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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 ∆ (victory of the Emperor, 4th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; scarce officina; SOLD


|Graffiti|, |Gratian,| |24| |August| |367| |-| |25| |August| |383| |A.D.||maiorina|
The actual denomination of this type is unknown. AE 2 means, bronze size 2. This is a modern designation used by Roman coin collectors. AE 2 is a larger denomination than most coins of the period (AE3s and AE4s).
RL91661. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Alexandria 6a, SRCV V 20001, LRBC II 2875, Cohen VIII 25, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, mild crackled corrosion, weight 5.661 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, helmeted, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right holding spear; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), emperor standing facing in a galley left, head right, raising right hand, Victory seated at the helm steering, wreath left, ALEA in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; 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


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


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

|Heraclius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Heraclius| |&| |Heraclius| |Constantine,| |23| |January| |613| |-| |11| |January| |641| |A.D.||solidus|
In 632, Heraclonas, Heraclius younger son, was designated Caesar and added to the coinage. Heraclonas was seven years old. The Heraclian monogram on the reverse replaces the more typical obverse inscription.
SH56780. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 76; Tolstoi 410; DOC II-1 44f (no examples in the collection, refs Wroth and Tolstoi); SBCV 770; Hahn MIB 53, gVF, light graffiti, weight 4.390 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 639(?) - 641; obverse Heraclius with long beard and mustache between his sons, Heraclonas on left and Heraclius Constantine on right, all stand facing, each wears crown and chlamys and holds globus cruciger in right; reverse VICTORIA AVGu H (victory of the Emperor, 8th officina), cross potent on three steps, Heraclian monogram left, E right, CONOB in exergue, light graffiti in right field; nicely centered, luster in fields; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I Comnenus, 4 April 1081 - 15 August 1118 A.D.

|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I| |Comnenus,| |4| |April| |1081| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.||hyperpyron|
Plovdiv was originally a Thracian city before later becoming a Greek city, and then a major Roman city. In the Middle Ages, it retained its strategic regional importance, changing hands between the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. Around 1000 A.D., Philippopolis became the administrative seat of a newly created Byzantine théma with the same name. In 1180, Aime de Varennes encountered the singing of Byzantine songs in the city that recounted the deeds of Alexander the Great and Philip of Macedonia, over 1300 years before. In 1364, the Ottoman Turks under Lala Shakhin Pasha seized Plovdiv. The Turks called the city Filibe, derived from "Philip."
SH73347. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-1 20o.1; Wroth BMC 3; Hendy pl. 5, 11; Sommer 59.29; SBCV 1935; Morrisson BnF -; Berk -; Ratto -, gVF, scyphate, bold reverse, flattened, graffiti in reverse margin, weight 4.370 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 180o, Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) mint, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse KE RO-HΘEI (Lord, help [Alexius]), IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), Christ enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left, double border; reverse A/ΛC/ZI/W / ∆CC/ ΠO/T - TW / KO/MNH/N (Z reversed, MNH ligate), Alexius standing facing, wearing chlamys, four jewels on collar, no jewels along the bottom edge of the chlamys, labarum scepter with no dot on shaft in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, manus Dei (hand of God) above right; this is the first ever Byzantine coin from the Philippopolis mint handled by Forum!; extremely rare; SOLD


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

|Focas|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Focas,| |23| |November| |602| |-| |5| |October| |610| |A.D.||solidus|
The last recorded act of the Senate of the Western Roman Empire in Rome was to acclaimed new statues of Emperor Phocas and Empress Leontia in 603. The institution must have vanished by 630 when the Curia was transformed into a church by Pope Honorius I. The Senate at Constantinople continued to exist in the Eastern Roman Empire's capital until at least the mid-14th century when the ancient institution finally vanished from history.
SH56795. Gold solidus, DOC II-1 5j; Morrisson BnF 8/Cp/AV/10; Wroth BMC 26; Ratto 1198; Hahn MIB II 7; Sommer 9.6; SBCV 618; Tolstoi -, VF, wavy flan, graffiti on obv, weight 4.316 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 603 - 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 (victory of the two emperors) I, angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; SOLD


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

|Focas|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Focas,| |23| |November| |602| |-| |5| |October| |610| |A.D.||solidus|
The Column of Phocas at Rome was erected before the Rostra and dedicated to the Emperor on 1 August 608. It was the last addition made to the Forum Romanum. The Corinthian column has a height of 13.6 m (44 ft). Both the column and the marble socle were recycled from earlier use. It still stands in its original location, but the statue that was once on top was probably taken down soon after Phocus' death. An English translation of the inscription follows: To the best, most clement and pious ruler, our lord Phocas the perpetual emperor, crowned by God, the forever august triumphator, did Smaragdus, former praepositus sacri palatii and patricius and Exarch of Italy, devoted to His Clemency for the innumerable benefactions of His Piousness and for the peace acquired for Italy and its freedom preserved, this statue of His Majesty, blinking from the splendor of gold here on this tallest column for his eternal glory erect and dedicate, on the first day of the month of August, in the eleventh indiction in the fifth year after the consulate of His Piousness.Column of Phocas
SH56805. Gold solidus, DOC II-1 10e.1; Morrisson BnF 8/Cp/AV/12; Wroth BMC 10; Tolstoi 8; Ratto 1181; Hahn MIB II 9; Sommer 9.8; SBCV 620, EF, graffiti, weight 4.405 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 195o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 607 - 609 A.D.; obverse d 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 AVGY E (victory of the Emperor, 5th officina), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II| |and| |Constantine| |IV,| |13| |April| |654| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||solidus|
In 655, Constans II personally commanded the Byzantine fleet of 500 ships in the Battle of the Masts. He sailed to the province of Lycia (Turkey) in the southern region of Asia Minor. The two forces meet off the coast of Mount Phoenix, near the harbour of Phoenix (modern Finike). The Arabs under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad were victorious, but losses were heavy for both sides. Constans barely escaped back to Constantinople.
SH70031. Gold solidus, DOC II-2 27f; SBCV 961; Hahn MIB III 27; Sommer 12.20; Morrisson BnF -; Wroth BMC -; Tolstoi -; Ratto -, aEF, graffiti on obverse and reverse, weight 4.436 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINuS E CONSTAI, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGY H (victory of the Emperor, 8th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB+ in ex; SOLD


Octavian, Triumvir, Consul, and Imperator, Autumn 31 - Summer 30 B.C.

|Octavian|, |Octavian,| |Triumvir,| |Consul,| |and| |Imperator,| |Autumn| |31| |-| |Summer| |30| |B.C.||denarius|
This type celebrates Octavian's victory, defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium.
SH76225. Silver denarius, RIC I 254b, RSC I 64, BnF I 36, Sear Imperators 407, BMCRE I 603, BMCRR I Rome 4339, SRCV I 1552, VF, toned, broad oval flan, punch, graffiti, marks, scratches - yet, attractive, weight 3.523 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, Italian (Rome?) mint, autumn 31 - summer 30 B.C.; obverse bare head left, no legend, linear border; reverse Victory standing left on globe, extending wreath in right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left hand, CAESAR - DIVI•F divided across field, linear border; SOLD







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