Byzantine gold coins are still remarkably affordable. Types with the bust of Christ are very popular. FORVM trys to keep gold coins of Christ in stock, but sometimes demand exceeds supply.
Byzantine Empire, Constantine VI and Irene, 8 September 780 - 19 August 797 A.D.
In 790, Constantine VI took control and forced his mother, who had been his regent, into exile. A little more than a year later Irene was back as co-ruler. In 797, Irene had her son deposed and blinded and assumed sole rule.
Füeg has the obverse and reverse opposite. Other than Füeg 4.7, the referenced examples all have either incomplete or illegible inscriptions, or have variations from this coin.
SH90887. Gold solidus, Füeg 4.7 (C.4.6/Ir.4.1); cf. Wroth BMC 1; DOC III, part 1, 2; Morrisson BnF 2, Tolstoi 1; SBCV 1591; Sommer -; Ratto -, VF, remarkable for complete inscriptions, weight 4.413 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 15 Jan 792 - 793; obverse COnSTAnTInOS CA - SIR, crowned facing busts of Constantine IV, wearing chlamys and holding globus cruciger in left hand; and Irene, wearing loros, cruciform scepter in her right hand; cross above center; reverse SVn IrInI AVΓ mITHRΛ, Constantine V, Leo III, and Leo IV (the boy emperor's deceased father, grand-father and great grandfather) seated facing, each bearded and wearing crown and chlamys; ex Lanz (eBay auction, 4 Feb 2011, sold for €3027); rare; $2500.00 (€1875.00)
Byzantine Empire, John VI Cantacuzenus and John V Palaeologus, 13 May 1347 - April 1353 A.D.
When Andronicus III died, his chief administrator, John Kantakouzenos asserted a claim to regency of the young emperor John V. The emperor's mother, Anna of Savoy, was appointed regent and she had John Kantakouzenos declared an enemy of the state. John Kantakouzenos defeated Anna with Ottoman help, and he was made Emperor John VI. John V was married to his daughter, Helena Kantakouzene, and the boy was allowed to reign as the junior emperor. John VI Kantakouzenos spent much of his own private wealth unsuccessfully trying to strengthen the Empire but was still unpopular because of his ties to the Ottomans. His attempt to curb Genoese power ended with the total destruction of the Byzantine fleet in 1349. John VI ignored his young colleague and in time even replaced him with his own son Matthew. John V Palaeologus obtained Genoese help, overthrew his rivals, and banished John Kantakouzenos to a monastery, where he lived 30 years as the monk Joasaph and wrote his famous history.
SH70968. Gold hyperpyron, Lianta 849; Bendall 2004b, p. 297, C; SBCV 2526; Sommer 84.1; Grierson 1296; DOC V -, VF, weight 3.402 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2 Feb 1325 - 1328 or possibly to 1330 A.D.; obverseNimbate half-length facing figure of the Virgin Maryorans within city walls, four castles forming walls, star on each side of the uppermost castle, B lower left, A lower right; reverse John VI on left and Andronicus V on right, kneeling facing, Christ stands behind with hands over their heads in benediction; IUINK (or similar) downward on left and IUINKY (or similar) downward on right, N's reversed; very rare; $2250.00 (€1687.50)
Byzantine Empire, Constantine VIII, 15 December 1025 - 11 November 1028 A.D.
Constantine VIII was crowned emperor when he was an infant; however, for his first 63 years of "rule" he was a junior emperor and rarely played even a minor role in state affairs. He spent his life in search of pleasure and entertainment, including spectator sports at the Hippodrome, feasting, riding and hunting. After his brother Basil II died, Constantine was sole emperor for nearly the last three years of his life. He carried on as he always had, enjoying life and avoiding state business as much as possible. Ineffective and cruel, he allegedly ordered the execution or mutilation of hundreds of innocent men.
SH90886. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III, part 2, 1.1; Wroth BMC 3, Morrisson BnF 3; Ratto 1969; SBCV 1815; Sommer 42.1 var (pellet on shaft of labarum), gVF, centered, light marks, weight 4.325 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 225o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Dec 1025 - 11 Nov 1028; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM, bearded bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger with straight arms and crescents in upper quarters, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left, triple border; reverse +CWnSTAnTIn bASILEhS ROM, bust facing, with long beard, wearing crown and loros, labarum (no pellet on shaft) in left, akakia in right, triple border; ex Ponterio & Associates sale 157 - N.Y.I.N.C. Auction (7 Jan 2007), lot 2222; scarce; $1300.00 (€975.00)
Anastasius, 11 April 491 - 1 July 518 A.D.
In 492, the Isaurians begin a revolt in southern Central Anatolia. The rebels were defeated in the Battle of Cotyaeum and retreated to their mountain fortresses They continued guerrilla warfare against the Roman forces until 497.
SH90890. Gold solidus, DOC I 3e, Morrisson BnF 2, Ratto 310, Hahn MIB 4, Sommer 1.2, SBCV 3, Tolstoi -, Wroth BMC -, EF, a few small marks, unusually attractive Victory, weight 4.457 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 492 - 498 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTASIVS P P AVC, helmeted and cuirassed facing bust, cross on helmet, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left, trefoil ornament on helmet; reverseVICTORIA AVCCC E, Victory standing slightly left, head left, long jeweled cross resting on ground in her right, star on right, CONOB in exergue; ex Harlan J. Berk, sale 165 (June 2009), lot 32; $1100.00 (€825.00)
Byzantine Empire, Justin II, 15 November 565 - 5 October 578 A.D.
Justin was unable to hold the territory Justinian had restored. Most of Italy and parts of Spain were quickly lost to the Lombards and Visigoths. Refusal to pay tribute to the Sassanids, resulted in protracted war. The burdens of office drove him insane and his successor was regent for the last four years of his reign.
SH90893. Gold solidus, Hahn MIB 14 (Alexandria), SBCV 347A (Constantinople, but Alexandria noted as a possibility), Berk 63, DOC I -, aEF, small marks and scratches, weight 4.473 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, c. 567 - 578 A.D.; obverse D N I-VSTI-NVS PP AVG, facing helmeted and cuirassedbust, Victory on globe in right, shield on left arm; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC I, Constantinopolis enthroned facing, head right, long scepter in right, globus cruciger in left, staurogram left, •CONOB• in ex; ex Heritage auction 3020 (6 Sep 2012), lot 25312; ex Nudelman Numismatica 10 (13 Jun 2011), lot 53; very rare; $900.00 (€675.00)
Byzantine Empire, John V Palaeologus and Anna of Savoy (Mother, Regent), 15 June 1341 - 13 May 1347
On 15 June 1341, Andronikos III died. He was succeeded by his son John V who was three days short of his ninth birthday. Anna of Savoy was appointed regent for her son. Andronikos III had entrusted the administration to his advisor John Kantakouzenos. While Kantakouzenos was fighting the Serbs in Northern Thrace, ambitious advisors in Constantinople convinced Anna to declare him an enemy of the state. On 26 October 1341, rather than face execution, Kantakouzenos proclaimed himself emperor. Civil war ended with Anna's defeat in 1347. On 3 February 1347, John VI was accepted as senior emperor with John V as his junior co-ruler. John V married Helena Kantakouzene, a daughter of John VI. John VI entered Constantinople and took effective control of the city. In 1351, Anna left Constantinople for Thessaloniki. She held her own court in the city, issuing decrees in her name and even controlling a mint. Around 1365, when her health was failing, she became a nun, and died under the name Anastasia.
SH70963. Gold hyperpyron, DOC V 943; Bendall PCPC 190 (sigla 2); Lianta 845; Sommer 83.1.2; SBCV 2466 (Andronicus III), VF, clipped, graffiti, weight 4.266 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, regency of Anna, 15 Jun 1341 - 13 May 1347; obverse Anna of Savoy (on left) and her son John V, on right, both crowned and stand facing, empress holds trefoil scepter, emperor holds akakia and cruciform scepter, sigla Γ left, w in center; reverse the deceased Andronicus III, on left, kneeling before Christ standing facing, who extends his right hand over the emperor in benediction, Gospels in left, A∆PNH (or similar, blundered) downward on left, IC XC on right; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 176 (10 March 2009), lot 2823; rare; $780.00 (€585.00)
Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.
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.; obversedd 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; reverseVICTORIA AVGu Z (Z reversed), cross potent on three steps, I right, CONOBin ex; scarce; $650.00 (€487.50)
Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.
On 27 January 661, Ali ibn Abi-Talib, first Shi'a Imam and the fourth caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, was assassinated while at prayer at a shrine at Kufa (modern Iraq). According to Shia Islam, his son Hasan ibn Ali succeeded him as the second Imam. According to Sunni Islam, he was succeeded by Muawiyah I, who moved his seat of government to Damascus and founded the Umayyad Caliphate.
SH69996. Gold solidus, DOC IIpart 2, 38b; SBCV 971; Wroth BMC 63; Tolstoi 310; Hahn MIB 37; Morrisson BnF -; Sommer -; Ratto -, EF, areas of weak strike, weight 4.332 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 225o, 9th 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; reverseVICTORIA AVGU Θ, cross potent on three steps between Heraclius (left) and Tiberius standing facing, each wears crown and chlamys and holds globus cruciger in right, CONOBT in ex; rare; $650.00 (€487.50)
Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.
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 socle were recycled from earlier use. The gilded statue that was once on the column was probably a gift of gratitude from Smaragdus, who was indebted to the Phocas for ending his long exile and restoring his position of power at Ravenna. The column still stands in its original location, but the gold statue was probably taken down immediatly after Phocus' death.
SH70062. Gold solidus, DOC IIpart 1, 10f; Tolstoi 11; Ratto 1183; Hahn MIB 9; Sommer 9.8; SBCV 620; Wroth BMC -; Morrisson BnF -, aEF, slightly off center on a broad flan, weight 4.467 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 607 - 609 A.D.; obverse d N FOCASPERP AVC, draped and cuirassedbust facing, wearing crown without pendilia and holding cross in raised right; reverseVICTORIA AVGU S, angel standing facing, long staurogram staff in right, globus cruciger in left, CONOBin ex; $650.00 (€487.50)
Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.
Constans II, was baptized Herakleios and reigned officially as Constantine. He was only 10 years old when he was made emperor. Constans was his diminutive nickname, which has become standard in modern historiography. Later in life he was also called Constantine the Bearded (Konstantinos Pogonatos).
SH70003. Gold solidus, DOC IIpart 2, 30d; Wroth BMC 55; Tolstoi 293; Hahn MIB 31; Sommer 12.23; SBCV 964; Morrisson BnF -; Ratto -, EF, weight 4.408 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 661 - 663 A.D.; obverse [legend blundered and fragmentary], facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV, Constans wears plumed helmet, Constantine a helmet with cross, small cross between heads; reverseVICTORIA AVGU ∆, cross potent on three steps between facing standing figures of Heraclius left and Tiberius right, each wearing crown and chlamys and holding globus cruciger in right hand; CONOBin ex; $600.00 (€450.00)
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).
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