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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman Mints ▸ NicomediaView Options:  |  |  | 

Nicomedia, Bithynia (Izmit, Turkey)

Nicomedia, Bithynia (in Asia Minor, on the Black Sea) was described by ancient writers as a city of superior size and magnificence, ranking next to Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch in the splendor and beauty of its buildings. Diocletian worked to make Nicomedia the equal of Rome itself. Dates of operation: 294 - c. 474 A.D. (reopened as a Byzantine mint, 498 - 627). Mintmarks: MN, N, NIC, NICO, NIK, SMN.


Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

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RL65285. Billon reduced follis, RIC VII Nicomedia 28 (R4), SRCV V 17128, Hunter V -, Cohen VII -, aVF, corrosion, very unusual legend and portrait, weight 2.997 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 315o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 317 - 320 A.D.; obverse F CL CONSTAN-TINVS NOV CS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the two Emperors), Jupiter standing left, Victory on globe in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, palm-branch at feet left, B right, SMN in exergue; very rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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It is no wonder this type is rare. Nicomedia belonged to Licinius. In 321, Constantine pursued some Sarmatians, who had been ravaging territory in his realm, across the Danube into Licinius' territory. When he repeated this chasing Goths who had pillaged in Thrace, Licinius complained that Constantine had broken their treaty. Soon after this issue began, the co-emperors were at war. In 324, this same type was struck for Martinian, who Licinius, after being defeated by Constantine at Adrianople, had appointed as his co-emperor and Constantine's nominal replacement in the west.

The XIIΓ probably indicates that the follis was retariffed to 12 1/2 denarii communes.
RT76372. Billon follis, RIC VII Nicomedia p. 607, 43 (R4); SRCV IV 15950, Cohen VII 292; Hunter V -, VF, excellent centering, cleaning scratches, light corrosion, weight 2.870 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 321 - 324 A.D.; obverse IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing facing, head left, nude but for chlamys over left shoulder, Victory on globe offering wreath in his right hand, eagle-topped scepter vertical in left, eagle with wreath in beak standing left on left, X/IIΓ on right above bearded captive at feet seated right with head turned looking back at Jupiter, SMNB in exergue; very rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


Fausta, Augusta 324 - 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great

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Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic."
RL74497. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Nicomedia p. 621, 131 (R4); LRBC I 1102; SRCV IV 16575; Cohen VII 17, VF, excellent centering, dark green patina, marks, light corrosion, weight 2.800 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right hair waived, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIPVBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, MNA in exergue; scarce; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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Nicomedia was the Roman metropolis of Bithynia. Diocletian made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system. Nicomedia remained as the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Roman Empire until co-emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324. Constantine resided mainly in Nicomedia as his interim capital for the next six years, until in 330 when he declared the nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa in the vicinity of Nicomedia in 337. Due to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.
RL74562. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Nicomedia 84, LRBC II 2300, Voetter 25, SRCV V 18159, Cohen VII 46, aEF, porous, reverse slightly soft, small edge crack, weight 6.714 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 351 - 352 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier standing left spearing fallen horseman, Γ left, SMN∆ in exergue; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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The obverse legend "CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG" was later also used by Constantine the Great's son, Constantine II.
RL79433. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V 341 (also 2nd officina), LRBC I 1117, RIC VII Nicomedia 188 (S), SRCV IV 16356, Cohen VII 254, Choice EF, well centered and struck, some luster, spots of light corrosion, weight 2.547 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 330 - 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMNB in exergue; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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Beginning in 330 A.D., pagan temples were progressively abandoned, destroyed or left to fall into disrepair, except for those that were transformed into Christian churches.
RL79432. Billon reduced centenionalis, LRBC I 1117, RIC VII Nicomedia 188, SRCV IV 16356, Cohen VII 254, Hunter V 341 ff. var. (3rd officina not listed), Choice EF, full circle centering, nice portrait, a few small spots of corrosion, weight 2.123 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 330 - 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMNΓ in exergue; $75.00 SALE PRICE $67.50


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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Several relics purportedly discovered by Saint Helena are now in Cyprus, where she spent some time. Among them are items believed to be part of Jesus Christ's tunic, pieces of the holy cross, and pieces of the rope with which Jesus was tied on the Cross. The rope, considered to be the only relic of its kind, has been held at the Stavrovouni Monastery, which was also founded by Saint Helena. According to Byzantine tradition, Helena is responsible for the large population of cats in Cyprus. Local tradition holds that she imported hundreds of cats from Egypt or Palestine in the fourth century AD to rid a monastery of snakes. The monastery is today known as "St. Nicholas of the Cats" and is located near Limassol.
RL84199. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Nicomedia 129 (R2), SRCV IV 16620, LRBC I 1100, Cohen VII 12, Choice VF, excellent centering, centers a little weak, light corrosion, weight 3.320 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, pearl diademed and draped bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICE (security of the Republic), Securitas standing half left, branch pointed down in right, raising pallium with left, MN∆ in exergue; rare; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


Valens, 28 March 364 - 9 August 378 A.D.

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This issue was interrupted by the usurper Procopius who controlled Sirmium for about eight months from early October 365 to spring 366. Although RIC IX lists it only as scarce, we believe it is rare. This is the first ever example handled by Forum and there are very few examples online.
RL69451. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Nicomedia 9b.1 (S, this obverse legend break), LRBC II 2327 and 2335, SRCV V 19760, Cohen VIII 11, VF, tight flan, weight 2.280 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 28 Mar 364 - Oct 365 / Jun 366 - 17 Nov 375; obverse D N VALENS - P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Emperor advancing right, looking left, dragging captive with right, labarum (standard with Christ monogram banner) in left, SMNA in exergue; rare; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

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Valentinian himself seems to have exercised no real authority, and was a figurehead for various powerful interests: his mother, his co-emperors, and powerful generals. Since the Crisis of the Third Century, the empire had been ruled by powerful generals, a situation formalized by Diocletian and his collegiate system. While Constantine and his sons had been strong military figures, they had also re-established the practice of hereditary succession, adopted by Valentinian I. The obvious flaw in these two competing requirements came in the reign of Valentinian II, a child. His reign was a harbinger of the fifth century, when children or nonentities, reigning as emperors, were controlled by powerful generals and officials.
RL69397. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX 30(b)3, LRBC II 2359, SRCV V 20299, Cohen VIII 9, F, nice near black patina with toned copper high points, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, flan cracks, weight 2.564 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGGē (harmony among the three emperors), Roma enthroned facing, globe in right hand, spear in left hand, A right, SMNE in exergue; $22.00 SALE PRICE $19.80


City of Rome Commemorative, 337 - 340 A.D.

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Much less common than the wolf and twins reverse type.
BB83869. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Nicomedia 205 (R4), LRBC I 1130, SRCV IV 16531, Cohen VII 1, F, tight flan cutting off right side of reverse legend, rough, weight 1.453 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 336 - 337 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking a standard in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMNE in exergue; rare; $19.00 SALE PRICE $17.10







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Catalog current as of Sunday, February 26, 2017.
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