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Simon Top 5 for 2023


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These are normally my favorite threads for the year but this year time to enjoy them is what I have been lacking the most.  Work time has had me traveling a good portion of the year, I did get to go to some cool places but little time to sight see.

This year the threads I saw held some very impressive and beautiful coins, I'm afraid my list will lack the beauty of most collections. 

I collected only a few coins this year, I continued to focus on my goals of the 12th century Eastern Roman Empire. Most of my free time this year was spent researching and I expanded my collection to the 14th century, like my original collection I chose to start with one denomination.

Here is my top 5



Andronicus III (1328-1341) Assarion SB-2478 LIA? OBV Bust of St George REV Half length figure of Andronicus III ( Joint rule in Sear notes?)

Interesting late depiction of the saint, the use of Saints on coinage in this time period was much the same as the pre-Christian use of Gods, to send a message. St George died during the Diocletian persecution. A Roman solider put to death for his religion. Interesting I just read a newly translated Greek version of his life, they changed him to being murdered by the Persian Emperor not wanting to bad mouth their own heritage. 


h3.jpg.05b7e9948eee8a55bf9c9cad887b99f1.jpgAndronicus II and Michael IXth Assarion SB-2448 (1295-1320) 1.81gm 20mm OBV- 4 B’s in a Cross pattee Rev-Emperors holding jointly a labarum.



b5.jpg.1564e0c242815b75580db08156273669.jpgSBCV-2439 Andronicus II and Michael IX,( 1295-1320) Should be the Archangel Michael, the strike makes him look more like an eagle, this coin that is listed as an Assarion is very similar to a trachy. The answer is allusive but still attractive.



2.jpg.eca6ad956ae8de4cf8b7b86fd9448597.jpgNot a coin but a rare book from Simon Bendall that was limited to 250 copies. I was lucky enough to acquire #44. It is a prize for any collector of Late Roman coinage.




OBV Bust of Archangel Michael, beardless and nimbate, wearing divitision, collar piece, and jeweled loros of a simplified type, holds in r. a jeweled sceptre, and in l. Globus cruciger.

REV Bust of emperor wearing stemma. Divitision, collar piece, and jeweled loros of a simplified type; holds in r. hand scepter cruciger and in l. anexikakia.
Size 15.55

Weight 1.9gm


The last coin that fulfilled my original collecting goal. All of the post reform tetartera from the 12th century. I acquired it Dec last year, too late to make last years list.

My previous examples of the coin did not match the description, one was a mangled overstrike, the other did not match the size listed in Sear. I had not even seen a good picture of the coin that was described in Sear. The key is how small it is, a die size of 11mm

I purchased it on ebay for less than $25.00, It was described as a common Manuel I coin. When I received it I thanked the seller and told them the correct attribution, turns out they had another, not as nice but the auction price exceeded $500.00.

That coin made gave my collecting goal a clear ending.  

I hope everyone has a great 2024



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43 minutes ago, seth77 said:

Also, regarding not having time to browse the forum because of work trips: I have it on a browser in my phone and it is always dormant but connected, so when I have some time I always pop it open and see a couple of posts.

I know Seth I try but my job is very unique, when I am on an event all of my time is spent with clients. Or preparing for the next event. Most of my unhindered reading time actually is on a plane. 

28 minutes ago, Al Kowsky said:

Simon, Interesting coins & great coin photos 🤩. I know nothing about the very late Roman / Byzantine coinage you collect, but going strictly by eye appeal, #1 is my favorite ☺️.

Thank You Al. it was just a long time in finding it.  Here is a bigger brother of the coin, larger size. In hindsight it should have made the list. 


43 minutes ago, panzerman said:

Nice exs Simon/ I would pick #1/ #3 #5!


I also collect late Byzantine/ Medieval 14th century coinage.



I know John, I have always admired your collection, I particularly enjoy your medieval gold coins. I only got into gold coins in the last 4 or 5 years. I choose post reform tetartera originally because they were basically Unkown and cheap, that changed when I stupidly sent an email off to all the dealers I could find online looking for different issues. I must have contacted 50 plus dealers with a want list , after that price went from $20.00 a coin to several hundred on certain issues and I suddenly had a lot of competition. The gold coins started going into my collection when I already had most of the copper ones. 


Thank you for the comments, Gentlemen. 

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4 hours ago, Qcumbor said:

Although the coins are impressive, I bet the book is what pleased you the most to acquire


No it was definitely #1 Q, 20 years is a long search, i was not even sure it actually exsisted in that size, no pics only description. Also looking at the obverse i knew it was not an imitation but official issue. 

I just cannot express how joyful it was putting that coin to bed. I am now the only person to privatly owned complete collection of 12th century tetartera. I can say that with confidence because I own one coin that only 2 are known, mine and the museum of Thessalonica. Alexius Doc-41. I am sure another will show up. But when?

But the book is a close second. Its a nicely printed informative collection. I am curious how many others lost their importance because the collector passed and it sits in a dusty bookcase. I just got lucky i was at an auction one showed up.

I do want to add another  to my tetartera collection, Alexius IV tetarteron 1204 CE. Issued only for a few months. One showed up this year and i passed on it waiting for a better example. I can kick myself now. 

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@Simon Congratulations on your acquisitions for 2023. I also collect Byzantines. For me, it's all about the book. I've been looking, and waiting, for that book, for several years. You and @TheTrachyEnjoyer are the only 2 persons, of whom I've heard, who have the book. I wonder, how many of the original 200, have become lost, lying in a box, in someone's attic, or in a landfill somewhere. I've never even seen it for sale, except after the fact, after @TheTrachyEnjoyer bought his copy. The book is almost like an urban legend among Byzantine collectors. A modern myth. Like the Necronomicon. Fun stuff.

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