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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, Leontius, 695 - 698 A.D.

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Leontius' success as a general forced the Arab Caliph Abd al-Malik to make concessions and pay tribute to Emperor Justinian II; but when war was renewed, Leontius was defeated. Furious over the loss, Justinian imprisoned him for two years. When he was freed, Leontius and his former prison comrades organized a revolt, and he took the throne. Justinian was deposed, his nose and tongue were slit and he was exiled to a monastery. After the Arabs took Carthage, the fleet Leontius sent to retake the city failed. Rather than report defeat to the emperor, the army overthrew their admiral and named Apsimar, a Germanic sailor, as their leader. Apsimar changed his name to Tiberius, returned to Constantinople, seized the thrown, cut off Leontius' nose and ears and exiled him to a monastery. In 705, Justinian II returned to Constantinople with an army of Bulgars and Slavs. Both Leontius and Tiberius were dragged through the streets in chains and beheaded.
SH83907. Gold tremissis, DOC II 4, SBCV 1333, Hahn MIB III 5, Sommer 15.3, Ratto 1731, Berk Gold 191, Morrisson BnF - (p. 417), VF, uneven strike, tight flan, graffiti obverse right field, weight 1.330 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 695 - 698 A.D.; obverse D LEO-N PE AV, bearded facing bust, wearing loros and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVSY S, cross potent on base, CONOB in exergue; from the Robert Watcher Collection, ex Heritage auction 3002 (Sep 2008), lot 2013 (sold for $747.50 plus fees); rare; $1250.00 (€1112.50)
 


Byzantine Empire, Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 20 January 842 A.D.

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Most references date this type to the joint reign of Michael II and his son Theophilus II (12 May 821 - 2 Oct 829 A.D.) Anastasi identified it as Theophilus' first issue after Michael's death (2 Oct 829 - 830 A.D.).

Theophilus was an accomplished scholar and highly cultured. Although he admired Arab art and civilization, he was obliged to expend much effort defending his eastern frontier against Mutasim, the Caliph of Baghdad. He died of dysentery.
SH83908. Gold solidus, DOC III, part 1, 15a; Anastasi 515c; Wroth BMC 11; Tolstoi 13; SBCV 1646; Sommer 30.6; Morrisson BnF -; Ratto -, VF, slightly irregular tight flan, weight 3.794 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 829 - 830 A.D.; obverse MI-XAHL bA, bearded facing bust of Michael, wearing chlamys and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse ΘE-OFILO bA, beardless facing bust of Theophilus, wearing loros and crown with cross, cross potent in right hand; from the Robert Watcher Collection; very rare; $1100.00 (€979.00)
 


Byzantine Empire, Michael II and Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 2 October 829 A.D.

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Michael II started his career as a humble soldier. Leo V's assassination while trying to impose iconoclasm probably taught Michael a lesson, as he chose to remain religiously neutral. With Bulgarian help, he defeated the usurper Thomas, who with his Arab allies even besieged Constantinople for one year. Even after the rebellion was crushed, the Arabs still occupied Crete and initiated an invasion of Sicily.
SH83906. Gold tremissis, Morrisson BnF 31/Cp/AV/2 corr. (solidi); Anastasi 511; DOC III 18 (not in collection, refs BnF); SBCV 1650; BMC -; Sommer -; Tolstoi -; Ratto -, EF, tight flan, weight 1.275 g, maximum diameter 12.8 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 821 - 829 A.D.; obverse MI-XAHL bA, bearded facing bust of Michael, wearing chlamys and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse ΘE-OFILO b, bearded facing bust of Theophilus, wearing chlamys and crown with cross, cross potent in right hand, cross in right field; from the Robert Watcher Collection, ex Savoca Numismatik; very rare; $900.00 (€801.00)
 


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

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In 663, Constans II launched an assault against the Duchy of Benevento (Southern Italy). Taking advantage of the fact that Lombard king Grimoald I was engaged against Frankish forces from Neustria, Constans disembarked at Taranto and besieged Luceria and Benevento.
SH76122. Gold solidus, Morrisson BnF 13/Cp/AV/64; Wroth BMC 61; Tolstoi 298; DOC II part 2, 36a (not in the coll., refs. W. & T.); Hahn MIB 34; SBCV 969; Ratto -; Sommer -, EF, some die wear, tight flan, weight 4.490 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 661 - 663 A.D.; obverse D N COT-NV- (blundered fragmentary legend), facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV, Constans wears plumed helmet, Constantine a helmet with cross, small cross between heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGY E, cross potent on three steps between Heraclius (left) and Tiberius standing facing, each wears crown and chlamys and holds globus cruciger in right, CONOBΘ in exergue; scarce; $760.00 (€676.40)
 


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

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In 662, Constans II invaded south Italy.
SH76119. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 30a; Morrisson BnF 13/Cp/AV/55; Wroth BMC 53; Tolstoi 285; Hahn MIB 31A; Sommer 12.23; SBCV 964, Ratto -, EF, weight 4.432 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1sst officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 661 - 663 A.D.; obverse [legend fragmentary], facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV, Constans wears plumed helmet, Constantine a helmet with cross, small cross between heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGU A, cross potent on three steps between Heraclius (left) and Tiberius standing facing, each wears crown and chlamys and holds globus cruciger in right, CONOB in exergue; scarce; $670.00 (€596.30)
 


Byzantine Empire, Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 20 January 842 A.D.

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In 832, Theophilus banned the usage of icons, establishing strict punishments.
SH83905. Gold solidus, Anastasi 530d; DOC III, part 1, 24; Wroth BMC 31; Tolstoi 10; Sommer 31.8; Morrisson BnF 32/Sy/Av/1 ff.; SBCV 1670; Ratto -, VF, well centered on a tight flan, double struck, die wear, weight 3.495 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, c. 831 - 842 A.D.; obverse ΘEO-FILOS, bearded bust facing, wearing crown with cross on triangle and chlamys, cross potent in right hand; reverse ΘE-OFILOS, bearded bust facing, wearing crown with cross on triangle and loros, globus cruciger in right hand; from the Robert Watcher Collection, ex Harlan Berk; scarce; $600.00 (€534.00)
 


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

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In "Le trésor byzantine de Nikertai" in Revue Belge de Numismatique 118 (1972), Morrisson writes that this officina mark is horizontal, perpendicular to the rest of the legend, and indicates the 7th officina (a reversed Z, not an H). Hahn lists the Nikertai Hoard coin 146, described by Morrisson as 7th officina, as his only example from the H (8th) officina. The 8th officina probably did not strike this variant with an I in the right field. Gorny & Mosch Giessener Münzhandlung Auction 196, lot 3100, was struck with the same dies in a similar state of wear.
SH69990. Gold solidus, Nikertai Hoard 146; Hahn MIB 13 (Z) and 14 (H); Sommer 11.10; SBCV 739; DOC II - (type 14, officina not listed); Morrisson BnF -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, VF, worn dies, weight 4.431 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 225o, 7th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 616 - 625 A.D.; obverse dd NN hERACLIVS Et hERA CONSt PP A, facing busts of Heraclius, on left with short beard, and his son Heraclius Constantine, beardless and smaller, each wearing a simple crown with cross on circlet, cross between them above; reverse VICTORIA AVGu Z (Z reversed), cross potent on three steps, I right, CONOB in exergue; scarce; $520.00 (€462.80)
 


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

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In 656, the First Fitna (Islamic civil war) erupted in Egypt. The martial energies of the Islamic forces were directed inwards until 661, temporarily halting Muslim expansion.
SH70011. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 51 - 52, DOC II part 2, 25j (not in the collection, refs BMC); Tolstoi 253; Hahn MIB 26; Sommer 12.18; SBCV 959, EF, tight flan, small scratch on reverse, weight 4.334 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINuS C CONSTAN, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGy I, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $460.00 (€409.40)
 


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

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Grierson notes, in the Dumbarton Oaks catalog, "the inscriptions [on this type] are very variable, since it was difficult to get so much on the coin."
SH70073. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 25h; Wroth BMC 49; Morrisson BnF 49; Tolstoi 249; Ratto 1590; Sommer 12.18; Hahn MIB 26; SBCV 959, aEF, well centered, graffiti reverse left, weight 4.362 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINVS C CONSTA, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGy H, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $460.00 (€409.40)
 


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

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The Column of Phocas at Rome was erected before the Rostra and dedicated to the Emperor on 1 August 608. It was the last addition made to the Forum Romanum. The Corinthian column has a height of 13.6 m (44 ft). Both the column and the marble base were recycled from earlier use. The column still stands in its original location, but the gold statue was probably taken down immediately after Phocus' death. Silt and debris completely covered the marble base (socle) when Giuseppe Vasi and Giambattista Piranesi made engravings and etchings of the column in the mid-18th century. The square foundation of brick was probably underground when the column was dedicated. The Forum was excavated down to its earlier Augustan paving in the 19th century.Column of Phocas
SH70001. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 10i; Morrisson BnF 21; Tolstoi 16; Ratto 1186; Hahn MIB 9; Sommer 9.8; SBCV 620; Wroth BMC 19 var. (PER vice PERP), aEF, uneven strike, reverse off-center, weight 4.441 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 225o, 9th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 607 - 609 A.D.; obverse d N FOCAS PERP AVG, draped and cuirassed bust facing, wearing crown without pendilia and holding globus cruciger; reverse VICTORIA AVGU Θ, angel standing facing, long staurogram staff in right, globus cruciger in left, CONOB in exergue; $450.00 (€400.50)
 




    



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REFERENCES

Bellinger, A.R. & 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.J. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Füeg, F. Corpus of the Nomismata from Anastasius II to John I in Constantinople, 713 - 976. (2007).
Füeg, F. "Vom Umgang mit Zufall und Wahrscheinlichkeit in der Numismatischen Forschung" in SNR 76 (1997).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973-81).
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).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Sear, D. R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
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, December 09, 2016.
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Byzantine Gold