AR Dirham, 32 mm, 3.93 g, 3h, BCRA (Basra) mint AH 60/CE 679-680
Album 12 SICA I, 66-75
O: portrait of Khusro II with typical Pahlavi inscription behind head, but two lines in front of face indicate "Ubaidullah bin Ziyad" also in Pahlavi. In lower right quadrant appears the only Arabic بسم الله
R: fire altar with attendants. Pahlavi inscription on right is the mint BCRA for Basra and on the left is "Shast" for "sixty" which is the Hijri year equivalent to CE 679-680 early in the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Yazid I (CE 680-683) or at the tail end of the reign of Mu'awiya (CE 661-680). This coin was minted about a year from the famous Battle of Karbala in late CE 680 (AH 61) where Husayn was killed and the date is still marked by Shi'ites during Ashura (10 Muharram). 'Ubaidullah bin Ziyad is an accursed figure in Shi'ite history. He is described by Hugh Kennedy in his "The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates" (London; Longman Group, 1986) as "...more hasty and given to the use of force than his father, but a man whose devotion to the Umayyad cause could not have been doubted." (p. 86)
1 Euro, 2018 Madrid mint
Leuchtturm 2018 Catalogue Euro #LV-K7.4 (no mintage figures noted)
obtained in change during a trip to Barcelona and environs in August 2018.
While in Catalunya, we encountered Euro coins from nine different issuing countries; Belgium, Germany, Spain of course being the majority content usually, Ireland, France, Greece, Italy, Austria, and Portugal. France, Germany and Italy came in next in the quantity of types and denominations available.
The following list is an unscientific list of available values that we encountered in BCN:
Belgium: 50c and 2 euro
Germany: 5c to 2 euro
Spain: 1c to 2 euro
Ireland: 20c to 1 euro
France: 1c to 2 euro
Greece: 20c and 2 euro
Italy: 1c to 2 euro
Austria: 20 c and 2 euro
Portugal: 5c, 20c, and 1 euro
Spain was available 45-60% of the time, with the rest being French, German or Italian and a smattering of the other countries named. I would say the latter three were available in equal measure most of the time. We found it strange that when we traveled to Girona about 60km from France we noticed a greater availability of Spanish euro coins in our change than in other locations we had traveled to. One would think that there would be a greater availability of French euro coins that close to France but there wasn't in our unscientific observations.
We noted a number of 2 euro commemorative coins available in our change such as the proclamation of Felipe VI as king in 2014 which is a dual portrait coin with Juan Carlos (LV-G275). The other was an Italian 2 euro commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Verdi in 2013 (LS-G112).
A favorite of ours by design was the Italian 2 euro depicting Dante. Of all the euro designs this coin in our opinion is a masterpiece and likely the stand alone stand out of the circulating euro coins. It is indeed a beautiful coin in our opinion.
R: Long cross quartered with pellets and annulets. IA/CO/BR/EX
Purchased at the regular Sunday Stamp and Coin Bourse at the Plaça Reial in Barcelona's Barri Gotic on 26 August 2018. The bourse runs from around 9 am until 2 pm. There are maybe a dozen or more dealers and it appears to be an active well attended event. I found everything I was looking for and for very reasonable prices as well.
Every Sunday Stamp and Coin Bourse on 26 August 2018 at Plaça Reial in the Barri Gotic off of La Rambla in Barcelona.