Numismatic and History Discussions > Byzantine Coins

byzantine or arab imitation

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Pim San:

I bought this coin in a lot consisting more byzantine, zengid an ayyubid coins, but this one is strange to me. Made of copper, 2,7 gms and 19mm. It looks a bit like a tetarterion and has on the forntside a figure? an orb two letter. At the back it look more byzantine with a christ and gospel.

Does anybody recognize this strange coin?

Thanks in advance,

It looks like defected Alexius I Comnenus (1081-1118) Æ Tetarteron, Thessalonica (Sear-1929; DOC 38)

I agree with Byzantofil, however, many of these issues are imitations, not official mint coins.  This coin and several other tetartera are commonly found as imitations.  These coins were made in the 13th century, almost 75 years after Alexius death.

Here is one of my favorite imitations.

ALEXIUS AE TETARTERON S-1929 DOC 38 CLBC 2.4.5 Imitation
OBV Bust of Christ, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds gospels open in l. hand. Pellet in each limb of nimbus cross.

REV. Bust facing wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in r. hand scepter cruciger, and in l. Globus cruciger.

Size 20mm

Weight 2.5gm

I think that in our case it is the original tetarterone, type "Savior with the Opened book of Gospel".  The obverse simply has a double strike with the die's offset.

Looking at it again this am, i agree it is official but like many the reverse is overstruck on an earlier other denomination. Normally class K follis like the example you posted byzantofil  ( the boarder of dots is the sign.) The correct placement of the legend is a good sign for it being official.

As for imitations most are underweight and much cruder, Julian Bakers new book goes in to them more extensively, after collecting this denomination for the past two decades i am finding imitations are more abundant than i previously thought.


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