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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Byzantine Gold||View Options:  |  |  | 

Byzantine Gold Coins

Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire to the former Byzantium in Thrace and renamed it Constantinopolis, present day Istanbul, Turkey. Numismatists, for convenience, have arbitrarily categorized coins from Anastasius I and after as Byzantine coins. Numismatists use Anastasius as the beginning of Byzantine because he dramatically reformed the bronze coinage. A significant minority of numismatists pick an earlier time and ruler, often Constantine the Great, as the dividing time between the Roman and Byzantine empires, because most coins were issued from Constantinople, or since it became the seat of government. Although the citizens generally spoke Greek, they considered themselves Roman for the entire Byzantine period, making our division of the empire an entirely modern convention.

Romanus III Argyrus, 12 November 1028 - 11 April 1034

|Romanus| |III|, |Romanus| |III| |Argyrus,| |12| |November| |1028| |-| |11| |April| |1034|, |histamenon| |nomisma|
Romanus III was fanatically devoted to the Virgin. His adoration found expression in the building and restoration of churches dedicated to St. Mary and also explains the Virgin's prominence on his coinage. MΘ is a Greek abbreviation for Mητερα Tου Θεου - Mother of God. ΘCE abbreviates Θεοτοκε - God-bearer, also referring to the Virgin. On one of his types, a silver miliaresion, the inscription reads: Παρθενε σοι πολυαινε ος ηλιτικη παντα κατοπθοι, which means, "He who places his hopes on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does."
RS94631. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III part 2, 1d, Morrisson BnF 43/Cp/AV/01, Ratto 1972, Sommer 43.2.2, SBCV 1819, Wroth BMC 2, Choice VF, well centered, highest points flat (not fully struck), weight 4.311 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 12 Nov 1028 - 11 Apr 1034; obverse + IhS XIS REX REςNANTIhm (Jesus Christ King of Kings), Christ enthroned, wears nimbus cruciger, pallium, & colobium, raises hand, holds Gospels; reverse ΘCE bOHΘ RWMANW (god-bearer help the Romans), MΘ (mother of God) above center, nimbate Virgin (on right) wears pallium and maphorium, with right hand she crowns Romanus, who is bearded and wears a crown, sakkos and loros, globus cruciger in his right, four pellets in loros end below globus; from the Ray Nouri Collection; scarce; $1100.00 SALE |PRICE| $990.00


Byzantine Empire, Romanus III Argyrus, 12 November 1028 - 11 April 1034

|Romanus| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Romanus| |III| |Argyrus,| |12| |November| |1028| |-| |11| |April| |1034|, |histamenon| |nomisma|
Romanus III married Zoe, daughter of Constantine VII. He thought a lot of himself, but in fact, was inept, corrupt and self-absorbed. His government was corrupt and mismanaged. He made the fatal mistake of ignoring his wife Zoe. He was poisoned and drowned.
SH95342. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III part 2, 1d.1, Morrisson BnF 43/Cp/AV/01, Ratto 1972, Sommer 43.2.2, SBCV 1819, Wroth BMC 2, Choice EF, well centered, beautiful Madonna, mild obverse die wear, weight 4.372 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 12 Nov 1028 - 11 Apr 1034; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTInm (Jesus Christ King of Kings), Christ enthroned, wears nimbus cruciger, pallium, & colobium, right hand raised in benediction, Gospels in left; reverse ΘCE bOHΘ RWMANW (god-bearer help the Romans), MΘ (mother of God) above center, nimbate Virgin (on right) wears pallium and maphorium, with right hand she crowns Romanus, who is bearded and wears a crown, sakkos and loros, right hand to his breast, globus cruciger in his left, four pellets in loros end below globus, two groups of four pellets in diamond shape on skirt of the Virgin; ex Miller's Mint Ltd. (Patchogue, NY); scarce; $1100.00 SALE |PRICE| $990.00


Byzantine Empire, Constantine IX Monomachus, 12 June 1042 - 11 January 1055

|Constantine| |IX|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |IX| |Monomachus,| |12| |June| |1042| |-| |11| |January| |1055|, |histamenon| |nomisma|
In 1047, Constantine's nephew, general Leo Tornikios rebelled and besieged Constantinople from 25 to 28 September. Two assaults on the walls were turned back by the defenders under the personal leadership of Constantine. Despite suffering from gout and having no military experience, he showed courage and energy. Tornikios was forced to withdraw. After a failed attack on Rhaidestos, his followers abandoned him. He found refuge in a church, but was lured out, captured, and on Christmas day, he was blinded at Constantinople. Nothing thereafter is known about him.
SH94417. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 1a, Wroth BMC 8 - 11, Morrisson BnF 1, Ratto 1987, Sommer 48.1, SBCV 1828, Choice aEF, weight 4.375 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 12 Jun 1042 - 11 Jan 1055; obverse +Ihs XIS REX REGNANTInm (Jesus Christ, King of Kings), Christ enthroned facing on lyre-backed throne, wearing nimbus cruciger (halo with cross), tunic and himation, gospels in left, triple border; reverse +CWNSTAnTn BASILEWS Rm (Constantine King of the Romans), bearded bust of Constantine XI facing, crown with cross and pendilia, jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right, globe surmounted by patriarchal cross in left, triple border; from the Robert Watcher Collection; $1000.00 SALE |PRICE| $900.00


Constantine IX Monomachus, 12 June 1042 - 11 January 1055

|Constantine| |IX|, |Constantine| |IX| |Monomachus,| |12| |June| |1042| |-| |11| |January| |1055|, |scyphate| |histamenon| |nomisma|
In 1047, Constantine's nephew, general Leo Tornikios rebelled and besieged Constantinople from 25 to 28 September. Two assaults on the walls were turned back by the defenders under the personal leadership of Constantine. Despite suffering from gout and having no military experience, he showed courage and energy. Tornikios was forced to withdraw. After a failed attack on Rhaidestos, his followers abandoned him. He found refuge in a church, but was lured out, captured, and on Christmas day, he was blinded at Constantinople. Nothing thereafter is known about him.
SH95130. Gold scyphate histamenon nomisma, DOC III part 2, 3; Morrisson BnF 4 - 10; Wroth BMC (Constantine VIII) 6 - 9; Ratto (Constantine VIII) 1970; Sommer 48.3; Berk 304; SBCV 1830, EF, well centered and struck, beautiful depiction of Christ, weight 4.373 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 150o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 12 Jun 1042 - 11 Jan 1055; obverse +Ihs XPS REX REGNANTIhm (Jesus Christ King of Kings), bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger with crescents in upper quarters, tunic and himation, raising right hand in blessing, gospels in left, triple border; reverse +CWNSTAnTn BASILEWS Rm, bearded bust of Constantine XI facing, crown with cross and pendilia, jewels around neck, jeweled chlamys, long cross scepter in right, globe surmounted by pellet cross in left, triple border; from the CEB Collection, ex Edward J. Waddell; $950.00 SALE |PRICE| $855.00


Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.

|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.|, |solidus|
In 647 A.D., Gregory the Patrician declared himself emperor in the Byzantine Exarchate of Africa. An Arab army of 20,000 men under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad invaded Africa, taking Tripolitania and the city of Sufetula (240 km south of Carthage). Gregory was killed during the invation. Africa returned to imperial allegiance after his death, but the foundation of Byzantine rule was fatally undermined.
SH94411. Gold solidus, Ratto 1509; DOC II part 2, 5e (not in the collection but refs. Ratto); Hahn MIB 9; SBCV 942; Sommer 12.7; Morrisson BnF -; Wroth BMC -; Tolstoi -, Choice VF, well centered, small graffito reverse inner right, weight 4.415 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 647 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTINVS P P AVG, bust facing with short beard indicated by a single row of dots, wearing chlamys, tablion ornamented with pellets, and crown with cross on circlet, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGY I (victory of the Emperor, 10th officina), cross potent on three steps, E (indiction year 5) right, CONOB in exergue; scarce officina; $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00


Byzantine Empire, Constantine V and Leo IV, joint reign 6 June 751 - 14 September 775 A.D.

|Constantine| |V|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |V| |and| |Leo| |IV,| |joint| |reign| |6| |June| |751| |-| |14| |September| |775| |A.D.|, |solidus|
In 772, the Frankish king Charlemagne began fighting the Saxons and the Frisians. In 774, he conquered the Lombards, and took the title, King of the Lombards.
SH94410. Gold solidus, DOC III part 1, 2f; Tolstoi 36; Wroth BMC 9; Sommer 23.2; SBCV 1551; Morrisson BnF -; Ratto -, gVF, well centered, clipped, marks, weight 3.638 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 757 - 14 Sep 775 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINOS S LEONONEOS, facing busts of Constantine with short beard (on left) and Leo IV beardless (on right), pellet and cross between them; reverse G LEON P A MYL B, facing bust of Leo III, with short beard, wearing crown and loros, cross potent in right hand; $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00 ON RESERVE


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus II, 6 April 945 - 9 November 959 A.D.

|Constantine| |VII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |VII| |and| |Romanus| |II,| |6| |April| |945| |-| |9| |November| |959| |A.D.|, |solidus|
A very popular type depicting Christ wearing a pallium, a very rich, rectangular hem length, jeweled court garment and a colobium, a sleeveless outer tunic.
SH94409. Gold solidus, DOC III part 2, 15.23; Wroth BMC 60, Morrisson BnF 37/Cp/AV/15; Ratto 1905; Berk Gold 278; SBCV 1751; Sommer 36.9, aVF, well centered with full legends, flow lines, die wear, light scrape, scratches, weight 4.288 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 6 Apr 945 - 9 Nov 959 A.D.; obverse +Ihs XPS REX REGNANTIUM, bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, Gospels in left, cross with double lines and three pellets in each limb; reverse COnSTAnT' CE ROMAN' AVGG BR, crowned facing busts of Constantine VII, in a loros on left, and his son Romanus II, in a chlamys, together they hold a long patriarchal cross between them; $650.00 SALE |PRICE| $585.00


Byzantine Empire, Michael VIII Palaeologus, 15 August 1261 - 11 December 1282

|Michael| |VIII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Michael| |VIII| |Palaeologus,| |15| |August| |1261| |-| |11| |December| |1282|, |hyperpyron|
Michael VIII was regent for and later co-emperor with the Nicaean Emperor John IV. He defeated the Latin emperor Baldwin II, captured Constantinople and restored the empire. His superb diplomatic skills balanced his enemies against each other. He founded the last great Byzantine dynasty.
RS94632. Gold hyperpyron, DOC V, class II-a, 13 ff. (sigla 69 not listed); Bendall PCPC 4 (same); Lianta 488 ff. (same); Grierson 1288; SBCV 2242; Sommer 77.1, VF, scyphate, well centered, obv. central double strike, some die wear, weight 4.187 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Aug 1261 - 11 Dec 1282; obverse Nimbate half-length facing figure of the Virgin Mary orans within city walls, MH - Θ (MH ligate, flanking nimbus, six groups of towers on walls, sigla K - A across fields; reverse X /MH/ ∆C-Π/OTI (MH ligate, columnar downward, or similar - right side obscure), Archangel Michael, on left, standing facing, presents kneeling Michael VIII to Christ, on right, seated left on high throne, scroll in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking Christ; from the Robert Watcher Collection; very scarce; $600.00 SALE |PRICE| $540.00


Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.

|Focas|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Focas,| |23| |November| |602| |-| |5| |October| |610| |A.D.|, |solidus|
In 610, Gundemar succeeded Witteric as king of the Visigoths and the Avars tried to invade Italy.
SH94504. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 10e.6; Wroth BMC 6; Morrisson BnF 8/Cp/AV/15; Tolstoi 9; Sommer 9.10; Hahn MIB II 11; SBCV 620; Ratto -, VF, well centered, a few scratches, light deposits, die wear, weight 4.301 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 609 - 5 Oct 610 A.D.; obverse d N N FOCAS PERP AVC, bust facing, bearded, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and without pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGY E (victory of the Emperor, 5th officina), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; from the Ray & Sophia Collection; $550.00 SALE |PRICE| $495.00


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus II and Michael IX, 21 May 1295 - 12 October 1320 A.D

|Andronicus| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |II| |and| |Michael| |IX,| |21| |May| |1295| |-| |12| |October| |1320| |A.D|, |hyperpyron|
"There are two main variants of this type - those with six groups of towers and those with four groups of towers in the city walls. The change comes approximately mid-way in the reign and both varieties are equally common. Rare varieties are those with the figures of Andronicus and Michael transposed and those with the legend AVTOKPTOPEC PWMAIWN." - D. Sear.
SH94418. Gold hyperpyron, DOC V-2, class 2b, sigla 186; Bendall PCPC 128, sigla 186, Sommer 80.2.1, Grierson 1293, SBCV 2396, VF, scyphate, typical crude strike, weight 3.379 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1305 - 1320 A.D.; obverse bust of the virgin orans within city walls, four groups of towers on the walls, six-pointed star over K left and six-pointed star over N right (sigla); reverse A/N/∆/P - X / M / ∆/E/Π (or similar, columnar), Andronicus II bearded on left and Michael IX unbearded on right, both kneeling facing, both with beard and mustache (?, Michael is usually described as beardless), nimbate Christ stands between them with hands over their heads in benediction, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking nimbus; $500.00 SALE |PRICE| $450.00







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REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Sunday, July 12, 2020.
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