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

Graffiti on Ancient Coins

Ancient people would sometimes scratch their initials or other marks on their coins.

|Graffiti|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||solidus|
In 650 A.D., the first Chinese paper money was issued.
SH70058. Gold solidus, SBCV 953; Hahn MIB 20; Sommer 12.12; DOC II-2 16 var. (officina not listed); Morrisson BnF -; Wroth BM; Tolstoi -; Ratto -, VF, graffiti (includes KΓ obverse left, CEVHPOC = Severus in exergue), weight 4.386 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 225o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 650 - 651 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTINVS P P AVG, bust facing with short beard and moustache, wearing crown and chlamys, and holding globus cruciger; reverse VICTORIA AVGY Δ (victory of the Emperor, 4th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; scarce officina; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.||stater|
Struck at Amphipolis under Antipator. When Alexander the Great set out on his Asiatic expedition in 334 B.C., Antipater was left behind as regent in Macedonia and strategos of Europe. After Alexander died, the regent, Perdiccas, left Antipater in control of Greece.
SL87034. Gold stater, Price 164, Mller Alexander 2, SNG Cop 625, NGC AU, strike 5/5, surface 4/5, light graffiti (2818437-001); attractive style, weight 8.60 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 270o, Amphipolis mint, possibly a lifetime issue, c. 325 - 319 B.C; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and triple-crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake, light graffito X below chin; reverse ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ, Nike standing left, wreath in right hand, stylis in left, fulmen (thunderbolt) in left field; NGC| Lookup; SOLD


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C., C. Cossutius Maridianus

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.,| |C.| |Cossutius| |Maridianus||denarius|
This coin was struck about a month after Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15 (the Ides of March) by a group of senators, among them Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus, and Caesar's Massilian naval commander, Decimus Brutus. In April, about the time this coin was struck, Octavian returned from Apollonia in Dalmatia to Rome to take up Caesar's inheritance, against advice from Atia (his mother and Caesar's niece) and consular stepfather Antony.
SH26589. Silver denarius, Crawford 480/19, Sydenham 1069, RSC I Julius Caesar 8, Sear CRI 112, SRCV I 1422, nice VF, superb portrait, some mint luster in recesses, light toning, small punch and light graffiti on reverse, weight 3.624 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, C. Cossutius Maridianus, moneyer, Rome mint, posthumous, Apr 44 B.C.; obverse CAESAR PARENS PATRIAE (Caesar father of the country), wreathed and veiled head of Caesar right, lituus below chin, apex behind; reverse C COSSVTIVS / MARID-IANVS (moneyer's name) arranged in form of cross, A - A - A - F F (Auro, Argento, Aere, Flando, Feriundo) in the angles; a superb example of this type sold in June 2014 for $67,500 plus auction fees!; scarce; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III and Alexander IV, 323 - 315 B.C., Types of Philip II

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |323| |-| |315| |B.C.,| |Types| |of| |Philip| |II||tetradrachm|
Philip II coin types remained prominent in the northern regions of the Macedonian Kingdom long after his death. This coin was struck after Alexander's death when the kingdom was nominally ruled by Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother Philip III Arrhidaeus, son of Philip II and Philinna, and Alexander IV, the great conqueror's young son. The two were made joint kings by Alexander's generals who only used them as pawns. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia, and in 317 B.C. he was executed under orders from Olympias. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C.
SH72301. Silver tetradrachm, Le Rider p. 68 and pl. 22, 530 (D281/R437); SNG Lockett 1414, SNG ANS 450 var. (shield under foreleg), SNG Alpha Bank 276 var. (same), SNG Saroglos -, aEF, excellent centering, graffiti, weight 13.299 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 135o, Macedonia, Pella mint, c. 323 - 315 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ, nude youth pacing right on horseback, palm frond in right, reins in left, coiled snake below, Boeotian shield in exergue; SOLD


Honorius, 23 January 393 - 15 August 423 A.D.

|Honorius|, |Honorius,| |23| |January| |393| |-| |15| |August| |423| |A.D.||solidus|
In 402, The Visigoths advanced on Milan and laid siege to Asti in Liguria. King Alaric I sent envoys to negotiate, but the Romans refused. Stilicho recalled troops from Britain and the Rhine frontier to defend Italy. On 6 April, Easter Sunday, Stilicho attacked the Goths in the Battle of Pollentia and captured Alaric's wife and children. In 403, The Visigoths invaded Italy again. Stilicho, with an army of 30,000 men, defeated the Goths in June at the Battle of Verona. Alaric made a truce and withdrew eastward to Illyricum. Honorius and Stilicho were honored with a triumphal march - the last triumph ever celebrated by the Empire in Rome.
SH26061. Gold solidus, RIC IX Mediolanum 35(c) (S); RIC X Honorius 1206; Depeyrot p. 171, 16/2; Ulrich-Bansa Moneta 61; DOCLR 712; SRCV V 20916; Cohen VIII 44, Choice EF, mint luster, perfect centering, light graffiti on reverse, weight 4.429 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 395 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing half right, treading on captive with left foot, standard in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in his left hand, M-D across field, COMOB in exergue; SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D.

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.||denarius|
"The Julian Star" appeared in the sky during the funeral games for Julius Caesar in July 44 B.C. It was a comet and the Romans believed it was a divine manifestation of the apotheosis of Julius Caesar.
SH26033. Silver denarius, RIC I 37a, BMCRE I 323, RSC I 98, aVF, banker's marks, graffiti, weight 3.520 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza, Spain) mint, 19 - 18 B.C.; obverse CAESAR AVGVSTVS, head of Augustus left, wearing oak wreath (corona civitas); reverse comet of eight rays, a central dot and flaming tail upwards, DIVVS - IVLIVS horizontal divided flanking across the field at center; ex CNG; SOLD


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

|Theodosius| |II|, |Theodosius| |II,| |10| |January| |402| |-| |28| |July| |450| |A.D.||solidus|
The solidus weighed 1/72 of the Roman pound. "OB" was both an abbreviation for the word obryzum, which means refined or pure gold, and is the Greek numeral 72. Thus the exergue of this coin may be read "1/72 pound pure gold." -- "Byzantine Coinage" by Philip Grierson
SH62359. Gold solidus, RIC X Theodosius II 257, aEF, graffiti on obverse, weight 4.469 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 430 - 440 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield decorated with a horseman riding down enemy on his left arm; reverse VOT XXX MVLT XXXX Γ, Constantinopolis enthroned left, globus cruciger in right hand, scepter in left hand, foot on a prow, left elbow resting on shield, star right, CONOB in exergue; SOLD







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