The United Arab Emirates was established in 1971 and started minting coins in 1973. (Requester Pamela: check the date on your coin.)
The Western year 1981AD, Islamic year AH1401, is the 1500th anniversary of al-Hegira, the journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in the year 622AD. Computations of elapsed years is complicated by the fact that Western calendars use solar years, while Islamic calendars use lunar years. and both calendars start on different dates. The large Arabic characters on the reverse side of the coin proclaim the 1500th anniversary, with the 5 dirham denomination in smaller script below.
This coin is made of copper-nickel. Unlike most modern coins made of non-precious metal, this coin enjoys high demand and collectors will pay significant prices for it. The catalogs we have checked are somewhat behind the times on this coin. Developing values based on auction results, and not on published catalogs, CoinQuest estimates:
worn: $1 US dollar approximate catalog value
average circulated: $3
well preserved: $20
fully uncirculated: $50
These are catalog values. Refer to our Important Terminology page to correctly interpret them.