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For something a little different...


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For something a little different, a minor (?) goof up at the Constantinople mint…a hexagram of Constans II. Struck, 642-647.

5.65 gr. 23.3 mm. 6 hr.

Sear 989; DO 48; Hahn 142; BNP 1; BM 79; Ratto 1540; Yannopoulos, 1-37.

Obv: ∂N CONSTAN-TINЧS P P AV, Beardless, youthful bust of Constans II facing, wearing a crown topped by a cross on circlet, a chlamys, and holding a globus cruciger in right hand.

Rev: ∂ЄЧS A∂IЧTA ROMANIS, cross potent set on globe set on three steps. So far, normal, except…in order to read the reverse inscription, one must hold the coin up to a mirror. The legend is retrograde. That day at the mint, the engraver must have been thinking of the next round of races at the Hippodrome, or perhaps marveling at the beauty of the verses of Romanos the Melodist heard at his last visit to Hagia Sophia. In charity to him, I prefer to imagine the latter.


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