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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.

Byzantine Empire, Justin I, 10 July 518 - 1 August 527 A.D.

|Justin| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justin| |I,| |10| |July| |518| |-| |1| |August| |527| |A.D.||solidus|
They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female. On Byzantine coinage, the male angel replaced the female Victory after the reunion with Rome was concluded on 28 March 519 A.D.
SL96959. Gold solidus, DOC I 1b (not in the collection, refs. Ratto), Ratto 382, Hahn MIB 2, Sommer 2.1, SBCV 55, Morrisson BnF -, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ch XF, wrinkled, clipped, marks (4284830-012), 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 518 - 519 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTI-NVS P P AVI, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with plume, diadem and trefoil ornament, pellets on cuirass, spear in right hand over shoulder and behind head, shield on left arm ornamented with mounted cavalryman right attacking prostrate enemy; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC Γ (victory of the three emperors, 3rd officina), Victoria standing half left, head left, long staff topped with an inverted staurogram (P) in right hand, star left, CONOB in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $900.00 (€828.00)
 


Byzantine Empire, Justin I, 10 July 518 - 1 August 527 A.D.

|Justin| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justin| |I,| |10| |July| |518| |-| |1| |August| |527| |A.D.||solidus|
They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female. On Byzantine coinage, the male angel replaced the female Victory after the reunion with Rome was concluded on 28 March 519 A.D.
SH96961. Gold solidus, DOC I 1g (not in the collection, refs. Tolstoi), Tolstoi 15, Hahn MIB 2, Sommer 2.1, SBCV 55, Morrisson BnF -, Ratto -, NGC XF, wrinkled, clipped, graffiti (4284830-016), 9th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 518 - 519 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTI-NVS P P AVI, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with plume and diadem, spear in right hand over shoulder and behind head, shield on left arm ornamented with mounted cavalryman right attacking prostrate enemy; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC Θ (victory of the three emperors, 9th officina), Victoria standing half left, head left, long staff topped with an inverted staurogram (P) in right hand, star left, CONOB in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $900.00 (€828.00)
 


Byzantine Empire, Anastasius, 11 April 491 - 1 July 518 A.D.

|Anastasius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Anastasius,| |11| |April| |491| |-| |1| |July| |518| |A.D.||solidus|
The complex monetary system of the late Roman Empire, which suffered a partial collapse in the mid-5th century, was reformed by Anastasius in 498. The new system involved three denominations of gold, the solidus and its half and third; and five of copper, the follis, worth 40 nummi, and its fractions down to a nummus. It would seem that the new currency quickly became an important part of trade with other regions. Four solidi from his reign have been recovered as far from the Roman Empire as China. China might seem an unlikely trading partner, but the Romans and the Chinese were probably able to do business via Central Asian merchants travelling along the Silk Roads. Some Roman trading partners attempted to replicate the coins of Anastasius. The currency created by Anastasius stayed in use and circulated widely for long after his reign.
SL96955. Gold solidus, DOC I 7e, Wroth BMC 4, Tolstoi 5, Ratto 318, Sommer 1.4, Hahn MIB I 7, SBCV 5, Morrisson BnF -, NGC Ch VF, wrinkled, clipped, scratches (4284830-019), 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 507 - 518 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTASIVS P P AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing slightly right, helmet with plume, trefoil ornament and diadem, pellets on cuirass, spear in right hand and behind head, shield on left arm ornamented with mounted cavalryman right attacking prostrate enemy; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG E (victory of the three emperors, 5th officina), Victoria standing half left, head left, long staff topped with an inverted staurogram (P) in right hand, star left, CONOB in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $800.00 (€736.00)
 







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REFERENCES|

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Anastasi, Marco. Monete Bizantine di Sicilia. (NP, 2009).
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).
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Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d?or de Constantin II à Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Füeg, F. Corpus of the Nomismata from Anastasius II to John I in Constantinople, 713 - 976. (2007).
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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).
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Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Morrisson, C. "Le trésor byzantine de Nikertai" in RBN 118 (1972), pp. 29 - 91.
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque 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 Friday, January 22, 2021.
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