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How rare is Sear 378 (Antioch, Justin II)?


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Sear 378 (single bust, Antioch) is a type that I've always wanted, the only single bust 40 nummia type of Justin II, if I'm not mistaken (unless there's an even more obscure provincial issue).  After listening to to the Totalus Rankium episode regarding Justin II, I really want this type!  I really don't like the 2 figures type.

Justin decked the patriarch and barked like a dog!  His mental illness made him 10/10 interesting!

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Everything that I've seen points to the type being not excessively rare, but possibly above average rarity. The prices quoted in Sear (which I only use as a rough guide to relative rarity) don't make me think that it's extremely difficult to obtain. It was also minted for 2 years with 4 officinae.

Here's an auction for a VF example that sold for $195: https://www.cgcoins.com/products/565-ngc-vf-justin-ii-byzantine-follis-antioch-mint-pedigree-18121801c?variant=22313683517498

An old Vcoins listing shows this rather worn example selling for around $50: https://www.vcoins.com/en/stores/numiscorner/239/product/coin_justin_ii_follis_566567_antioch__copper_sear378/1207142/Default.aspx

Given all of that, I also can't say that I've seen many (or any) for sale in my searches over the past year, so perhaps it's "under-catalogued?"

I agree that the more typically seen two-figured type doesn't have the appeal of the Justinian face-on style.

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  • 1 month later...

Antioch issued in years 1 and 2 of Justin II an anomalous copper series, the obverse of which is modelled upon that of the solidi, i. e., one having a bust of the emperor holding a victory upon a globe instead of the more frequent enthroned figures. (An aside to this is that my wife, trained in Classical Greek art, sees the enthroned pair as space aliens, and considers this evidence that extra terrestrials interbred with humans in the eastern Mediterranean in late antiquity, but that is merely an aside, and I am not entirely won over to it.)

N. B. Photos are not to scale: I have managed to make the half folles larger than the folles! Please see descriptions of individual coins for accurate size.

Top row:

1.        Solidus. Constantinople, 565-78. 4.40 gr. 21 mm. 6 h. Sear 345; H. 5; DO 4a.

2.        Follis. Antioch, 565-6. Year 1, officina 3. 18.15 gr. 34 mm. 5 h. Sear 378; H. 55b. An unusual feature of this coin is that the bust is bearded. Ex Protonotarios collection.

3.        Follis. Antioch, 566-7. Year 2, officina 3. 17.01 gr. 33 mm. 5 h. Sear 378; H. 55b.

Middle Row:

4.        Half Follis. Antioch, 565-6. Year 1. 8.27 gr. 29 mm. 11 h. Sear 380; H. 58a.

5.        Half Follis. Antioch, 565-6. Year 1. 10.25 gr. 27 mm. 5 h. Sear 380; H. 58c.

6.        Half Follis. Antioch, 566-7. Year 2. 8.19 gr. 28 mm. 11 h. Sear 380; H. 58a.

Bottom Row:

7.        Quarter Follis. Antioch, 565-6. Year 1. 4.72 gr. 22 mm. 5 h. Sear 382; H. 62; DO 147b.

8.        Quarter Follis. Antioch, 566-7. Year 2. 2.68 gr. 19 mm. 4 h. Sear 382; H. 62.


Hahn notes that the appearance of the stars accompanying the years on coins 2,3, 5, 7, 8 below alludes to the consulate of 566. Only the folles bear officina numbers. I have not attempted to reproduce the eccentricities of the obverse inscription of the copper coins; it is enough to state that they continue the tortured ineptitude of the final years of Justinian’s Antiochene coppers.

Justin II Antioch. photos.jpg

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