I would also assume that if took a hundred of these, some would begin to blur into one another in terms of size.
How do you use these in real life if they represent different denominations
in use at the same time???
No you don't sound like a heretic but many believe the coin had
involuntary value but still
split the denomination
As a tetarteron
and its half. So it the value was involuntary what is the point of a half version?
I can tell the difference in hand between the denominations
, I have had
literally 1,0000s of them in my hands
. At the FUN coin show
I got paid for the first time for attributing a handful of both denominations
for a dealer, he had
about 50 tetartera and I got $20.00 for 10 min
. I have worked with this denomination
for so long that I was even able to give Sear
numbers for them. Most of the coins in my collection
are the very best I have ever seen, not the normal over circulated ones that are commonly found.
So to follow the modern history
of the denomination
it was first divided in Hendy
's book Coinage and Money
printed in 1969, in it he takes the tetarteron
and another coin he calls its half, however he states that he felt there were different fractions of the denomination
. The book was a huge undertaking and simply split them by large and small. Average weight
vs average weight
. Certain examples were classified as tetarteron
and others half tetarteron
( Today some papers refer to them as semi tetarteron
.) I am traveling so I do not have my books here but I believe the tetarteron
was 4.4gm and the half just over two. In 1999 DOC IV
leaves the tetarteron
and its half but adds a 3rd tetarteron
that was exclusively minted in Constantinople
, it contained silver depending on the ruler between 2-4% does not sound like much but a billion trachy
Then came the CLBC work
it skipped most of DOC
's finding but brought forth a theory that the die sizes were consistent for the denomination
and again grouped them by die sizes and weight
. I tried to prove the theory for tetartera but ran
into a few problems, the coin dies for each type
remained true for the first two rulers after the coin reform but the weights
did not. I found multiple coins that had weights
from 1gm to 6gm but the same die size.
issues did not vary much, they remained consistent but the other mint
coins became the issue.
Now the tetarteron
was the most used coin in Greece
during the 12th century but is rarely found in Asia Minor
, the trachy
is found commonly there but not in Greece
. The only place in the 12th century they comingled was in Constantinople
, not only the tetartera issues there but the less valuable other mint
Both the tetarteron
and the trachy
were created for everyday transactions , they were also used as change from tax payments that had
to be made in gold, In the early years of the 1092 coin reform it must have been extremely confusing paying taxes in the old money
and getting the new currency's as change, perhaps that is a reason for the weight
By the time you get to Manuel, Andronicus and Isaac II you still
variations but you have three dies sizes perhaps that was the fractional currency Hendy
thought existed. .
BTW the purchasing power of the coins cane to light on two different translated letters, the copper tetarteron
could buy a small loaf of bread, the Constantinople
version could buy 12 mackerels. Both letters were written in the late 12th century.
Sadly, it is no longer helpful using the weights
provided by DOC
because shortly after its publication imitation tetartera were identified from the 13th century, after the fall of the city the coin was recreated because the population was so use to dealing with them, the imitation issues are of Alexius and Manuel coins with the simplest designs, the are normally underweight and have basic errors in legends and attire. The result is all data is from earlier publications and coin auction
data is not helpfully because they might be an imitation.
Trying to figure this out with coins alone is beyond difficult. Its like someone trying to figure out USA coinage 800 years from now, Very little is written, rarely do major receipts contain change amounts. Just look at The USA dollar coin variations in the last 70 years, or the half dollar or a dime versus a nickel
. At least we put a denomination
amount of those
In the world of coin collecting this is not that important unless of course you have been collecting them so long you want to figure this mess out or see if the evidence proves they were just involuntary value, tokens without value.