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ISIS to Mint Coin Worth About $700

New currency intended to sidestep 'global economic system'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2014 7:10 AM CST
ISIS to Mint Coin Worth About $700
This file image made from video posted on a militant website on July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.   (AP Photo/Militant video, File)

(Newser) – Who needs a "tyrant's financial system" when you can mint your own money? That's apparently the thinking of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which plans to mint its own currency of seven coins—two gold, three silver, and two copper, reports CNN. The Telegraph adds that the coins are inspired by the dinar coins used during the Caliphate of Uthman in AD634. In a statement, the Islamic State explains the decision is "purely dedicated to God" and will remove Muslims from the "global economic system that is based on satanic usury." Though ISIS is rich—and raking in as much as $3 million a day from the oil refineries it controls—it isn't clear how the group will get its hands on the precious metals it needs.

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One economics professor suggests ISIS "will have to confiscate more property through theft and the spoils of war." The Financial Times explains just how much metal will be needed per coin: 21.25 grams of 21-karat gold in the most valuable (putting its worth at about $694), and 10 grams of copper in the least (the equivalent of 7 cents). Observes Borzou Daragahi for the FT: "Despite seeking to distance itself from the international economy, the new currency's underpinnings may make ISIS's economy even more heavily dependent on global fluctuations than most, specifically on precious metal and commodity prices." Designs for the coins show a spear and shield, wheat stalks, a world map, a palm tree, and the al-Aqsa mosque. (Read more Islamic State stories.)

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