Classical Numismatics Discussion
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Seals and Tesserae / Re: Byzantine Lead Seal - Need Help with ID
« Last post by Gert on Today at 04:15:09 am »
St. Theodore on the obverse: Θ / ΘE/O-Δ/W/PO,

Reverse has an invocation, with the personal name on the last line:


(Lord help your servant Al...)

Not many greek names starting with Al... so perhaps Alexander or, more common by this time, Alexios. The 3rd letter doesn't seem to be epsilon, so perhaps Al(e)x(io) or Al(e)x(andro)

Seals and Tesserae / Re: Identification Help on Byzantine Lead Seal
« Last post by Gert on Today at 04:06:55 am »
Θ / Θ/Є-OΔO on the obverse. The first 'theta' is intended as ligature A inside O for 'ho hagios', 'Saint'. The name is of course St. Theodo(ros)

On the reverse I read:

KΛ, T(?)O CA

So Leon, protospatharios epi tou Chrysotriklinou. Which is followed, I think, by his family name Note that the court dignity is heavily abbreviated. Epi t(ou) Chr(yso)(tri)kl(inou). Chryso (gold) is abbreviated with XP, which shows that the "Christogram" even in Christian times does not always refer to Christ. Tri is given by gamma, which as a numeral stands for 3. The dignity, which is very common on seals, refers to the Golden Hall (Chrysotriklinos) in the imperial palace.
Byzantine Coins / Re: Questions from a beginner
« Last post by Serendipity on Today at 02:36:43 am »
Byzantine gold coins are much more affordable than other ancient gold coins such as Roman gold aurei. In fact, Byzantine silver, generally, is significantly rarer than the gold, electrum, billon or copper coins of that empire. Byzantine gold coins are so packed with fascinating detail on account of the front-facing abstract iconography of the Byzantine period which greatly inspired the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso. They are the closest thing that I’ve seen to artwork on ancient coins. The only big mistake I made was when I purchased my first Byzantine gold coin, a Romanus III gold histamenon, at the start of the year. I realised with great regret that I could have bought the same gold coin more inexpensively and cheaply from the Forum. Actually, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if the dealer selling the histamenon to me had themselves bought it from the Forum!
Ancient Coin Forum / Re: Lost coin
« Last post by Serendipity on Today at 01:28:29 am »
I know that it’s not a very popular option for most collectors but I store all my Roman denarii in oversized 32mm plastic coin capsules and secure them in place with ring gaskets. The gaskets are made out of EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), a stretchable material used as cushioning in shoes, consisting of a rubbery copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate. EVA is considered a safer alternative to PVC that leaches over time, contaminating coins.

I collect all sorts of bullion, numismatic and ancient coins which I store in coin capsules. I chose to place my diminutive Roman denarii in oversized capsules because they were proving far too problematic to handle. They kept slipping from my fingers and rolling under my bed. It doesn’t help that they’re minted out of a non-magnetic metal which means you can’t simply search for them by lightly brushing a magnet over your carpet as you would do with lost car keys.

Byzantine Coins / Re: Questions from a beginner
« Last post by Obryzum on Yesterday at 10:49:31 pm »
A few more thoughts.

I also considered the importance of the emperor and the length of the reign when deciding what to look for next.

There are plenty of forgettable emperors who had relatively short reigns:  Leontius, Tiberius III, Phillipicus, Anastasius II, Theodosius III, Artavasdus, Alexander, Michael VI.  Their coins are pricey because the reigns were short.

If you are going to pay more for a coin, maybe pick something more interesting?  For example, Leo VI was an important emperor who had a long reign.  But his solidi are really scarce.  Michael III was an unimpressive emperor with a long 20 year reign, but his reign marked the return of portraying Christ on the coins after the long period of iconoclasm.  Irene was a tyrant, a fearsome empress who ruled like an emperor.  Her coins are fairly common but still a bit pricey -- but at least there is a unique story behind it.  Nicephorus II was a military genius who completely reformed the army and how it fought.  Michael IV is a scarce emperor, but will be remembered as the one who started the debasement after more than seven centuries of stability.   

Just some ideas . . . .

Fake Coins and Notorious Fake Sellers / Re: Fake Esty Sellers?
« Last post by Virgil H on Yesterday at 09:47:35 pm »
Yes, both from the seller. Not all his coins have edge pictures, LOL.

Fake Coins and Notorious Fake Sellers / Re: Fake Esty Sellers?
« Last post by Dominic T on Yesterday at 09:38:32 pm »
OUTCH ! The second picture is from the seller ???
Fake Coins and Notorious Fake Sellers / Fake Esty Sellers?
« Last post by Virgil H on Yesterday at 09:23:25 pm »
Having major issues posting this, trying again.

I don't think I have seen Esty sellers listed on the fake sellers list. I was looking at Esty for something else and ended up looking at some coin seller sites. I am not an expert, but everything I saw looked fake or at least things I would not take a chance on. Rather than put in a link now, not sure the rules on that, I am putting in a couple pictures of what I think is a fake. This seller has many that look like fakes to me. And, other sellers I looked at were also suspect. Description of this coin:

Unique Unreserached Ancient Roman Greek King Old Bronze unique Tetradrachm rare coin

There was no attribution beyond this vague description.

Edit: Having trouble with file sizes on the uploads, trying again

Byzantine Coins / Re: Questions from a beginner
« Last post by Obryzum on Yesterday at 08:59:34 pm »
I suppose it depends on how big you want your collection to be and how many centuries you want to cover.   

Low end solidi are in the $500 range these days.  Sixth and seventh century solidi from Justinian I through Constans II are common.  Solidi from Phocas, Heraclius and Constans II are quite common.

At the end of the seventh century, the solidi from Justinian II were the first to include an icon of Christ.   You might find these in the range of $1500 and up.  Expect to pay more for a well struck portrait.

In the eighth century, the solidi of Constantine V are the most common. 

In the ninth century, the solidi of Basil I are the most common.

In the tenth century, the solidi of Constantine VII are the most common.

By the time you reach the eleventh century, the solidus has become the histamenon -- a broader coin that eventually transitioned to a concave shape.  The smaller tetarteron continued the tradition of flat gold, like the early lightweight solidi.  In the eleventh century, the histamena of Constantine X, Michael VII, Romanus IV and Nicephorus III are the budget pieces.

Then in the twelfth century, we move into the period of the hyperpyron.  The cheapest ones tend to be the coins of John II, who was also recognized as a saint in the Orthodox Church.

The late hyperpyra after the recovery of Constantinople are another example of budget Byzantine gold.  To me, these lack the eye appeal of the solidi, but if you are interested in Byzantine history, these are part of the story too.  In fact, you might even want to add a silver stavraton to mark the outer bookend of your collection.
Byzantine Coins / Re: Imitative "Class A1" folles
« Last post by Simon on Yesterday at 06:42:53 pm »
Both volumes are great. High recommendation from me.
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