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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, Justin I, 10 July 518 - 1 August 527 A.D.

|Justin| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justin| |I,| |10| |July| |518| |-| |1| |August| |527| |A.D.||tremissis|
Of Macedonian peasant origin, Justin I rose through the ranks of the military and was proclaimed emperor by the army on 10 July 518 A.D. He was uneducated, but intelligent enough to rely upon the policy advice of his brilliant nephew, Justinian I.
SH110983. Gold tremissis, Morrisson BnF I 2/Cp/AV/17 (also with M resembling H), DOC I 4, Wroth BMC 11, Sommer 2.4, Hahn MIB I 4, SBCV 58, EF, lustrous, double struck, graffito, weight 1.482 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 491 - 518 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTI-NVS P P AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A graffito in right field; reverse VICTORIA AVGVSTORH (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right, head left, holding wreath and globus cruciger, star right, CONOB in exergue; ex FORVM 2011; $500.00 (505.00)


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.
SH70976. Gold tremissis, DOC II-2 14; Wroth BMC 22 - 23; Tolstoi 60 - 63; Ratto 1691; Hahn MIB 16; Sommer 14.8; SBCV 1256, EF, some details unstruck, weight 1.368 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, first reign, c. 692 - 695 A.D.; obverse IhS CRISTOS REX REGNATI, 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 Gorny and Mosch auction 170 (13 Oct 2008), lot 3074; 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, 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|
Constantine VIII was crowned emperor when he was an infant; however, for his first 63 years of "rule" he was a junior emperor and rarely played even a minor role in state affairs. He spent his life in search of pleasure and entertainment, including spectator sports at the Hippodrome, feasting, riding and hunting. After his brother Basil II died, Constantine was sole emperor for nearly the last three years of his life. He carried on as he always had, enjoying life and avoiding state business as much as possible. Ineffective and cruel, he allegedly ordered the execution or mutilation of hundreds of innocent men.
SH94413. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 1.1; Wroth BMC 3, Morrisson BnF 3; Ratto 1969; SBCV 1815; Sommer 42.1 var. (pellet on shaft of labarum), Choice gVF, well struck on a broad flan, small die crack bottom obverse edge, minor die wear on reverse, weight 4.394 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Dec 1025 - 11 Nov 1028; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM, bearded bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger with straight arms and crescents in upper quarters, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left, triple border; reverse +CWnSTAnTIn bASILEhS ROM, bust facing, with long beard, wearing crown and loros, labarum (no pellet on shaft) in left, akakia in right, triple border; scarce; 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|
Constantine VIII was crowned emperor when he was an infant; however, for his first 63 years of "rule" he was a junior emperor and rarely played even a minor role in state affairs. He spent his life in search of pleasure and entertainment, including spectator sports at the Hippodrome, feasting, riding and hunting. After his brother Basil II died, Constantine was sole emperor for nearly the last three years of his life. He carried on as he always had, enjoying life and avoiding state business as much as possible. Ineffective and cruel, he allegedly ordered the execution or mutilation of hundreds of innocent men.
SL110920. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 2.1 var. (serifs on cross); Feg II 2.A.8; Morrisson BnF 42/Cp/AV/01-04 var. (no pellet); Wroth BMC 3 var. (same); Sommer 42.1; SBCV 1815, NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 2/5, bent, graffito, scratches (6134583-003), weight 4.39 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 190o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Dec 1025 - 11 Nov 1028; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM, bearded bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger with straight arms and crescents in upper quarters, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left, triple border; reverse +CWnStAntIn bASILEhS ROM, bust facing, with long beard, wearing crown and loros, labarum in left hand with pellet on shaft, akakia in right hand, triple border; NGC| Lookup; scarce; 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|
Hahn and Berk attribute this style variation to Thessalonica. Other reference fail to distinguish the type from similar Constantinople issues. Hahn identifies the Greek number following the reverse legend as the regnal year.
SH86280. Gold solidus, MIBEC p. 181 and pl. 31, N3; Berk Gold 109; other references do not distinguish this type from Constantinople issues, Choice EF, well centered and struck, graffiti on reverse, weight 4.362 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, probably Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 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 E (victory of the two emperors, 5th officina? or regnal year 5?), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; graffiti reading ƆMΘ (retrograde, Greek additive number 249?) or less likely ΘEC (Thessalonica?); ex Numismatik Naumann auction 58, lot 626; very rare; 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, 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







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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Friday, March 24, 2023.
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