What's This?This composite image created by Mashable shows what the initial planned coins might look like.
Image: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters, Mashable Composite
By Megan Specia2015-06-24 12:19:39 UTC
A series of photos showing gold coins embossed with designs are reportedly the Islamic State's newly minted currency, according to Syrian activists.
While the images have not been independently verified, they do match planned designs for currency that the group released last year. The photos were posted to the Twitter account of activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. They show the coins with a map of the world and stalks of wheat.
The initial plan was to value the coins on the market pricing of gold and silver. Laith Alkhouri, director of MENA Research and Analysis at Flashpoint Global Partners, told Mashable that the idea of ISIS creating a viable currency option is entirely unrealistic.
"The group could feasibly make as many gold, silver and copper coins as it wishes to, but the only value this so-called currency is going to have is the value of the precious metal itself," said Alkhouri. "No country will ever recognize it as legitimate."
The group that posted the photos includes several activists, both in Raqqa and abroad, who regularly post information on the group and their movements in the de facto capital of ISIS.
Reports that the group was planning to create its own currency first emerged in November when ISIS issued a statement on a jihadi forum, saying the currency would exist separate from those that had been "imposed upon Muslims" and “enslave and impoverish” them.
The document, released by so-called "Diwan al-Mal" treasury department of ISIS, included extensive illustrations and descriptions of the Islamic State's planned currency, which included two denominations of gold coins, three denominations of silver coins and two denominations of copper coins.
Islamic State militants have amassed a great deal of wealth as they have grabbed control of large swathes of northern Iraq and eastern Syria.
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