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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Mints| ▸ |Nicomedia||View Options:  |  |  |   

Nicomedia, Bithynia (Izmit, Turkey)

Nicomedia, Bithynia (in Asia Minor, on the Black Sea) was described by ancient writers as a city of superior size and magnificence, ranking next to Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch in the splendor and beauty of its buildings. Diocletian worked to make Nicomedia the equal of Rome itself. Dates of operation: 294 - c. 474 A.D. (reopened as a Byzantine mint, 498 - 627). Mintmarks: MN, N, NIC, NICO, NIK, SMN.


Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D.

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During the Empire, Nicomedia was a cosmopolitan and commercially prosperous city which received all the amenities appropriate for a major Roman city. Nicomedia was well known for having a bountiful water supply from two to three aqueducts, one of which was built in Hellenistic times. Pliny the Younger complains in his epistulae to Trajan, written in 110 A.D., that the Nicomedians wasted 3,518,000 sesterces on an unfinished aqueduct which twice ran into engineering troubles. Trajan instructs him to take steps to complete the aqueduct, and to investigate possible official corruption behind the large waste of money. Under Trajan, there was also a large Roman garrison. Other public amenities included a theater, a colonnaded street typical of Hellenistic cities and a forum.
SH37578. Gold solidus, RIC IX Nicomedia 2(b)2, VF, a few marks, weight 4.462 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE, emperor standing facing, head right, labarum in right, Victory on globe in left hand, SMNS in exergue; ex CNG 174, Lot: 237 (sold for $990 plus fees) ; rare; SOLD


Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D.

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A major earthquake, however, on 24 August 358, caused extensive devastation to Nicomedia, and was followed by a fire which completed the catastrophe. Nicomedia was rebuilt, but on a smaller scale. In the sixth century under Emperor Justinian I the city was extended with new public buildings. Situated on the roads leading to the capital, the city remained a major military center, playing an important role in the Byzantine campaigns against the Caliphate. From inscriptions we learn that in the later period of the empire Nicomedia enjoyed the honor of a Roman colony.
SH56284. Gold solidus, Depeyrot 12/1, RIC IX Nicomedia 2(b) var. (officina, no pellet); officina letter re-engraved over A(?), VF, scratches, graffiti, weight 4.408 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 364 - 365 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, rosette diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR REIPVLICAE, emperor standing facing in military garb, head right, labarum (chi rho Christogram standard) in right, Victory on globe presenting wreath and holding palm frond, SMNB in exergue; graffiti X - IV; ex CNG, ex Deyo Collection, ex Royal Coin Co. (1950s?); SOLD


Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D.

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In 395, after the death of Theodosius I, the Empire was re-divided into an eastern and a western half. The eastern half, centered in Constantinople, was under Arcadius, and the western half, centered in Rome, was under his brother, Honorius.
SH11114. Gold solidus, RIC IX Nicomedia 2(a), F, clipped, punch and graffiti, weight 3.345 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE, emperor standing facing, head right, holding labarum and Victory on globe, SMNE in exergue; rare (R2); SOLD


Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.

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The common belief which identifies the bull with the Apis bull is probably wrong. An interesting passage from Dio Chrysostom compares a good ruler to a bull. Also, Julian was most likely born in May, in the sign of Taurus. The stars are probably the two important star clusters in Taurus, Pleiades and Hyades. Taurus or Apis, this bull is pagan and this coin was the last pagan coin type issued by the Empire.
RL54951. Billon double maiorina, RIC VIII Nicomedia 122, Choice VF, weight 8.174 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 360 - 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVB (security of the Republic), bull standing right, two stars above, NIKΓē between branches in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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The labarum, was a type of Roman cavalry standard, a vexillum with a military ensign marked with the Christogram (Greek monogram of Christ). It was an object of religious veneration amongst the soldiers, who paid it divine honors.
RL76208. Billon light maiorina, RIC VIII Nicomedia 67, LRBC II 2289, SRCV V 18232, Cohen VII 39, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, some silvering, weight 4.213 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 348 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust left, globe in right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), emperor standing left, labarum in right hand, resting left hand on shield, stepping on two kneeling barbarians, SMNΓ in exergue; SOLD


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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This coin is a "mule," a mint error where dies are incorrectly paired. The reverse reads PROVIDENTIA CAESS, a legend appropriate for a coin depicting one of the two Caesars on the obverse (Constantine's sons). But the reverse is not appropriate for Constantine, who was not Caesar, but was Augustus.
RL19187. Billon centenionalis, unlisted hybrid, cf. RIC Nicomedia VII 121 (obverse) and 124 (reverse), Choice VF, weight 3.492 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PROVIDENTIA CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), campgate with two towers, star above, MNS in exergue; very rare; SOLD


Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D.

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RT91232. Billon follis, RIC VI Nicomedia 27a, Hunter V 78, SRCV IV 12788, Cohen VI 106, Choice EF, bold full borders strike, most silvering remains, excellent portrait, attractive reverse, round flan, very light encrustations, weight 9.793 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 294 - 295 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, SMN in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 76 (7 Apr 2019), part of lot 942; SOLD


Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.

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The common belief which identifies the bull with the Apis bull is probably wrong. An interesting passage from Dio Chrysostom compares a good ruler to a bull. Also, Julian was most likely born in May, in the sign of Taurus. The stars are probably the two important star clusters in Taurus, Pleiades and Hyades. Taurus or Apis, this bull is pagan and this coin was the last pagan coin type issued by the Empire.
RL34857. Billon double maiorina, RIC VIII Nicomedia 121, VF, black patina with earthen highlighting, weight 7.920 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 360 - 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVB (security of the Republic), bull standing right, two stars above, NIKΓ between branches in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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RIC VI 69c, struck c. 311 A.D. has an eagle at feet at Jupiter's feet. The eagle was removed on the next issue, RIC VI 79, c. 312 - 313 A.D., but a star was added in the field and, more significant, none were issued for Constantine. A later issue, RIC VII 12, c. 313 - 317, again included the eagle.
RL20052. Billon follis, RIC -, cf. RIC VI 69c (eagle at feet on reverse), RIC VI 79 (Maximinus), RIC VII 12 (eagle), VF+, weight 4.995 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 311 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left holding Victory on globe and scepter, wearing chlamys hanging low, B right, SMN in exergue; very rare; SOLD


Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.

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This issue has two regular obverse legends: unbroken FL IVL CRISPVS CAES (RIC VII 91) and broken FL IVL CRIS-PVS NOB C (RIC VII 92). It seems that on this die, the engraver attempted the broken legend but then realized he crowded the letters and decided to add from C to CAES - but this time he ran out of space and the legend ended in the unusual CAE.
RL29434. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Nicomedia 92 var. (obv. legend), SRCV IV 16806 var. (same), Cohen VII 125 var. (same), EF, weight 2.893 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), campgate with two turrets, no door, star above, SMNB in exergue; very rare; SOLD




  




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Catalog current as of Monday, December 9, 2019.
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Nicomedia