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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Byzantine Rarities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Rare Byzantine Coins

Byzantine Empire, Justinian II, 10 July 685 - Late 695 and Summer 705 - 4 November 711 A.D.

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The portrait on this coin was based on an icon believed by the people of the time to bear a miraculous resemblance to Christs actual appearance.
SH21619. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 2b, Wroth BMC 1, Morrisson BnF 15/Cp/AV/12, Tolstoi 1, Ratto 1705, Hahn MIB 2b, Sommer 17.3, SBCV 1415, EF, weight 4.239 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 705 - 711 A.D.; obverse O N IhS ChS REX REGNANTIYM, bust of Christ facing, curly hair, short beard, wearing pallium and colobium, Gospels in left, cross behind head; reverse IYSTINIANYS ET TIbERIYS PP A, Justinian (on left) and Tiberius, half-length facing, each wears crown, divitision and chlamys, holding cross potent on three steps in center; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justinian II, 10 July 685 - Late 695 and Summer 705 - 4 November 711 A.D.

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The portrait on this coin was based on an icon believed by the people of the time to bear a miraculous resemblance to Christ's actual appearance.
SH70977. Gold tremissis, DOC II part 2, 6b; Wroth BMC 4; Morrisson BnF 15/Cp/AV/16; Tolstoi 7; Ratto 1708; Hahn MIB 6b; Sommer 17.5; SBCV 1421, EF, tight flan, weight 1.306 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2nd reign, with Tiberius, 705 - 711 A.D.; obverse D N IhS ChS REX REGNANTIYM (or similar), bust of Christ facing, short curly hair, short beard, wearing pallium and colobium, Gospels in left, cross behind head; reverse IYSTINIAN ET TIbERIY PP A (or similar), Justinian on left and Tiberius on right, half-length facing, each wearing crown, divitision and chlamys, holding cross potent in center; ex Harlan Berk; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.

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Most references attribute this type to Antioch. Although this type is not listed in DOC I, Grierson attributes all solidi with this wide-faced portrait to Antioch. Hahn attributes the type to Constantinople.
SH90884. Gold light weight solidus, 20 siliquae; SBCV 531, Hahn MIB 14, Sommer 7.61, Adelson 88 - 89 corr. (rho-cross scepter), DOC I -, Wroth BMC -, Morrisson BnF -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, gVF, uneven strike, tight flan, weight 3.390 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinopolis or Antioch mint, 583 - 602 A.D.; obverse D N MAVRIC - TIb P P AVG, helmeted, draped, and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right hand, shield in left, helmet with arc ornament in front and plume; reverse VICTORIA AVGG I (victory of the two emperors, 10th officina), angel standing facing, long cross in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, OBXX in exergue; Forum knows of only seven other examples of this extremely rare type, from the Robert Watcher Collection; extremely rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.

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Hahn and Berk attribute this style variation to Thessalonica. Other reference fail to distinguish the type from similar Constantinople issues. Hahn identifies the Greek number following the reverse legend as the regnal year.
SH86280. Gold solidus, MIBEC p. 181 and pl. 31, N3; Berk Gold 109; other references do not distinguish this type from Constantinople issues, Choice EF, well centered and struck, graffiti on reverse, weight 4.362 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica(?) mint, c. 607 A.D.(?); obverse o N FOCAS PERP AVC, bust facing, bearded, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and without pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVCC E (victory of the two emperors, 5th officina? or regnal year 5?), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; graffiti reading ƆMΘ (retrograde, Greek additive number 249?) or less likely ΘEC (Thessalonica?); ex Numismatik Naumann auction 58, lot 626; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Romanus II (Sole Reign?), 959 - 963 A.D.

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This type with the obliterated reverse legend has been attributed as an emergency issue struck at the beginning of Romanus' sole reign. David Sear notes, "Perhaps the Byzantine mint had received no clear instructions from the new regime and simply resorted to this stopgap expedient pending further directives from the palace.
SH36154. Gold solidus, Feg SNR 76, pl. IV, B4; cf. DOC III Constantine VII 15.22, EF, weight 4.542 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse IhS XPS REX REGNANTIVM, bust of Christ facing with nimbus cruciger, tunic and himation, right raised in blessing, gospels in left; reverse CONSTANT CE ROMAN AUGG b R (partially obliterated), crowned facing busts of Constantine VII (left) in loros and Romanus in chlamys, holding long patriarchal cross between them; nice portrait of Christ; very rare; SOLD


Theodosius II, 10 January 402 - 28 July 450 A.D.

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Examples with a star in the upper left field are rarer than the more common coins lacking the star, which are from the ealier 420 A.D. issue.
SH35027. Gold solidus, RIC X Theodosius II 225, Choice EF, weight 4.431 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 423 - 424 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, helmeted, pearl diademed and cuirassed bust facing, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with horseman riding down enemy; reverse VOT XX MVLT XXX I, Victory standing left supporting a long jeweled cross, star in upper left field, CONOB in exergue; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Romanus II (Sole Reign?), 959 - 963 A.D.

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This type with the obliterated reverse legend has been attributed as an emergency issue struck at the beginning of Romanus' sole reign. David Sear notes, "Perhaps the Byzantine mint had received no clear instructions from the new regime and simply resorted to this stopgap expedient pending further directives from the palace.
SH33684. Gold solidus, Feg SNR 76, pl. IV, B4; cf. DOC III Constantine VII 15.22, EF, weight 4.379 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse +IhS XPS REX REGNANTIVM', bust of Christ facing with nimbus cruciger, tunic and himation, right raised in blessing, gospels in left; reverse CONSTANT CE ROMAN AUGG b R (partially obliterated), crowned facing busts of Constantine VII (left) in loros and Romanus in chlamys, holding long patriarchal cross between them; superb portrait of Christ; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VIII, 15 December 1025 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

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SH52922. Gold histamenon nomisma, SBCV 1815; DOC III part 2, 1-2, EF, weight 4.406 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM, bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger with crescents in upper quarters, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, triple border; reverse +CWNSTANTIN bASILEhS ROM, bust facing, with long beard, wearing crown and loros, and holding labarum and akakia, triple border; fantastic Christ portrait; scarce; SOLD


Theodora, 21 April 1042 - 12 June 1042 and 11 January 1055 - 21 August 1056

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Zoe and Theodora, the two elderly daughters of Constantine VIII ruled jointly for 7 1/2 weeks (21 Apr - 12 Jun 1042) following the deposition of Michael V. They were unfit for rule and did not get along. The senator Constantine Monomachus was selected as a husband for Zoe ascended the throne as Constantine IX. Theodora held sole rule for a year and a half after the death of Constantine IX until her death (11 Jan 1055 - 21 Aug 1056). She nominated Michael Stratioticus, a civil servant, as her successor.
BZ89542. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III, part 2, 1c; SBCV 1837, Wroth BMC 4 var. (pellets in nimbus); Morrison BnF 1 var. (same); Ratto -, Sommer -, VF, broad flan, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 4.186 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, sole reign, 11 Jan 1055 - 21 Aug 1056; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANITInm (Jesus Christ, King of Kings), Christ Pantokrator standing facing on dais, wearing nimbus cruciger with no pellets, pallium and colobium, right hand raised in benediction, book of Gospels cradled in left arm, double border; reverse + ΘEO∆wPA AVΓOVCTA (Theodora, Empress), Theodora (on left) and the Virgin (on left) standing facing, jointly holding labarum between them with pellet on shaft, Theodora with right hand on breast, wearing crown with pendilia, saccos with cross and loros; the Virgin nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, M - Θ (mother of God) flanking her head; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare; ON LAYAWAY


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus II, 6 April 945 - 9 November 959 A.D.

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A very popular type depicting Christ wearing a pallium, a very rich, rectangular hem length, jeweled court garment and a colobium, a sleeveless outer tunic. This coin has no pellets or lines in the limbs of the cross within the nimbus. We did not find a single undecorated cross in our references or online.
SH58611. Gold solidus, apparently an unpublished variety; DOC III part 2, 15 var. (pellets in nimbus arms); SBCV 1751 var. (same), Morrisson BnF 15 ff. var. (same), Choice VF, weight 4.405 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse +Ihs XPS REX REGNANTIUM, bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, Gospels in left; no pellets or lines in limbs of cross; reverse COnSTAnT' CE ROMAN' AVGG BR, crowned facing busts of Constantine VII, in a loros on left, and his son Romanus II, in a chlamys, they hold a long patriarchal cross; ex Forum (2008), attractive bust of Christ, nicely centered; rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

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Anastasi, M. Monete Bizantine di Sicilia. (NP, 2009).
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Bendall, S. A Private Collection of Palaeologan Coinage. (Wolverhampton, Privately printed by S. Bendall, 1988).
Bendall, S. & P.J. Donald. The Billon Trachea of Michael VIII Palaeologos, 1258-1282. (London, 1974).
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Berk, H.J. Eastern Roman Successors of the Sestertius. (Chicago, 1987).
Berk, H.J. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
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Calciati, R. Monete Bizantine di Bronzo della Sicilia. (Cairo, 2000).
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Lacam, G. La fin de L'Empire Romain et le monnayage or en Italie. (Lucern, 1983).
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Catalog current as of Sunday, October 20, 2019.
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Byzantine Rarities