in the industry. A 10% addition of silver to gold strengthens the alloy by 100% approximately (doubles in strength) in relation to pure gold. A 10% addition of copper strengthens the alloy by 2000% app. (20 times).

The average lifespan of a 22k gold coin “in circulation” using an alloy of 50/50 copper and silver is 15 years before it loses 1% of its weight due to handling. If the alloy contains only silver the expand is around 6 years. If the coin contains only gold (24 carat) only 3 years. The conclusion is that 24k gold is ideal for storage but it is not suitable for heavy duty (regularly) handling.

24k gold is so soft than gold chain necklaces are rarely manufactured in this material because …it wears off. Rubbing a 24k necklace on the skin of the neck for a few years will eventually break the necklace.

It is important to notice that ALL coins in circulation during the Gold Standard period were made of 22k and not 24k. The technology for 24k gold was already available then and in addition it is a well known fact to all gold manufacturers know that it is much easier to manufacture a 24k item than a 22k. 22k items require additional costs due to the precise making of the alloy plus additional difficulties in processing this alloy (irregular distribution of the additional material) which involves further testing and quality control which also add to costs. Why would they choose 22k?

Some people falsely think that there is an illicit gain for the manufacturers. As expressed earlier, there is only additional costs. There would be an illicit gain if the manufacturers would nominally state ‘this is a 24k coin’ and yet they would manufacture a 22k coin. But this is not the case. Those countries who traded with each other using gold standard followed strict rules (standards). The price that the gold coin would fetch in the market would be that influenced by its functionality and usage and ultimately determined by offer and demand.

The reason to choose a 22k (more costly) coin was to make a better “circulating” coins.

“Since we could not measure 72 grains of barley accurately” http://muamalahcouncil.com/component/content/article/109-world-islamic-mint-role-purpose-objectives.html

However, according our research, there are 4.8grams circulated in subcontinent of Islamistan (Pakistan and so on), and sometime 4.6grams. The 4.25grams is the smaller and may be not relevant for today.

In a book edited by William Kazan, “The Coinage of Islam”, full color pictures almost 500 pages, some example I take:

  • Seljuq Ruler of Syria (Damascus), 489H, Dinar 4.51grams
  • Al-Ahwaz, Seljug Ruler at Iran and Iraq, 499H, Dinar 4.72grams
  • Ruler of Naysabur, 439H, Dinar 4.32grams (then in 448H Dinar 4.87grams; in 453H Dinar 4.87grams
  • Al-Rayy 453H, Dinar 4.63grams
  • Al-Muhammadiya, 392H, Dinar 4.44grams
  • Circulated in Tranxosiana 4.62gramssaid nothing about 4.25grams… and most of them are 4.4-4.5 grams (as used also by Malik ibn Marwan).