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2 Coins I Found On The Sidewalk, Want To Identify


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Hello,

I recently found two coins on the sidewalk, and while I try to locate their owner by posting signs, I'm interested in learning what they are. 

The one with the cross one is about the size of an American quarter, and the darker one is about the size of an American penny. The images are hard to decipher. I found one online reference to the one that seems to feature a cross, but the odd thing is that the reference image I found is a contemporary pendant "inspired" by the coin it describes. Anything else with relevant keywords returns ancient results that are distinct from the one I found.

Can anyone knowledgeable and kind enough to take a look tell give me any clues to their identification?

Thanks so much.

ancient coins lg wh 2.jpg

ancient coins sm wh2.jpg

ancient cpin reference2.jpg

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The first coin appears to be a Byzantine anonymous follis, class I, Nicephorus III, 7 January 1078 – 1 April 1081, SBCV 1889.

It's hard to make out the second coin, due to corrosion.  It might be Greek, possibly Athenian?

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Posted (edited)

Thank you, Kamnaskires, for the proper orientation, and thanks robinjojo for your informative reply.

I assume they are not very valuable, like maybe about $20 each given their condition, but I'm trying my best to locate their owner, because I suspect they might have been lost by a child bringing a souvenir to school for show-and-tell, and I feel sad to think they might be missing them (or worse, in trouble for losing them).

Edited by burgertown
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@robinjojo nailed the first one; you can find it on this relatively amateur-friendly, but generally very reliable site:  http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/byz/nicephorus_III/t.html 

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you'll get @robinjojo's citation, 'SB 1889.'  

...Dang, those are scarcer than I would have thought, if the price ranges for the two examples here are any indication.  The module initially struck me as small for the denomination (AE follis), but later ones (Alexius I, pre-reform) are comparable.

With thanks  to @Kamnaskires for the reorientation, the second one is likely a later 3rd-century Roman antoninianus.  The sides should be reversed; the obverse, to the right, has somebody with a radiate crown.  That's the primary 'tell' for the denomination.  The antoninianus began life in the earlier 3rd century, as an already reduced double denarius.  Beyond that, the fact that it's AE, rather than (progressively) debased silver, suggests the later phases of the denomination, leading up to Diocletian's comprehensive coinage reform at the end of the same century. 

I can't begin to tell you what the 'S' in the left field means, but letters in the reverse field are common to antoniniani at least as early as Gallienus (253-268).  You could look him up on the same website ('Roman emperors by ruler,' arranged chronologically, just as you could wish), and find examples within loud earshot of this one.    

(Edit:) But as per @robinjojo's resonantly accurate attribution, the Byzantine one is likely to be worth a pretty penny!  Best of luck (and blessings on your house, last of all because I said so) with finding the owner. 

Edited by JeandAcre
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Yes, I see, with the second coin reoriented, that it is a late Roman bronze.  It's funny how the mind works when a coin such as the second one is shown upside down.  It's almost as if I am hard wired now to see owls everywhere!

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