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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; $800.00 SALE PRICE $720.00


Crusaders, County of Edessa, Baldwin II, Second Reign, 1108 - 1118

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |County| |of| |Edessa,| |Baldwin| |II,| |Second| |Reign,| |1108| |-| |1118||follis|
Baldwin II was Count of Edessa from 1100 to 1118, and King of Jerusalem from 1118 until his death. He accompanied his cousins Godfrey of Bouillon and Baldwin of Boulogne to the Holy Land during the First Crusade.
CR98527. Bronze follis, Metcalf 115; Malloy Crusaders 12; Schlumberger pl. I, 12, aVF, light deposits, slightly rough, overstruck on an Islamic fals, weight 3.646 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Edessa (Urfa, Turkey) mint, 2nd reign, 1108 - 1118; obverse Count Baldwin standing facing, wearing helmet and chain armor, sword with blade upright in right hand, long cross in left hand, B/[∆-N] (Greek abbreviation: Baldwin) in fields; reverse nimbate bust of Christ facing, pellet in each arm of nimbus cruciger, [IC - XC] (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 16 (22 May 2021), lot 4212; $450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus III Botaniates, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

|Nicephorus| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |III| |Botaniates,| |7| |January| |1078| |-| |1| |April| |1081||follis|
After the inept rule of Michael VII led to several revolts, Nicephorus seized the capitol and was crowned emperor. His wife died shortly after. To gain the aura of royalty and the support of the powerful Ducas family, he married Michael's wife, Empress Maria of Alania (despite that her husband was still alive). Instead of strengthening his position, the marriage would lead to his downfall. In order to ensure the succession of her son Constantine, Empress Maria conspired with Alexius Comnenus to dispose of Nicephorus. Just as Nicephorus had banished Michael to a monastery, Alexius Comnenus banished Nicephorus to a monastery. He died soon after.
BZ99036. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 9, Morrisson BnF 56/Cp/AE/02, Wroth BMC 12, Ratto 2053, Sommer 56.5, SBCV 1888, VF, dark green patina, scratches, light deposits, overstruck (on anonymous follis class H?), weight 6.954 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse 3/4 length figure of Christ standing facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iησοúς Xριστος - Jesus Christ) above stars left and right; reverse cross with pellet at each end, eight ray star in circle at center, C - Φ / N − ∆ (Greek abbreviation: Σταυρε Φυλαττε Nικηφοπον ∆εσποτη - May the cross protect Despot Nicephorus) in the quarters of cross; from a Las Vegas dealer; rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.

|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||12| |nummi|
On 8 November 641, after a fourteen month siege, Alexandria capitulated to the Arab Muslims. In late 645 the Byzantines recaptured Alexandria but lost it again in May 646. This coin may have been struck either during the siege or during the short lived recovery. The last Byzantine attempt to recover Alexandria failed in 654.
BZ94898. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II-2 105; Morrisson BnF p. 350, 13/Al/AE/01; Hahn MIB 189; Ratto 1321 (Heraclius); SBCV 1027; Sommer 12.63; Wroth BMC -; Tolstoi -, gF, earthen deposits, overstruck, weight 7.571 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, Sep - Nov 641 and/or late 645 - May 646; obverse Constans II standing facing, beardless, wearing crown and chlamys, long cross in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand, no legend; reverse large I-B (12 nummi), divided by cross potent on globe, pellet outer right and outer left, AΛEZ (Alexandria) in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; rare; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.

|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||follis|
Sear notes this type is often overstruck on an early follis of Constans II, SBCV 1103.
BZ93533. Bronze follis, Anastasi 113; Tolstoi 187; Morrison BnF 13/Sy/AE/04; SBCV 1106; DOC II-2 177; Wroth BMC 349; Hahn MIB -; Sommer -; Ratto -, VF, overstruck on an earlier follis clipped to reduce the weight, green patina, bold strike but with strong undertype effects, ragged edge, weight 3.650 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Sicily, Syracuse mint, 648 - 650 A.D.; obverse no legend, bust of Constans facing, short beard, wearing crown and chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse large M (40 nummi), Kwnstans monogram above; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus I Lecapenus, 17 December 920 - 16 December 944 A.D.

|Constantine| |VII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |VII| |and| |Romanus| |I| |Lecapenus,| |17| |December| |920| |-| |16| |December| |944| |A.D.||follis|
Constantine VII became sole emperor while he was a minor. He was dominated by his regents and was not allowed to take part in government. His regent Romanus I was made co-emperor in 920. In 945 Romanus I was deposed by his sons who wanted the throne. Instead Constantine VII took control. Finally, when he was 40 years old, he had sole rule and real power.
BZ93544. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 25, Sommer 36.16, Morrisson BnF 37/Cp/AE/31, Wroth BMC 14, Ratto 1886, SBCV 1760; undertype: SBCV 1729 (Leo VI), VF, dark green patina with earthen highlights, strong undertype effects, weight 9.370 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 931 - 944 A.D.; obverse + RWmAn' bASILEVS RWM' (or similar), Romanus I facing, bearded, wearing jeweled chlamys and crown with cross, globus cruciger in left, transverse labarum in right; reverse + RWMA/n' En ΘEW bA/SILEVS RW/mAIWn in four lines; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $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 double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over anchor; from an Israeli collection; $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.
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 double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $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.
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 double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $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.
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 double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00




  



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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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