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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|NEW
Constantine X seems to have been a weak, ineffective leader. His wife, Eudocia, had great power within the empire, and was thought by some to be "the power behind the throne." Upon the death of Constantine X, his eldest son, Michael VII was still a child, so Eudocia took over as regent.
SH99078. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 2, Morrisson BnF 51/Cp/AV/10, Wroth BMC 4, Ratto 2011, Sommer 52.2, SBCV 1848, Choice EF, scyphate, flow lines, weight 4.418 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 25 Dec 1059 - 21 May 1067; obverse + IhS XIΓ REX REINANTIhm, Christ seated facing on lyre-backed throne, wears nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, raising hand in benediction; reverse + KWN RAC Λ O ∆OVKAC, Constantine (on left) standing facing, wearing crown and loros, globus cruciger in his left hand; the Virgin Mary standing facing, nimbate, crowing Constantine, M - Θ (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) flanking her head; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 104 (4 Jul 2021), lot 1020; $1200.00 SALE PRICE $1080.00


Byzantine Empire, John II Comnenus, 15 August 1118 - 8 April 1143 A.D.

|John| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |II| |Comnenus,| |15| |August| |1118| |-| |8| |April| |1143| |A.D.||aspron| |trachy|NEW
According to the Golden Legend, a plague-bearing dragon lived in a lake near a city called Silene, in Libya. To appease the dragon, the people fed it two sheep every day. When the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery. It happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter, Sabra. Sabra was sent out to the lake, dressed as a bride, to be fed to the dragon. Saint George was ridding past when dragon reared out of the lake. He fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross charged it on horseback with his lance, and gave it a grievous wound. He then called to the princess to throw him her girdle. After he put it around its neck, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash. The princess and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene. It terrified the people at its approach, but Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptized, he would slay the dragon. The king and the people converted to Christianity and George slew the dragon. On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease.
SH99294. Electrum aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 8b; Hendy pl. 10, 2; Morrisson BnF 60/Cp/El/02; Wroth BMC 49; CLBC I 3.2.1; Grierson 1067; SBCV 1941; Sommer 60.4; Ratto -, aEF, scyphate, edge split, edge chip, light marks, excellent reverse!, weight 3.949 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Aug 1118 - 1122 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing on throne without back, bearded, wearing tunic and kolobion, raising right in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbr.: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking nimbus, pellet (control) at each side of throne; reverse + Iw / ∆ECΠO/TH in column of four rows on left - Θ / ΓE/PW/ΓI in column of four rows on right, John (on left) and St. George standing facing, together holding patriarchal cross on a small globe between them, John wearing crown, divitision, and chlamys with dot (control symbol) below the tablion, St. George nimbate, in military dress, left hand on sword at side; from the S. Lindner Collection; ex Savoca auction 26 (14 Oct 2018), lot 541; scarce; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus III Botaniates, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081 A.D.

|Nicephorus| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |III| |Botaniates,| |7| |January| |1078| |-| |1| |April| |1081| |A.D.||histamenon| |nomisma|NEW
The inept rule of Michael VII led to several revolts. Nicephorus seized the capital, was crowned and married Michael's wife, Empress Maria of Alania. To ensure the succession of her son Constantine, Empress Maria conspired with Alexius Comnenus to dispose of Nicephorus. Just as Nicephorus had banished Michael to a monastery, Alexius Comnenus banished Nicephorus to a monastery.
BZ99106. Electrum histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 3b, Wroth BMC 7, Morrisson BnF 56/Cp/AV/01, Ratto 2051, SBCV 1881, Sommer 56.3, gVF, scyphate, broken, 1/3 missing, weight 2.812 g, maximum diameter 30.23 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1078 - 1081 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing, throne without back, nimbus cruciger with no pellets in cross, wearing pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking head; reverse +NIKHFP ∆EC TW ROTANIAT, Nicephorus standing facing on footstool, bearded, wearing crown and loros, holding labarum with cross on shaft and globus cruciger, all inside double border; from the Robert Wachter Collection; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


Byzantine Empire, John II Comnenus, 15 August 1118 - 8 April 1143 A.D.

|John| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |II| |Comnenus,| |15| |August| |1118| |-| |8| |April| |1143| |A.D.||aspron| |trachy|NEW
John II was the oldest son of Alexius I and succeeded to the throne in 1118. He was a good and capable ruler, and did much to further the Byzantine Empire. He recaptured lost territory and added territory to the Empire. He attempted to curtail the trading privileges given to the Venetians but was forced to give up this idea. His reign was brought to an early end when he died in a hunting accident. His youngest son, Manuel I, succeeded him.
BZ99293. Electrum aspron trachy, DOC-1 IV 8d; Morrisson BnF 60/Cp/El/3; Wroth BMC 46; Ratto 2098; Grierson 1068; CLBC I 3.2.2; Sommer 60.5; SBCV 1942, VF, scyphate, obv. double struck, graffiti/scratches, weight 3.662 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1122 - 8 Apr 1143 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing on throne without back, bearded, wearing tunic and kolobion, raising right in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking nimbus, three pellets at each side of throne; reverse + Iw / ∆ECΠO/TH in column of four rows on left, Θ / ΓE/PW/ΓI in column of four rows on right, John (on left) and St. George standing facing, together holding patriarchal cross on a small globe between them, John wearing crown, divitision, and chlamys with dot (control symbol) below the tablion, St. George nimbate, in military dress, left hand on sword at side; from the S. Lindner Collection; ex Numismatic Naumann auction 71 (4 Nov 2018), lot 680; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus III Botaniates, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

|Nicephorus| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |III| |Botaniates,| |7| |January| |1078| |-| |1| |April| |1081||histamenon| |nomisma|NEW
The inept rule of Michael VII led to several revolts. Nicephorus seized the capital, was crowned and married Michael's wife, Empress Maria of Alania. To ensure the succession of her son Constantine, Empress Maria conspired with Alexius Comnenus to dispose of Nicephorus. Just as Nicephorus had banished Michael to a monastery, Alexius Comnenus banished Nicephorus to a monastery.
BZ99107. Electrum histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 2; Wroth BMC 5; Ratto 2050; Morrisson BnF p. 660, type 2; SBCV 1882; Sommer 56.2, aVF, scyphate, broken, 1/3 missing, weight 2.982 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse Christ seated facing on square back throne, bearded, nimbate with pellet in each cross arm, wears pallium and colobium, raises right hand in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking head; reverse NIKHFP ∆EC TW ROTANIAT, Nicephorus standing facing on footstool, bearded, wearing crown and loros, holding labarum with cross on shaft and globus cruciger, all inside double border; from the Robert Wachter Collection; $170.00 SALE PRICE $153.00


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







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REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Wednesday, July 6, 2022.
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