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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. FORVM trys to keep gold coins of Christ in stock, but sometimes demand exceeds supply.


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

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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; $540.00 (€469.80)


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."
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; $540.00 (€469.80)


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

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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.
SH70072. Gold solidus, Tolstoi 50; DOC II part 2, 21b (not in the collection, refs Tolstoi); Hahn MIB 24; Sommer 12.17; SBCV 958; Wroth BMC -; Morrisson BnF -, gVF, well centered, weight 4.352 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, 5th 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 E, cross potent on three steps, CONOB+ in ex; scarce; $540.00 (€469.80)


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius Constantine, 11 January - 20 April 641 A.D.

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Most references attribute this type to Heraclius; however, Hahn (MIB) convincingly argues that the K in the reverse right field refers to Heraclius Constantine. During his very short reign, he may have thought it prudent to maintain the same type struck by his father.
SH70074. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 66; Tolstoi 395; DOC II, part 1, 45a (not in the collection, refs BMC); SBCV 771; Sommer 11.36; Hahn MIB 52 (Heraclius Constantine), gVF, some luster, graffiti on reverse, weight 4.429 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 225o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 11 Jan - 20 Apr 641; obverse Heraclius in center taller with mustache, long beard; standing with Heraclius Constantine on right, Heraclonas on left, sons beardless and equal height, all wear crown and chlamys, and hold globus cruciger in right; reverse VICTORIA AVGu E, cross potent on three steps, Heraclian monogram left, K right, CONOB in exergue; scarce; $540.00 (€469.80)


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."
SH70043. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 45; DOC II part 2, 25e (not in the collection, refs BMC); Tolstoi 244; Sommer 12.18; Hahn MIB 26; SBCV 959; Ratto -; Morrisson BnF -, aEF, weight 4.393 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, 5th 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 E, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $530.00 (€461.10)


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."
SH69982. 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, light graffiti + on reverse right, weight 4.361 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINVS C CONSTANINV (or similar), 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; $520.00 (€452.40)


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.
SH69988. 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, graffiti, weight 4.425 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 10th 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 I, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $520.00 (€452.40)


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; $520.00 (€452.40)


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

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In 626, Constantinople was under siege by horde of about 80,000 Avars, Slavs, Bulgars, and other "barbarians" and a small Persian army allied with them. On 31 July, the barbarian and Persian allies launched an attack along the entire 5.7 kilometer length of the Theodosian Walls using the most current trebuchets, mobile armored shelters, and siege towers. On the walls, 12,000 well-trained Byzantine troops fought fiercely, holding off assault after assault. On 7 August the Persian fleet was destroyed while ferrying reinforcements. The Avars, having suffered terrible losses, and short of food and supplies, burned their siege engines and retreated to the Balkan Peninsula. Constantinople was saved.
SH70018. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 13d; Sommer 11.9.2; Tolstoi 138; Morrisson BnF 16; Hahn MIB 11; SBCV 738; Ratto -; Wroth BMC -, aEF, well centered, part of obverse legend unstruck, weight 4.337 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 613 - 625 A.D.; obverse dd NN hERACLIUS ET hERA CONST PP AVG, 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 E, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue, graffiti in fields; $520.00 (€452.40)


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

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Ninth officina examples for this type are missing from Dumbarton Oaks, the British Museum, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, but we have handled a few examples.
SH70025. Gold solidus, Ratto 1364; DOC II 13h (not in the collection, refs Ratto); Hahn MIB 11; Sommer 11.9; SBCV 738; Tolstoi -; Wroth BMC -; Morrisson BnF -, aEF, uneven strike with unstruck area, weight 4.280 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, 9th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 616 - 625 A.D.; obverse dd NN hERACLIVS ET hERA C[...], 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 Θ, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $520.00 (€452.40)




    



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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, July 31, 2015.
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Byzantine Coins of Byzantine Gold