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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Byzantine Silver||View Options:  |  |  | 

Byzantine Silver Coins

The Byzantine Empire issued more gold, billion, and bronze coins than silver.

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.||hexagram|
Heraclius came to power through revolt against Phocas. He defeated the Sassanids, but this only facilitated the Arab conquests. The Byzantines lost Syria and Palestine before Heraclius died and Egypt fell soon after. Heraclius Constantine was made joint emperor at 8 months old. He was in poor health when his father died and lived only about 100 days as senior emperor.
BZ110679. Silver hexagram, DOC II-1 64, Wroth BMC 100, Morrisson BnF 10/Cp/AR/06, Tolstoi 216, Ratto 1390, Hahn MIB III 140, Sommer 11.47, SBCV 798, F, scratches, edge cracks, uneven weak strike, weight 6.540 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 615 - 638 A.D.; obverse dd NN hERACLIUS ET hERA CONSTI (Our lords, Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine), Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine enthroned facing, each holds globus cruciger, cross above; reverse dEUS AdIUTA ROmANIS (May God help the Romans), cross potent on globe above three steps, K right; Zeus Numismatics auction 25 (23 Oct 2022), lot 752; scarce; $95.00 (87.40)


Byzantine Empire, Justinian II, 10 July 685 - Late 695 and Summer 705 - 4 November 711 A.D.

|Justin| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |II,| |10| |July| |685| |-| |Late| |695| |and| |Summer| |705| |-| |4| |November| |711| |A.D.||hexagram|
Justinian II was an ambitious and passionate ruler who was keen to restore the Roman Empire to its former glories, but he responded brutally to any opposition to his will and lacked the finesse of his father, Constantine IV. Consequently, he generated enormous opposition to his reign, resulting in his deposition in 695 in a popular uprising. He only returned to the throne in 705 with the help of a Bulgar and Slav army. His second reign was even more despotic than the first, and it too saw his eventual overthrow in 711. He was abandoned by his army, who turned on him before killing him.
SL93536. Silver hexagram, SBCV 1259; DOC II-2 17; Hahn MIB 40; Wroth BMC 26; Tolstoi 74; Morrisson BnF -; Sommer -; Ratto -, NGC Ch VF, strike 3/5, surface 3/5 (6555578-002), weight 4.617 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 692 - 695 A.D.; obverse IhS CRISTVS REX REGNANTIVM (or similar), facing bust of Christ Pantokrator, cross behind his head, wearing pallium over colobium, raising right hand in benediction, book of Gospels in left hand; reverse D IVSTINIANUS SERU CHRIST (or similar), Justinian standing facing, wearing crown and loros, right hand holding shaft of cross potent set on two steps, akakia in left hand; NGC| Lookup; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil I Alexander & Leo VI, 867 - 886 A.D.

|Basil| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Basil| |I| |Alexander| |&| |Leo| |VI,| |867| |-| |886| |A.D.||miliaresion|
Leo VI was a scholar who had little time for foreign affairs, as a result the empire declined. The Bulgars and Arabs became problematic. He completed the legal system started by Basil. He married four times in the quest for a male heir, putting him in conflict with the church. He was eventually barred from attending St. Sophia.
SL49973. Silver miliaresion, DOC III-2 7; SBCV 1708, ICG AU55, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 868 - 879 A.D.; obverse IhSUS XRISTUS nICA (Jesus Christ Conquers), cross potent on three steps and globe; reverse + bASI/LIOS CE / CONStAN/tIN' PIStV / bASILIS / ROMEO, legend in six lines; ICG certified (slabbed); SOLD


Byzantine Empire, John I Tzimisces, 11 December 969 - 10 January 976 A.D.

|John| |I| |Tzimisces|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |I| |Tzimisces,| |11| |December| |969| |-| |10| |January| |976| |A.D.||miliaresion|
John I Tzimisces was the lover of Empress Theophano, which led to the murder of Emperor Nicephorus II and John's elevation to the throne. John introduced a follis that depicted a bust of Christ on the obverse and a religious inscription on the reverse. These types, referred to as anonymous folles because they do not identify the issuing emperor, would become the norm for bronze coinage during the following century.
SH06232. Silver miliaresion, DOC III-2 7a, Wroth BMC 5, Morrisson BnF 1, Ratto 1919, SBCV 1792, aEF, weight 3.53 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 969 - 976 A.D.; obverse + IhSUS XRISTUS nICA * (Jesus Christ Conquers), cross crosslet on globus above two steps, circular medallion at center containing crowned bust of John facing wearing loros, dividing the inscription I/W - A/n, triple border ornamented with eight equally spaced globules; reverse + Iwann'/ En Xw AVTO CRATEVSEb / bASILEVS / RWMAIW in five lines across field, decorative ornaments above and below, border as on obverse; from the Woolslayer Collection, ex Edward J. Waddell; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Manuel II Palaeologus, 25 September 1373 - 1423 A.D.

|Manuel| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Manuel| |II| |Palaeologus,| |25| |September| |1373| |-| |1423| |A.D.||half| |stavraton| |(Basileus| |series)|
After his older brother Andronikos IV tried to usurp their father's throne, Manuel II was made co-emperor and heir. In 1376 - 1379 and again in 1390 Andronikos IV and then his son John VII seized rule. Manuel defeated his nephew and restored his father's throne. He was then sent as a hostage to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, where he was forced to participate in the Ottoman campaign that reduced Philadelpheia, the last Byzantine enclave in Anatolia. After a five year Ottoman siege, in 1399 Manuel left for the European courts to seek aid. Relations between John VII and Manuel had improved and John VII was left as regent. The siege was lifted after the Mongols defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara. Taking advantage of the Ottoman civil war that followed and rival princes seeking friendship, John VII secured the return some lost territory including the city of Thessalonica. When Manuel returned home in 1403, his nephew retired to govern Thessalonica. Manuel was friendly with Mehmed I but after Mehmed died in 1421, the Ottomans assault began anew. Manuel relinquished most duties to his son and heir John VIII, and left again to seek aid. Unsuccessful, the Byzantines were forced to pay tribute to the sultan. Manuel II retired as a monk in 1423 and died on 21 July 1425.
SH73564. Silver half stavraton (Basileus series), quarter hyperpyron, sigla 17; Bendall PCPC 334.3; DOC V 1412 var. (obverse also has pellet right); Grierson 1517; Sommer 88.2; SBCV 2551, VF, weight 3.694 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Imperial mint, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1403 - c. 1415; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross nimbus with pellets in arms, tunic and himation, right raised in benediction, Gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) across field over K (or IK) left and lis right, double border with pellets between; reverse + MANOVHΛ BACIΛEVC O ΠAΛEOΛOΓO (King Manuel Palaeologus), bust of John VII facing, bearded, nimbate, crown with pendilia, pellet in left and right fields; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Manuel II Palaeologus, 25 September 1373 - 1423 A.D.

|Manuel| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Manuel| |II| |Palaeologus,| |25| |September| |1373| |-| |1423| |A.D.||half| |stavraton| |(Basileus| |series)|
After his older brother Andronikos IV tried to usurp their father's throne, Manuel II was made co-emperor and heir. In 1376 - 1379 and again in 1390 Andronikos IV and then his son John VII seized rule. Manuel defeated his nephew and restored his father's throne. He was then sent as a hostage to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, where he was forced to participate in the Ottoman campaign that reduced Philadelpheia, the last Byzantine enclave in Anatolia. After a five year Ottoman siege, in 1399 Manuel left for the European courts to seek aid. Relations between John VII and Manuel had improved and John VII was left as regent. The siege was lifted after the Mongols defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara. Taking advantage of the Ottoman civil war that followed and rival princes seeking friendship, John VII secured the return some lost territory including the city of Thessalonica. When Manuel returned home in 1403, his nephew retired to govern Thessalonica. Manuel was friendly with Mehmed I but after Mehmed died in 1421, the Ottomans assault began anew. Manuel relinquished most duties to his son and heir John VIII, and left again to seek aid. Unsuccessful, the Byzantines were forced to pay tribute to the sultan. Manuel II retired as a monk in 1423 and died on 21 July 1425.
SH73563. Silver half stavraton (Basileus series), quarter hyperpyron, sigla 21; Bendall PCPC 334.6; Grierson 1517; Sommer 88.2; SBCV 2551; DOC V 1419, VF, weight 3.815 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Imperial mint, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1403 - c. 1415; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross nimbus with pellets in arms, tunic and himation, right raised in benediction, Gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbr.: Jesus Christ) divided across field over lis left and pellet right, double border with pellets between; reverse + MANOVHΛ BACIΛEVC O ΠAΛEOΛOΓO (King Manuel Palaeologus), bust of John VII facing, bearded, nimbate, crown with pendilia, pellet in left and right fields; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Manuel II Palaeologus, 25 September 1373 - 1423 A.D.

|Manuel| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Manuel| |II| |Palaeologus,| |25| |September| |1373| |-| |1423| |A.D.||half| |stavraton| |(Basileus| |series)|
After his older brother Andronikos IV tried to usurp their father's throne, Manuel II was made co-emperor and heir. In 1376 - 1379 and again in 1390 Andronikos IV and then his son John VII seized rule. Manuel defeated his nephew and restored his father's throne. He was then sent as a hostage to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, where he was forced to participate in the Ottoman campaign that reduced Philadelphia, the last Byzantine enclave in Anatolia. After a five year Ottoman siege, in 1399 Manuel left for the European courts to seek aid. Relations between John VII and Manuel had improved and John VII was left as regent. The siege was lifted after the Mongols defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara. Taking advantage of the Ottoman civil war that followed and rival princes seeking friendship, John VII secured the return some lost territory including the city of Thessalonica. When Manuel returned home in 1403, his nephew retired to govern Thessalonica. Manuel was friendly with Mehmed I but after Mehmed died in 1421, the Ottomans assault began anew. Manuel relinquished most duties to his son and heir John VIII, and left again to seek aid. Unsuccessful, the Byzantines were forced to pay tribute to the sultan. Manuel II retired as a monk in 1423 and died on 21 July 1425.
SH83912. Silver half stavraton (Basileus series), quarter hyperpyron, sigla 37; Bendall PCPC 334.19; DOC V 1443; Grierson 1517; Sommer 88.2; SBCV 2551, EF, toned, irregular shaped flan, tiny edge split, reverse die crack, weight 3.650 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 45o, Imperial mint, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1403 - c. 1415; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross nimbus with pellets in arms, tunic and himation, right raised in benediction, Gospels in left, double border with pellets between, IC - XC flanking across field; reverse + MANOVHΛ BACIΛEVC O ΠAΛEOΛOΓO (King Manuel Palaeologus), bust of John VII facing, bearded, nimbate, crown with pendilia, pellet over B on left, pellet over reversed B on right; from the Robert Wachter Collection; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, John I Tzimisces, 11 December 969 - 10 January 976 A.D.

|John| |I| |Tzimisces|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |I| |Tzimisces,| |11| |December| |969| |-| |10| |January| |976| |A.D.||miliaresion|
John I Tzimisces was the lover of Empress Theophano, which led to the murder of Emperor Nicephorus II and John's elevation to the throne. John introduced a follis that depicted a bust of Christ on the obverse and a religious inscription on the reverse. These types, referred to as anonymous folles because they do not identify the issuing emperor, would become the norm for bronze coinage during the following century.
SH16902. Silver miliaresion, DOC III-2 7a, Wroth BMC 5 - 6, Morrisson BnF 1 - 7, Ratto 1919, SBCV 1792, gVF, weight 1.990 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 969 - 976 A.D.; obverse + IhSUS XRISTUS nICA * (Jesus Christ Conquers), cross crosslet on globus above two steps, circular medallion at center containing crowned bust of John facing wearing loros, dividing the inscription I/W - A/n, triple border ornamented with eight equally spaced globules; reverse + IWAnn'/ En Xw AVTO/CRAT' EVSEb / bASILEVS / RWMAIW' in five lines, decorative ornaments above and below, triple border ornamented with eight equally spaced globules; scarce; SOLD


Trebizond, John IV, 1446 - 1458

|Empire| |of| |Trebizond|, |Trebizond,| |John| |IV,| |1446| |-| |1458||asper|
In 1979 an American coin dealer bought a coin scale from a California collector who has acquired it from a dealer in Austria. In the scale the dealer found a secret drawer which contained 167 coins, of which 164 were aspers of Trebizond. The hoard was purchased, analyzed and offered for sale by Alex Malloy in 1980. This coin was not offered in his sale.

The coin comes with a copy of Alex Malloy's catalog, Medieval Coins XVII, 1980, which includes Malloy's analysis of the Austrian Scale Hoard of Late Trebizond Aspers.

Prior to distribution of this hoard, the only published specimens of this type were in the Hermitage in Leningrad and there were none in the British Museum.
ME46264. Silver asper, Austrian Scale Hoard of Late Trebizond Aspers, p. 8, class II, 143 in Malloy Medieval Coins XVII, 1980, VF, weight 0.833 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 315o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1446 - 1458; obverse John on horseback right, head facing; reverse Saint Eugenius on horseback right, head facing; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Manuel II Palaeologus, 25 September 1373 - 1423 A.D.

|Manuel| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Manuel| |II| |Palaeologus,| |25| |September| |1373| |-| |1423| |A.D.||half| |stavraton| |(Basileus| |series)|
After his older brother Andronikos IV tried to usurp their father's throne, Manuel II was made co-emperor and heir. In 1376 - 1379 and again in 1390 Andronikos IV and then his son John VII seized rule. Manuel defeated his nephew and restored his father's throne. He was then sent as a hostage to the court of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, where he was forced to participate in the Ottoman campaign that reduced Philadelphia, the last Byzantine enclave in Anatolia. After a five year Ottoman siege, in 1399 Manuel left for the European courts to seek aid. Relations between John VII and Manuel had improved and John VII was left as regent. The siege was lifted after the Mongols defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara. Taking advantage of the Ottoman civil war that followed and rival princes seeking friendship, John VII secured the return some lost territory including the city of Thessalonica. When Manuel returned home in 1403, his nephew retired to govern Thessalonica. Manuel was friendly with Mehmed I but after Mehmed died in 1421, the Ottomans assault began anew. Manuel relinquished most duties to his son and heir John VIII, and left again to seek aid. Unsuccessful, the Byzantines were forced to pay tribute to the sultan. Manuel II retired as a monk in 1423 and died on 21 July 1425.
BZ86362. Silver half stavraton (Basileus series), quarter hyperpyron, sigla 38; Bendall PCPC 334.20 (same rev. die), DOC V 1447 (same), Lianta 943 (same), Grierson 1517, Sommer 88.2, SBCV 2551, VF, centered on a tight flan, scrape, corrosion/porosity, edge cracks, weight 3.580 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Imperial mint, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1403 - c. 1415; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross nimbus with pellets in arms, tunic and himation, right raised in benediction, Gospels in left, double border with pellets between, IC - XC flanking across field, pellet above and below XC in right field; reverse + MANOVHΛ BACIΛEVC O ΠAΛEOΛOΓO (King Manuel Palaeologus), bust of John VII facing, bearded, nimbate, crown with pendilia, pellet over B on left, pellet over reversed B on right; scarce; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Bates, G. Archaeological Exploration of Sardis: Byzantine Coins. Sardis Monograph 1. (Cambridge, 1971).
Bellinger, A. & P. Grierson, eds. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. (Washington D.C., 1966 - 1999).
Bendall, S. & P. Donald. Later Palaeologan Coinage, 1282-1453. (London, 1979).
Feg, F. Corpus of the Nomismata from Anastasius II to John I in Constantinople, 713 - 976. (2007).
Feg, F. "Vom Umgang mit Zufall und Wahrscheinlichkeit in der Numismatischen Forschung" in SNR 76 (1997).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1999).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973-81).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Hennequin, G. Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la Bibliotheque Nationale. (Paris, 1985).
Lianta, E. Late Byzantine Coins, 1204 - 1453, in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. (London, 2009).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Mnzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Mnzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Retowski, O. Die Mnzen der Komnenen von Trapezunt. (Braunschweig, 1974).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea, and Trebizond in the British Museum. (London, 1911).

Catalog current as of Friday, September 22, 2023.
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