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

Byzantine Gold Coins

Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire to the former Byzantium in Thrace and renamed it Constantinopolis, present day Istanbul, Turkey. Numismatists, for convenience, have arbitrarily categorized coins from Anastasius I and after as Byzantine coins. Numismatists use Anastasius as the beginning of Byzantine because he dramatically reformed the bronze coinage. A significant minority of numismatists pick an earlier time and ruler, often Constantine the Great, as the dividing time between the Roman and Byzantine empires, because most coins were issued from Constantinople, or since it became the seat of government. Although the citizens generally spoke Greek, they considered themselves Roman for the entire Byzantine period, making our division of the empire an entirely modern convention.

Byzantine Empire, Constantine X Ducas, 25 December 1059 - 21 May 1067 A.D.

|Constantine| |X|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |X| |Ducas,| |25| |December| |1059| |-| |21| |May| |1067| |A.D.||histamenon| |nomisma|
About 1060 A.D. the Spanish Jew Benjamin of Tudela reported that Constantinople had merchant communities from Babylon, Canaan, Egypt, Hungary, Persia, Russia, Sennar, and Spain, as well as 2,000 Jews.
SH99272. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 1a.; Wroth BMC 3; Morrisson BnF 51/Cp/AV/03; SBCV 1847; Sommer 52.1; Ratto 2010, gVF, flattened scyphate, flow lines, scratches, mild die wear, weight 4.194 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 25 Dec 1059 - 21 May 1067 A.D.; obverse +IhS XPS REX REGNANTInm (Jesus Christ King of Kings), Christ seated facing on square-backed throne, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising hand in benediction, Gospels in left, double border; reverse +KWN RAC Λ O ∆OVKAC, Constantine standing facing on footstool, bearded, wearing crown, sakkos and loros, labarum with pellet on shaft in right hand, globus cruciger in left, double border; $700.00 (665.00)


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

|Justinian| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |II,| |10| |July| |685| |-| |Late| |695| |and| |Summer| |705| |-| |4| |November| |711| |A.D.||solidus|
The portrait on this coin was based on an icon believed by the people of the time to bear a miraculous resemblance to Christs actual appearance.
SH21619. Gold solidus, DOC II-2 2b, Wroth BMC 1, Morrisson BnF 15/Cp/AV/12, Tolstoi 1, Ratto 1705, Hahn MIB 2b, Sommer 17.3, SBCV 1415, EF, weight 4.239 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 705 - 711 A.D.; obverse O N IhS ChS REX REGNANTIYM, bust of Christ facing, curly hair, short beard, wearing pallium and colobium, Gospels in left, cross behind head; reverse IYSTINIANYS ET TIbERIYS PP A, Justinian (on left) and Tiberius, half-length facing, each wears crown, divitision and chlamys, holding cross potent on three steps in center; very rare; SOLD


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

|Justinian| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |II,| |10| |July| |685| |-| |Late| |695| |and| |Summer| |705| |-| |4| |November| |711| |A.D.||tremissis|
Justinian II was the first emperor to put Christ on his coins.

In 692, a Byzantine army under general Leontios was defeated at Sebastopolis (in modern Turkey) by Arab forces led by Muhammad ibn Marwan. During the battle a force of about 20,000 Slavs deserted the Byzantine army and joined the Muslim Arabs. Cyprus and the last remaining Byzantine holdings east of the Taurus Mountains were lost.
SH70974. Gold tremissis, DOC II-2 14; Wroth BMC 22 - 23; Tolstoi 60 - 63; Ratto 1691; Hahn MIB 16; Sommer 14.8; SBCV 1256, VF, areas of flat strike, weight 1.355 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, first reign, c. 692 - 695 A.D.; obverse IhS CRISTOS REX REGNANTIYM, facing bust of Christ, cross behind head, long hair and full beard, wearing pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left; reverse D IYSTINI-ANYS SERY ChRISTI, Justinian standing facing, wearing crown with cross and loros, long cross potent on globe on base in right, akakia in left; ex CNG auction 203 (28 Jan 2009), lot 494; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Romanus I and Christopher, 921 - 931 A.D.

|Romanus| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Romanus| |I| |and| |Christopher,| |921| |-| |931| |A.D.||solidus|
The throne depicted on the obverse is also depicted in the Narthex Mosaic, at Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, from the late 9th or early 10th century A.D.
SH31260. Gold solidus, DOC III-2 7; Berk 276; SBCV 1745, gVF, weight 4.196 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 921 - 931 A.D.; obverse +IhS XPS REX REGNANTInm, Christ enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium and raising right in benediction, holding gospels in left hand, the throne has a lyre back and is ornamented with pearls; reverse ROman Et XRISTOFO AYGGb (or similar), facing busts of Romanus I, with short beard on left, and Christopher (his son-in-law), beardless on right, Romanus wears loros, Christopher wears chlamys, and they hold a long patriarchal cross between them; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VIII, 15 December 1025 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

|Constantine| |VIII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |VIII,| |15| |December| |1025| |-| |11| |November| |1028| |A.D.||histamenon| |nomisma|
SH21620. Gold histamenon nomisma, SBCV 1815; DOC III-2 2, Choice EF, weight 4.391 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse + IhS XPS REX REGNANTINM, Christ Pantocrator with gospels; reverse + CWNSTANTIN BASILEWS ROM, bust facing, wearing crown and loros, labarum in right, akakia in left; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Leontius, 695 - 698 A.D.

|Leontius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Leontius,| |695| |-| |698| |A.D.||solidus|
Leontius' success as a general forced the Arab Caliph Abd al-Malik to make concessions and pay tribute to Emperor Justinian II; but when war was renewed, Leontius was defeated. Furious over the loss, Justinian imprisoned him for two years. When he was freed, Leontius and his former prison comrades organized a revolt, and he took the throne. Justinian was deposed, his nose and tongue were slit and he was exiled to a monastery. After the Arabs took Carthage, the fleet Leontius sent to retake the city failed. Rather than report defeat to the emperor, the army overthrew their admiral and named Apsimar, a Germanic sailor, as their leader. Apsimar changed his name to Tiberius, returned to Constantinople, seized the thrown, cut off Leontius' nose and ears and exiled him to a monastery. In 705, Justinian II returned to Constantinople with an army of Bulgars and Slavs. Both Leontius and Tiberius were dragged through the streets in chains and beheaded.
SH89538. Gold solidus, DOC II-2 1b, Morrisson BnF 16/Cp/AV/02, SBCV 1330, Hahn MIB III 1, Sommer 15.1, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, EF, mint luster, flow lines, uneven strike with part of obverse legend and mintmark weak, obverse off center, die wear, tight flan, weight 4.319 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 695 - 698 A.D.; obverse D LEO-N PE AV, bearded facing bust, wearing loros and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVSY S, cross potent set on three step, CONOB in exergue; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 1 August 527 - 14 November 565 A.D., minted at Rome by Belisaurius

|Justinian| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justinian| |I,| |1| |August| |527| |-| |14| |November| |565| |A.D.,| |minted| |at| |Rome| |by| |Belisaurius||solidus|
Tradition tells us that the Roman Empire ended in 476 A.D. when Romulus Augustus was deposed and the barbarian Odovacar became king in Italy. This coin, however, was minted in Rome for the emperor of the Romans about 75 years after the "fall of the Roman Empire." Between 536 and 540 Belisaurius recaptured Rome for the Empire. A closer look at history sometime complicates rather than clarifies.

The figure on the reverse is an Angel, not Victory as on the reverse of many Roman and Byzantine coins. The difference - Victory is female but angels are male.
SH06196. Gold solidus, SBCV 291 variant, DOC I 320c1, Hahn MIB I 34/4, Berk -, aEF, weight 4.42 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 185o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 542 - 546 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS PP AG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, globus cruciger in right, shield decorated with horseman on left shoulder; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG A (victory of the three emperors, 1st officina), Angel standing facing holding long cross in right and globus cruciger in left, star right, COMOB exergue; from the Woolslayer Collection, ex Edward J. Waddell; rare; 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|
 
SH10981. Gold solidus, DOC II-1 8e; Wroth BMC 18 - 21; Sommer 11.6.1; Morrisson BnF 12 - 13; Ratto 1359; Hahn MIB 8a; SBCV 734; Tolstoi -, Superb EF, weight 4.415 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 613 - 616 A.D.; obverse dd NN hERACLIuS et hERA CONSt pp AVG, facing busts of Heraclius, on left with short beard, and his son Heraclius Constantine, beardless and smaller, each wearing an elaborate crown with cross, cross between them above; reverse VICTORIA AVGu E (victory of the Emperor, 5th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; sharp, bold strike, ex Tom Cederlind; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VIII, 15 December 1025 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

|Constantine| |VIII|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |VIII,| |15| |December| |1025| |-| |11| |November| |1028| |A.D.||histamenon| |nomisma|
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.
SH18994. Gold histamenon nomisma, SBCV 1815; DOC III-2 2, gVF, weight 4.380 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse IhS XPS REX REGNANTINM, Christ Pantocrator with gospels; reverse CWNSTANTIN BASILEWS ROM, bust facing, wearing crown and loros, labarum in right, akakia in left; from the Woolslayer Collection; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justin II, 15 November 565 - 5 October 578 A.D.

|Justin| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justin| |II,| |15| |November| |565| |-| |5| |October| |578| |A.D.||solidus|
Justin was unable to hold the territory Justinian had restored. Most of Italy and parts of Spain were quickly lost to the Lombards and Visigoths. Refusal to pay tribute to the Sassanids, resulted in protracted war. The burdens of office drove him insane and his successor was regent for the last four years of his reign.
SH90893. Gold solidus, Hahn MIB II 14 (Alexandria), SBCV 347A (Constantinople, but Alexandria noted as a possibility), Berk 63, DOC I -, aEF, small marks and scratches, weight 4.473 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, c. 567 - 578 A.D.; obverse D N I-VSTI-NVS P P AVG, facing helmeted and cuirassed bust, Victory on globe in right, shield on left arm; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC I, Constantinopolis enthroned facing, head right, long scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, staurogram left, CONOB in exergue; ex Heritage auction 3020 (6 Sep 2012), lot 25312; ex Nudelman Numismatica 10 (13 Jun 2011), lot 53; very rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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Bendall, S. A Private Collection of Palaeologan Coins. (Wolverhampton, 1988).
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Hahn, W. & W. Metcalf. Studies in Early Byzantine Gold Coinage. ANSNS 17 (1988).
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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 Saturday, August 13, 2022.
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