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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Numismatics ▸ OverstruckView Options:  |  |  |   

Overstruck Coins

Although most ancient coins were struck on newly made flans, it was not unusual for a coin to be struck with an older coin used at the "blank" flan. Overstrikes are important because we can firmly establish the overtype is a later issue than the undertype. Overstrikes have been used to determine not just the sequence of issues but have also been used to more precisely date issues and, in some cases, to establish the order of rulers' reigns. For some ancient realms, numismatics provides the primary or only clues of who ruled and when they ruled. Sometimes overstrikes were done to recycle worn or obsolete coins. The most interesting overstrikes were done for political reasons. For example during the Jewish Bar Kochba revolt against Rome, the rebels struck their own silver zuz over Roman denarii, thus obliterating symbols of the hated Romans and replacing them with their own.


Byzantine Empire, Revolt of the Heraclii, 608 - 5 Oct 610 A.D.

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Heraclius the Elder, possibly of Armenian origin, was a Byzantine general and the father of Byzantine emperor Heraclius. He distinguished himself in the war against the Sassanid Persians in the 580s, was a subordinate general under Philippicus during the Battle of Solachon, and possibly served under Comentiolus during the Battle of Sisarbanon. About 595, Heraclius the Elder is mentioned as a magister militum per Armeniam sent by Emperor Maurice to quell an Armenian rebellion led by Samuel Vahewuni and Atat Khorkhoruni. About 600, he was appointed as the Exarch of Africa and in 608, Heraclius the Elder rebelled with his son against the usurper Phocas. Using North Africa as a base, the younger Heraclius managed to overthrow Phocas, beginning the Heraclian dynasty, which would rule Byzantium for a century. Heraclius the Elder died soon after receiving news of his son's accession to the Byzantine throne.
BZ86356. Bronze follis, DOC II-2 16, Morrison BnF 9/Ax/AE/01, Hahn MIBEC 16a, Grierson 164, Tolstoi 279, SBCV 722, Sommer -, Ratto -, VF, rev. a little off center cutting off part of mintmark, scratches, overstruck, weight 11.035 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Alexandria or Alexandretta mint, Sep - Oct 610 A.D.; obverse dm N ERACLIO CONSULII, facing busts of Heraclius and his father, both bearded, bareheaded and wearing consular robes, cross above center; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, X/IIII (year 14) on right, A (1st officina) below, AΛEZAN∆ in exergue; rare; $950.00 (807.50)


Byzantine Empire, Revolt of the Heraclii, 608 - 5 Oct 610 A.D.

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Heraclius the Elder, possibly of Armenian origin, was a Byzantine general and the father of Byzantine emperor Heraclius. He distinguished himself in the war against the Sassanid Persians in the 580s, was a subordinate general under Philippicus during the Battle of Solachon, and possibly served under Comentiolus during the Battle of Sisarbanon. About 595, Heraclius the Elder is mentioned as a magister militum per Armeniam sent by Emperor Maurice to quell an Armenian rebellion led by Samuel Vahewuni and Atat Khorkhoruni. About 600, he was appointed as the Exarch of Africa and in 608, Heraclius the Elder rebelled with his son against the usurper Phocas. Using North Africa as a base, the younger Heraclius managed to overthrow Phocas, beginning the Heraclian dynasty, which would rule Byzantium for a century. Heraclius the Elder died soon after receiving news of his son's accession to the Byzantine throne.
BZ86357. Bronze follis, DOC II 16, Morrison BnF 9/Ax/AE/02, Hahn MIBEC 16a, Grierson 164, Tolstoi 279, SBCV 722, Sommer -, Ratto -, aF, uneven strike, a little off center, scratches, overstruck, edge cracks, weight 5.587 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Alexandria or Alexandretta mint, Sep - Oct 610 A.D.; obverse dm N ERACLIO CONSULII, facing busts of Heraclius and his father, both bearded, bareheaded and wearing consular robes, cross above center; reverse Large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, X/IIII (year 14) on right, A (1st officina) below, AΛEZAN∆ in exergue; rare; $500.00 (425.00)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D..

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Overstruck over a denarius, probably of Severus Alexander, which suggests that the new coin was worth at least as much of the old one. Otherwise, it would have made more sense to melt the denarius.
RA73221. Silver antoninianus, cf. RIC V-2 287 (S), Webb Carausius 336, SRCV IV 13629, VF, nice portrait, toned, overstruck on a denarius, weight 2.664 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 225o, uncertain mint, c. 288 - 290/291 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse MONETA AVG, Moneta standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, mintmark obscured by over-strike effects; undertype bust (Severus Alexander?) visible (nose, lips, and chin upside down in left field); from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection, ex Forum (2010); scarce; $150.00 (127.50)


Mantinea, Arkadia, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 340 - 325 B.C.

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Mantineia was the site of two significant battles in Classical Greek history. The First Battle of Mantinea, in 418 B.C., was the largest land battle of the Peloponnesian War. After the Athenian commander was killed, due to greater Spartan courage, the battle turned into a rout. The Second Battle of Mantinea, in 362 B.C., led to the fall of Theban hegemony. In that battle, Athens and Sparta were allied. Thebes won the battle, but its greatest general, Epaminondas, was killed in the fighting. The Macedonian king Antigonus III Doson renamed the city Antigonia, but Mantineia's name was restored by Hadrian.
GB85889. Bronze chalkous, BCD Peloponnesos 1485.1; Nemea 1949; SNG Cop 253; BMC Peloponnesus p. 186, 20; HGC 5 909 (S); Heraia undertype: BCD Peloponnesos 1360; HGC 5 838, VF, strong undertype effects on obverse, light marks, slightest porosity, weight 2.668 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 270o, Mantinea mint, c. 340 - 325 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet without crest; undertype: helmeted head of Athena right; reverse trident head upward, MAN upward on right; undertype: large H; ex J. Cohen Collection; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting the Heraia undertype and acquisition from "G.G., April 86, 120 Sfr."; rare; $135.00 (114.75)


Byzantine Empire, Romanus IV, 1 January 1068 - 19 August 1071 A.D.

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Based on seal inscriptions, the letters on the reverse have been interpreted to abbreviate, Σταυρε βοηθει Pwmavov ∆εσποτην (O Cross, aid our ruler Romanus).
BZ83532. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 8, Morrisson BnF 1, Wroth BMC 9, Ratto 2030, Sommer 54.4, SBCV 1866, VF, overstruck, light marks, green patina, small edge crack, weight 5.994 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1 Jan 1068 - 19 Aug 1071 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing, wears pallium and colobium, Gospels in both hands, dotted cross behind head, IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ Conquers) flanking in two divided lines across the field; reverse cross with X at center and globus and pellets at the end of each arm, pellets and points at base, C - R / P - ∆ in the angles; $125.00 (106.25)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class D, Constantine IX, 12 June 1042 - 11 January 1055 A.D.

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The emperor's name and portrait are not part of the design on the Byzantine types referred to as anonymous folles. Instead of the earthly king, these coins depict Jesus Christ, King of Kings.
BZ77168. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class D; SBCV 1836, VF, very large flan, overstruck with fairly strong undertype effects, weight 17.156 g, maximum diameter 36.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 12 Jun 1042 - 11 Jan 1055 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing on throne with back, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, and holding gospels with both hands, to left IC, to right XC; reverse ISXS/bASILE/bASIL (Jesus Christ King of Kings), lines and cross above, ornamental lines and crescent below; $120.00 (102.00)


Apollonia Chalkidike, Macedonia, c. 279 - 200 B.C.

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Apollonia was the ancient chief town of Chalcidice in Macedonia, north of Olynthus, and a little south of the Chalcidian mountains. This Apollonia is a different place from Apollonia in Mygdonia. It was probably this Apollonia that struck the beautiful Chalcidian coins, bearing on the obverse the head of Apollo, and on the reverse his lyre, with the legend XAΛKI∆ΩN. Demosthenes claims that Apollonia was among the Greek cities destroyed by Philip II of Macedon, probably during his war against the Chalcidian League in 348 B.C. when he also destroyed Olynthus.
GB86504. Bronze AE 22, SNG Cop 133; SNG ANS 224 6; SNG Evelpidis 1205; AMNG III/2, 3; HGC 3.1 456, F, bumps, marks, corrosion, overstruck (as usual for this type), weight 7.029 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 90o, Apollonia Chalkidike mint, c. 279 - 200 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse amphora, AΠOΛ/ΛΩNOΣ in two downward lines starting on left ending on right; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; $70.00 (59.50)


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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In 614, a Sassanid Persian and Jewish army (26,000 men) led by by Shahrbaraz captured and sacked Jerusalem after a 20-day siege. Somewhere between 57,000 and 66,500 citizens were slain; another 35,000 were enslaved, including the Patriarch Zacharias. Many churches in the city (including the "Church of the Resurrection" or Holy Sepulchre) were burned, and numerous relics, including the True Cross, the Holy Lance, and the Holy Sponge, were carried off to the Persian capital Ctesiphon.
BZ77962. Bronze follis, DOC II part 1, 159b.4 (same dies); Morrisson BnF 10/Ni/AE/07; Wroth BMC 242; Tolstoi 270; Ratto 1436; Hahn MIB 175a; SBCV 834; Sommer 11.73, F, overstruck on a large flan, small edge cracks, strong undertype effects, weight 13.375 g, maximum diameter 31.2 mm, die axis 195o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 613 - 614 A.D.; obverse Heraclius on left, Heraclius Constantine on right, both stand wearing crown and chlamys with globus cruciger in right hand, cross between heads, obscure blundered legend; reverse large M (40 nummi) between A/N/N/O and II/II (regnal year 4), cross above, B (2nd officina) below, NIK (Nicomedia) in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $60.00 (51.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

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In 654, Constans II appointed his two-year old son Constantine IV as co-emperor (Augustus). In 659. Constans II also elevated Constantine IV's younger brothers, Heraclius and Tiberius, as co-emperors.
SH69722. Bronze follis, Anastasi 157; DOC II, part 2, 180; Wroth BMC 358; Morrisson BnF 6; Tolstoi 278; Ratto 1604; Hahn MIB 209; Berk 696; Sommer 12.91; SBCV 1109, F+, overstruck, ragged flan, weight 5.629 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 135o, Syracuse mint, 654 - 659; obverse Constans (left) in military attire with long staff in right, and Constantine in chlamys with globus cruciger in right, both crowned and stand facing; reverse large M (40 nummi), monogram above, SCL (Sicily) in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $50.00 (42.50)


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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Heraclius came to power through revolt against the tyrannical Focas. He defeated the Sassanid Persians, but this only facilitated Arab conquest of Persia and the eastern Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines lost Syria and Palestine before Heraclius died and Egypt fell soon after.
BZ68100. Bronze follis, DOC II, part 1, 243; Anastasi 66; Wroth BMC 398; Tolstoi 315; Ratto 1450; Morrisson BnF 10/Sy/AE/35; SBCV 884; Sommer 11.115, F, overstruck, weight 5.875 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 632 - 11 Jan 641 A.D.; obverse facing busts of long-bearded Heraclius and his son Heraclius Constantine, wearing short beard, cross above, all within large round countermark; traces of undertype; reverse Heraclian monogram and SCs within large round countermark; traces of undertype; $45.00 (38.25)




  



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