This exhibition presented an evocative voyage across more than 1,000 years of Islamic history through coinage, both as an invaluable artefact and a multidimensional expression of art. The selection of coins linked to major Muslim dynasties in this exhibition reflected not only the universal need for currency and economic transaction, but represented a testament to accounts and events, as well as the intricately knit layers of sovereignty and identity in Islamic societies. Often effective tools in circulating religious and political messages, almost every Muslim ruler had found it necessary to issue coins in their names upon coming to power, which would then be minted, regulated, and spread throughout commercial trails. In time, coins were also seen as ornaments in themselves, embedded onto various objects as a token of value and status.
Such a multi-layered chronicle is not lost in the choice of inscriptions, signs, and symbols in the design of coins, where a wide range of motifs, iconography, and calligraphy were manifested through ever-evolving minting techniques. With the purpose and visual appeal of the coins of various Muslim dynasties highlighted chronologically through vivid photographs, the exhibition was at once an invitation to explore yet another important layer of Islamic art.