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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Numismatics| ▸ |Overstruck||View Options:  |  |  |   

Overstruck Coins

Although most ancient coins were struck on newly made flans, it was not unusual for a coin to be struck with an older coin used at the "blank" flan. Overstrikes are important because we can firmly establish the overtype is a later issue than the undertype. Overstrikes have been used to determine not just the sequence of issues but have also been used to more precisely date issues and, in some cases, to establish the order of rulers' reigns. For some ancient realms, numismatics provides the primary or only clues of who ruled and when they ruled. Sometimes overstrikes were done to recycle worn or obsolete coins. The most interesting overstrikes were done for political reasons. For example during the Jewish Bar Kochba revolt against Rome, the rebels struck their own silver zuz over Roman denarii, thus obliterating symbols of the hated Romans and replacing them with their own.

Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus Basilacius, Usurper, Summer 1078 A.D., Anonymous Class N Follis

|Nicephorus| |Basilacius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |Basilacius,| |Usurper,| |Summer| |1078| |A.D.,| |Anonymous| |Class| |N| |Follis||follis|
Until 1976 this type was regarded as anonymous (Class N) because neither of the two known specimens had a visible legend. In 1976, Grierson published a new specimen with a legend naming the ruler, Nicephorus (Grierson, P. "Nicephorus Bryennius or Nicephorus Basilacius?" in NumCirc LXXXIV.1 (January 1976), type a). There were two candidates, Nicephorus Bryennius and Nicephorus Basilacius, both usurpers, Bryennius in 1077 - 1078, and Basilacius in Thessalonica for a few months during 1078. In 1992, Roger Bland published an example with the legend on the obverse right side reading POCBAC, which has been accepted as proving this type was struck by Basilacius (Bland, R. "A Follis of Nicephorus Basilacius?" NC 1992, p. 175 ff. and pl. 36, B). Our coin has a different more complete but blundered and obscure inscription on the obverse right side.
BZ99035. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 p. 706, N.1 (anonymous class N follis); Grierson 1976, type a; Bland Basilacius pl. 36, B; SBCV 1903A (Ex. Rare); Sommer 58.1, F, uneven strike, overstruck with strong undertype effects, weight 5.863 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, summer 1078 A.D.; obverse +NIKHΦW-POC BACIΛE (or similar), facing bust of Christ, nimbus cross with plain arms, wearing tunic and himation, right hand raised in blessing, Gospels in left, IC - XC flanking across field; reverse patriarchal cross on base; IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ conquers) in the quarters; from a Las Vegas dealer; extremely rare; $650.00 SALE PRICE $585.00


Crusaders, County of Edessa, Richard of Salerno, Regent, Winter 1104 - 1108 A.D.

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |County| |of| |Edessa,| |Richard| |of| |Salerno,| |Regent,| |Winter| |1104| |-| |1108| |A.D.||follis|NEW
Richard of Salerno fought in the First Crusade and was governor of the County of Edessa from 1104 to 1108. He was one of the many nephews of Robert Guiscard and Roger I of Sicily and participated with his famous uncles in the conquest of Sicily. In 1097, Richard joined his cousins, Bohemund of Taranto and Tancred, on the First Crusade. Richard and Tancred were among the few Crusaders who could speak Arabic, an ability doubtlessly learned during the wars in Sicily, which had a strong Arab presence. When Richard crossed the Adriatic, his ship was captured by the Byzantine fleet, who had mistaken him for a pirate. He was released and joined the Crusader army. Richard was a commander at the Battle of Dorylaeum and the siege of Antioch. He was captured by the Danishmends with Bohemund in 1100. Sent to the emperor Alexius, he was imprisoned in Constantinople until 1103. His cousin Tancred appointed him governor of Edessa in 1104, where he ruled until 1108, bitterly hated by the citizens for being ruthless and greedy. He participated in the disastrous campaigns Bohemund waged against the Alexius. After Bohemund's death in 1111, Richard retired to Marash, where he died in the great earthquake of 1114.
CR111853. Bronze follis, Malloy Crusaders p. 242, 5; Schlumberger pl. II, 3; Porteous 4; Wckerlin 163; Metcalf Crusades -, gF, green patina, light earthen deposits, scratches, overstruck, edge split, weight 5.451 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, Edessa (Urfa, Turkey) mint, obverse KE- / BOHΘ / PIKAP/ΔW (Greek: Lord, help Richard) in four lines; reverse large cross potent, globule at the end of each arm, wedges in angles; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 19 (26 Feb 2022), lot 3485; very rare; $400.00 SALE PRICE $360.00


Crusaders, Principality of Antioch, Tancred, Regent, March 1101 - May 1103 and Late 1104 - December 1112

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Principality| |of| |Antioch,| |Tancred,| |Regent,| |March| |1101| |-| |May| |1103| |and| |Late| |1104| |-| |December| |1112||follis|
Tancred, a Norman leader of the 1st Crusade, became Prince of Galilee and regent of the Principality of Antioch when his uncle Bohemund was taken prisoner. He later took the County of Edessa when Baldwin II was captured, but Baldwin was released, defeated him and took it back. Tancred was made regent of Antioch again when Bohemund went to Europe to recruit more Crusaders. Tancred refused to honor a treaty in of fealty to the Byzantine Emperor, making Antioch independent, and ruled until his death in a typhoid epidemic.
CR111245. Bronze follis, Metcalf Crusades pl. 5, 82; Malloy Crusaders p. 199, 5; Schlumberger pl. II, 8, gF, well centered, green patina, light earthen deposits, scratches, edge splits, overstruck, weight 2.921 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Mar 1101 - Dec 1112; obverse facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with one pellet in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC-XC (Greek abbreviation: IHΣOUΣ XPIΣTOΣ - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse cross pomme, fleuronne at base, TA-NK/P-H in quarters; ex Morton & Eden auction 119 (6 Dec 2022), lot 333 (part of); $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Lysimacheia, Thracian Chersonese, c. 245 - 240 B.C.

|Lysimacheia|, |Lysimacheia,| |Thracian| |Chersonese,| |c.| |245| |-| |240| |B.C.||AE| |19|NEW
About 250 B.C. the Seleukid king Antiochos II invaded Thrace. About 245 B.C., after Antiochos was defeated, Lysimachia overstruck his bronze coins en mass, undoubtedly re-monetizing the demonetized Seleukid coins for a fee.

The Antiochos II undertype obverse was the diademed head of Apollo right. The reverse, a tripod above anchor, BASILEWS right, ANTIOXOY left, monograms outer left and right. Although traditionally attributed to Sardes, Houghton and Lorber suggest it may have been struck in Thrace.
GB111735. Bronze AE 19, MacDonald Overstruck p. 117 - 118, 91; cf. SNG Cop 917; BMC Thrace p. 195, 4; HGC 3.2 1500 (S); undertype: Houghton-Lorber I pp. 185, 525 ff., aVF, green patina, overstruck with strong undertype effects, weight 4.885 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Lysimacheia (Eksemil, Turkey) mint, c. 245 - 240 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; undertype: traces of inscription, feet of tripod and anchor remain; reverse ΛYΣIMAXIΩN, Nike standing left, holding wreath and palm branch; undertype: strong face of Apollo remains; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Crusaders, Principality of Antioch, Tancred, Regent, March 1101 - May 1103 and Late 1104 - December 1112

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Principality| |of| |Antioch,| |Tancred,| |Regent,| |March| |1101| |-| |May| |1103| |and| |Late| |1104| |-| |December| |1112||follis|
Tancred, a Norman leader of the 1st Crusade, became Prince of Galilee and regent of the Principality of Antioch when his uncle Bohemund was taken prisoner. He later took the County of Edessa when Baldwin II was captured, but Baldwin was released, defeated him and took it back. Tancred was made regent of Antioch again when Bohemund went to Europe to recruit more Crusaders. Tancred refused to honor a treaty in of fealty to the Byzantine Emperor, making Antioch independent, and ruled until his death in a typhoid epidemic.
CR111213. Bronze follis, Metcalf Crusades pl. 5, 82; Malloy Crusaders p. 199, 5; Schlumberger pl. II, 8, aVF, well centered on a broad flan, dark patina, earthen deposits, edge split, overstruck, weight 4.367 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Mar 1101 - Dec 1112; obverse facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with one pellet in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC-XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse cross pomme, fleuronne at base, TA-NK/P-H in quarters; ex Aphrodite Art Coins (Wiesbaden, Germany) auction VI (22 Oct 2022), lot 1085; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C., Overstrike

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint.
JD97681. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185b, Meshorer TJC T1, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 6184 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), aVF, highlighting red earthen deposits, weight 2.688 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 270o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over lily; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns, struck over anchor; from an Israeli collection; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C., Overstrike

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint.
JD97682. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185a, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 6184 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), aVF, overstruck and off center, weight 2.042 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over anchor; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C., Overstrike

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint.
JD97684. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185a, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 6184 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), gF, overstruck, highlighting earthen deposits (desert patina), remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 1.958 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over anchor; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C., Overstrike

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint.
JD97686. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185a, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 6184 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), aVF, overstruck, light earthen deposits, reverse edge beveled, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.597 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over anchor; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C., Overstrike

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint.
JD97426. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185b, Meshorer TJC T1, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 6184 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), VF, both undertype and overtype off center, dark patina, highlighting light earthen deposits, weight 1.589 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription in classic style: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over lily; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns, struck over anchor; from an Israeli collection; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00




  



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REFERENCES|

Curtis, C. "Colin Kraay's Explanation of the Phenomenon of Overstruck Reverses on Roman Imperial and Provincial Coins" in the Journal of Ancient Numismatics, Vol. 1, Issue 2, June/July 2008.
de Callata, F. "A Coin with the Legend ΘPAKΩN Overstruck on an Athenian Stephanophoros Tetradrachm of AΠEΛΛIKΩN-ΓOPΓIAΣ (88/7 BC) and its Consequences for the Thasian Type Coinage" in Studies Prokopov.
Emmons, B. "The overstruck coinage of Ptolemy I" in ANSMN 6 (1954), pp. 69 - 83.
MacDonald, D. Overstruck Greek Coins: Studies in Greek Chronology and Monetary Theory. (Atlanta, 2008).
Rosenberger, M. The Rosenberger Israel Collection Volume IV: The Coinage of Eastern Palestine, and legionary countermarks, Bar-Kochba overstruck. (Jerusalem, 1978).
Southerland, C. "'Carausius II', 'Censeris', and the Barbarous Fel. Temp. Reparatio Overstrikes" in NC 1945.
Stannard, C. "Overstrikes and imitative coinages in central Italy in the late Republic," in Essays Hirsch. (1998)

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