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Home>Catalog>ByzantineCoins>ByzantineGold PAGE 1/8«««1234»»»

Byzantine Gold Coins

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.
Click for a larger photo 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 Numismatik Lanz (eBay auction, 4 Feb 2011, sold for €3027); rare; $2500.00 (€2175.00)

Byzantine Empire, John VI Cantacuzenus and John V Palaeologus, 13 May 1347 - April 1353 A.D.
Click for a larger photo 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.; obverse Nimbate half-length facing figure of the Virgin Mary orans 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; $2020.00 (€1757.40)

Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.
Click for a larger photo 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 ex; scarce; $650.00 (€565.50)

Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.
Click for a larger photo
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.Column of Phocas
SH70062. Gold solidus, DOC II part 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 FOCAS PERP AVC, draped and cuirassed bust facing, wearing crown without pendilia and holding cross in raised right; reverse VICTORIA AVGU S, angel standing facing, long staurogram staff in right, globus cruciger in left, CONOB in ex; $650.00 (€565.50)

Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.
Click for a larger photo 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 II part 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; reverse VICTORIA 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; CONOB in ex; $600.00 (€522.00)

Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 659, Constans II signed a peace treaty with the Rashidun Caliphate. He used the pause to strengthen his defenses and consolidate Byzantine control over Armenia. Constans established the themata; dividing territorial command in Anatolia.
SH70012. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 25d; Wroth BMC 43; Morrisson BnF 48; Tolstoi 241; Ratto 1587 corr.; Hahn MIB 26; Sommer 12.18; SBCV 959, EF, weight 4.367 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 225o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINUS C CONST, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGy ∆, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $600.00 (€522.00)

Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.
Click for a larger photo From the 650's the Muslims took to the sea. The entire Mediterranean Sea became a battleground, with raids and counter-raids being launched against islands and the coastal settlements. In 652, an Arab fleet under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad defeated the Byzantine fleet of 500 ships off the coast of Alexandria. Muslim raids reached a peak in the 9th and early 10th centuries, after their conquest of Crete, Malta and Sicily, with their fleets reaching the coasts of France, Dalmatia and even the suburbs of Constantinople.
SH70034. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 32; DOC II part 2, 21a (not in the collection, refs BMC); Tolstoi 48 (same coin as Wroth); Hahn MIB 24; Sommer 12.17; SBCV 958, aEF, weak strike areas, light scratches, weight 4.256 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 651 - 654 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINUS PP AV, crowned bust facing, long beard and mustache, wears chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse VICTORIA AVGY ∆, cross potent on three steps, CONOB+ in ex; scarce; $600.00 (€522.00)

Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.
Click for a larger photo From the 650's the Muslims took to the sea. The entire Mediterranean Sea became a battleground, with raids and counter-raids being launched against islands and the coastal settlements. In 652, an Arab fleet under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad defeated the Byzantine fleet of 500 ships off the coast of Alexandria. Muslim raids reached a peak in the 9th and early 10th centuries, after their conquest of Crete, Malta and Sicily, with their fleets reaching the coasts of France, Dalmatia and even the suburbs of Constantinople.
SH70036. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 19f; Morrisson BnF 38; Tolstoi 51; Hahn MIB 23; Sommer 12.15; SBCV 956; Wroth BMC -; Ratto -, aEF, well centered, graffiti, weight 4.353 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 225o, 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 651 - 654 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINUS PP AV, crowned bust facing, long beard and mustache, wears chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse VICTORIA AVGU S, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in ex; $600.00 (€522.00)

Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.
Click for a larger photo During Constans' reign the Islamic State expanded very quickly, in no small part because Christians and Jews often aided the Islamic take over of their lands. The Byzantine and Persian Empires both had imposed heavy taxes to finance the Byzantine-Sassanid Wars. In new territories, the Islamic State maintained the existing Byzantine or Persian tax collection systems, but the taxes were lowered and free trade encouraged commerce. Jews and the Christians were also allowed to use their own laws and have their own judges.
SH70038. 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, weight 4.389 g, maximum diameter 19.2 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; $600.00 (€522.00)

Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.
Click for a larger photo 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."
SH70060. 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, EF, graffiti: tiny reversed Z obverse center and Σ obverse right, ΓKZ reverse right, weight 4.376 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINVS C CONSTAN, 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; $600.00 (€522.00)



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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 Wednesday, March 04, 2015.
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Byzantine Coins of Byzantine Gold