Numismatic and History Discussions > Byzantine Coins

Rare Byzantine coins in your collection

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I think it should be interesting and useful to post here the most rare specimens in your byzantine collection along with a picture and a brief numismatic/historical description. Very often pictures of rare coins are even more rare to find than the coin itself. Even byzantine related coinage is suited for this thread (Bulgarian, Russian etc.). Also if you possess anlo images of rare byzantine coins, please post them as well.

Here goes an imitation of an anonymous follis. Quite rare I might add. About 12 recorded in copper and one in silver. Bears Armenian legends and cites an Armenian ruler though. This is the first coin struck in the Armenian language.

Image source: MONETARY CIRCULATION IN ARMENIA By K. Mousheghian.

Armenia, Principality of Lori, Kiurike II (1048-1089 AD).

Obv. Bust of Christ with the following Armenian letters above his shoulders:
(Jesus Christ)
Rev. Inscription in five lines in Armenian:
¡¤Ի ԿՈՐԱ¨‹
(Lord aid Kiurike the Curopalatus.)
Weight, g: 4.92 
Size, mm: 25 
Mint: Tashir ? 
Date: 1048-1089 A.D 
Denomination: Follis 
Metal: AE 


I have a half dozen tetartera that would rank as Rare but here is my rarest.  I figure that this coin gets me closer to being the first with a complete collection ( at least in the west.)  of tetartera.

ALEXIUS I AE Tetarteron SR- Unlisted DOC 41 
Monogram of Alexius. Rev Bust of Emperor wearing stemma divitision and jewelled loros of traditional type holds in r. hand jewlled sceptre and in l. gl. cr. 15/17

 Only one known in a major collection located in Istanbul Turkey. DOC mentions and includes the type in the catalog but does not have one in inventory.

I should have asked to have this  included this mongram with the list that was posted.

This is probably my rarest one.  It's a Latin trachy with a facing eagle on the obverse.  The reverse is a standing emperor holding a scepter and globus cruciger.  The size is 18-20mm. 

The unique thing about it is the facing eagle obverse.  I've never seen anything like it.  This coin is unpublished in Sear, Dumbarton Oaks Vol IV, and in articles on Latin and Thessalonican trachea in Numismatic Chronicles 1973 and 1978.  I can't seem to be able to take a good photo of it; it's a really pretty coin with a beautiful, smooth patina.

Of course in Byzantine numismatics there are quite a few extremely rare coins, but just to give Simon´s Alexius a comrade
here´s another tetarteron from my collection:

John II, DOC (15), mentioned as available in a private collection, but not in the DOC collection and not in Sear -
this coin is somewhat similar to Sear 1953, but John is holding a labarum ( instead of jewelled sceptre )
and the legend is +I W D CC Pi T I   -  T W Pi O P Phi V P O 



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