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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Byzantine GoldView Options:  |  |  | 

Byzantine Gold Coins

Byzantine gold coins are still remarkably affordable. Types with the bust of Christ are very popular. We attempt to keep gold coins of Christ in stock, but demand often exceeds supply.


Byzantine Empire, Isaac I Comnenus, 1 September 1057 - 22 November 1059

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Isaac I Komnenos was the founder of the Komnenian dynasty. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised under the care of Emperor Basil II. He made his name as a successful military commander. In 1057 he led a conspiracy of dissatisfied generals against the newly crowned Michael VI. He was proclaimed emperor by his followers and defeated the loyalist army in battle. On 1 Sep 1057, Isaac was crowned in the Hagia Sophia. To strengthen the Empire's fiscal condition he reduced salaries, implemented harsh tax measures and confiscated Church properties. This aroused much opposition particularly, from the Patriarch of Constantinople, whom he had arrested and exiled but who died before he was put on trial. The eastern frontier held firm during his reign, Hungarian raids were resolved by a treaty, and the restive Pechenegs were subdued by Isaac in person in summer 1059. Soon after, he fell ill and abdicated his throne in favor of Constantine X Doukas. Isaac retired to a monastery where he died in 1060.
SH87502. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 2; Morrison BnF 50/Cp/AV/01; Wroth BMC p. 512, 3; Ratto 2007; Sommer 51.1; SBCV 1843, gVF/XF, well centered and struck, weight 4.400 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1 Sep 1057 - 22 Nov 1059; obverse +IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhm (Jesus Christ King of Kings), Christ enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, gospels in left hand, double border; reverse +ICAAKIOC RA CIΛEVC PωM (Isaac King of the Romans), Issac standing facing, bearded; wearing crown with cross and pendilia, and military attire: cuirass, tunic, cloak and high boots; sword over his right shoulder in his right hand, resting left hand on scabbard hung on his side; from the Robert Watcher Collection, ex iNumis auction 6 (11 Oct 2008), lot 426; scarce; $1400.00 (1190.00)


Byzantine Empire, Tiberius III Apsimar, Late 698 - Summer 705

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After the loss of Carthage to the Arabs in 698 the disgruntled Byzantine forces declared Apsimar emperor and laid siege to Constantinople. The emperor Leontius, who had only recently taken the throne from Justinian II, was easily defeated and Aspimar took the throne with the name Tiberius. Tiberius mutilated Leontius' nose and imprisoned him, just as Leontius had done to Justinian II. In 705, Justinian II returned to Constantinople with an army of Bulgars and Slavs. He gained entrance to the city by climbing through an aqueduct pipe and with the advantage of surprise regained his throne. Both Leontius and Tiberius were dragged through the streets in chains and beheaded.
SH87501. Gold solidus, DOC II-2 1b, Morrisson BnF 17/Cp/AV/01, Wroth BMC p. 346, 2, Tolstoi 2, Hahn MIB 1, Sommer 16.1, SBCV 1360, Berk 193, Ratto -, gVF+, severe double strike, weight 4.405 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, late 698 - summer 705; obverse D TIbERIVS PE AV, Crowned and cuirassed bust facing with short beard, holding spear diagonally across his body and a shield, shield decorated with rider; reverse VICTORIA AVSY B (victory of the Emperor, 2nd officina), Cross potent on four steps, CONOB in exergue; ex Harlan J. Berk; $700.00 (595.00)


Byzantine Empire, Romanus IV Diogenes, 1 January 1068 - 19 August 1071

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Due to their distinctive iconography, these histamenon types were nicknamed "six-headers" in their day.
SH87499. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 1.1; Morrisson BnF 53/Cp/AV/02; Wroth BMC 1; Sommer 54.1; SBCV 1859; Ratto -, F/VF, some scratches, holes for pendant, weight 3.938 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1 Jan 1068 - 19 Aug 1071; obverse KWN MX AN∆, Michael standing facing on footstool, transverse labarum in right hand, akakia in left hand, flanked by Constantius and Andronicus, each standing facing on an individual footstool, each holding globus cruciger in inner hand and akakia in outer hand; reverse + PWMANS EV∆UKIA, Jesus Christ standing facing on footstool, crowning Romanus and Eudocia, each holds a globus cruciger in inner hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; from the Robert Watcher Collection; $300.00 (255.00)


Empire of Nicaea, John III Ducas-Vatatzes, c. 15 December 1221 - 3 November 1254

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A successful soldier from a military family, John was chosen in about 1216 by Emperor Theodore I Laskaris as the second husband for his daughter Irene Laskarina and as heir to the throne. This arrangement excluded members of the Laskarid family from the succession, and when he became emperor in 1221, following Theodore I's death, he had to suppress opposition to his rule. John was a very successful ruler who greatly increased the size, influence, and prosperity of the Nicaean Empire. He prepared the way for his descendants to successfully restore Greek rule to Constantinople and to rule the restored Byzantine Empire.
SH87503. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-2 6c, Sommer 70.1.6 var. (no pellet left), Hendy pl. 32, 3 var. (same), SBCV 2073, Ratto -, VF, uneven strike with flat areas, obverse off center, weight 4.350 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, Lydia, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 2nd coinage, c. 1232 - 1254; obverse Christ seated facing on throne without back, nimbate, wears tunic and kolobion, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) across field, pellet to left and right (sigla) above throne; reverse IW DECΠOTH TΩ ΠOPΦVPOΓ (or similar, blundered, mostly not struck), John on left, standing facing, wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and loros, holding labarum in right hand, anexikakia in left; crowned by Virgin Mary on right, standing left, nimbate, wears tunic and maphorion, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) flanking her; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare sigla variety; $280.00 (238.00) ON RESERVE







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REFERENCES

Adelson, Howard. Light Weight Solidi and Byzantine Trade during the Sixth and Seventh Centuries. ANSNNM 138. (New York, 1957).
Bellinger, A. & P. Grierson, eds. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. (Washington D.C., 1966 - 1999).
Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Feg, F. Corpus of the Nomismata from Anastasius II to John I in Constantinople, 713 - 976. (2007).
Feg, F. "Vom Umgang mit Zufall und Wahrscheinlichkeit in der Numismatischen Forschung" in SNR 76 (1997).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1999).
Grierson, P. "Byzantine Gold Bullae, with a Catalogue of those at Dumbarton Oaks" in Dumbarton Oaks Papers 20 (1966).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973-81).
Hahn, W. & W. Metcalf. Studies in Early Byzantine Gold Coinage. ANSNS 17 (1988).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Hennequin, G. Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la Bibliotheque Nationale. (Paris, 1985).
Lianta, E. Late Byzantine Coins, 1204 - 1453, in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. (London, 2009).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Mnzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Mnzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea, and Trebizond in the British Museum. (London, 1911).

Catalog current as of Monday, November 12, 2018.
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Byzantine Gold