As an Armenian coin collector for several years now, I have seen and handled numerous coins, specifically those of Cilician Armenia. However, finding Armenian coins for sale in bulk continues to be a rare phenomenon.
I was recently looking through a lot of Cilician coppers, when I realized, in sizable accumulation of copper coins there are always hidden silver, or rather billon coins that escape the cherry picker’s eyes. Or rather, ignored by them.
The coins I speak of are of course the ugly takvorins of Gosdantin IV. This ruler, the last of the Cilician Armenian kings to issue the takvorin denomination, issued some of the crudest looking and low quality coins of the entire dynasty.
These coins, often characterized by their low content of silver are extremely darkened and black, with shades of silver and copper surfaces. Oftentimes one ponders whether these coins are silver plated, washed, billon, or even plain copper. These coins are often far less attractive than most silver and even copper issues in the series, and attributing them can be challenging.
However, these inconspicuous coins offer a rich insight into
the last years of the Cilician Armenian kingdom, and it’s last breaths
before being overwhelmed by it’s enemies. Because of this, and the fact
that most individuals tend to ignore these issues, the takvorins of Gosdantin
IV continue to fascinate me.