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New Romanus I Follis (913-959 C.E.)

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For some reason the price on this one kept going higher and I had to raise my bid three times in order to secure this coin in the recent FSR auction.

Romanus I

AE Follis 22mm 3.81 grams

Obverse: Rwman bASILEUS Rwm

Crowned bust facing, wearing chamlys and holding labarum and globis cruciger

Reverse: RwMA-N EN QEW bASILEUS Rw-MAIwN in four lines

Sear 1760, Dumbarton Oaks Collection 25

Purchased from FSR Auction 1-23-2024




Please share any Romanus coins or coins of the time including Christopher and Constantine 

Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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Constantine VII & Romanus I AE24 Follis


Obv: RωmAn' bASILεωS Rωm, facing bust of Romanus, holding transverse labarum and globus cruciger


Rev: RWMA / n' εn Θεω bA / SILεVS Rω / MAIωn in four lines.


SB1760.  Constantinople.  AD 920-944.  AD 913-959.  5.70g.


I bought this inexpensive one last year.

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Nice pickup, @Ancient Coin Hunter!

This is one of my favorite Byzantine types, but the prices relative to the conditions that I've seen for sale really confuse me. Before I found one myself (pictured below - I posted about this coin a few months ago on this forum, so I won't repeat any of that here), I looked at many stores and auctions and saw so much disparity that I assumed this coin had numerous variations to account for such swings. From what I see in catalogues and books, the coin pretty much appeared in a single form without any drastic variations. Sear only includes one designation, 1760, for it. The very recently released (late 2023) 2nd edition of "Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches" catalogues it as 36.16, refers to Sear 1760 and includes 3 minor variations (36.16.1, 36.16.2, 36.16.3), which appear to vary only slightly in size and weight (8.32g, 33'; 7.05g, 27'; 6.18g, 30'). This same book also pictures examples of all three and they have only very subtle differences in appearance and no price differentiation. More die variations than this likely exist, I suspect (i.e., the example below doesn't perfectly match any of the three variations pictured in the book, and the one posted in the OP above doesn't really, either). I do not have Dumbarton Oaks handy for further reference. One dealer online had an example selling for over $800 as a "demi-follis" or half follis, but nowhere have I seen further references to a half-follis of this type having ever been minted. Elsewhere, I've seen decent enough, though not outstanding, examples selling for up to $500. This type just seems all over the place, so the auction bidding described above doesn't completely surprise me. Given the wild variations out there, some people may have the impression that this type might possibly hide some unknown rare variation not yet widely known. Sear suggests that this type was created "in great quantities," so it doesn't sound particularly rare. But catalogues don't always catch everything, either. I can't explain it. Perhaps it's just a "cool enough" coin to attract demand? I admit a deep weakness for it myself. In any case, it's an immensely aesthetically pleasing coin with a fascinating backstory.

Romanus I Lacapenus (920 - 944); Constantinople Æ Follis; Obv: +RwMAN bAS-ILEVS Rwm’ Facing bust of Romanus I, bearded, wearing crown and jeweled chlamys, and holding labarum and globus cruciger; Rev: +RwMA/N’ENΘEwbA/SILEVSRw/MAIwN; 27mm, 8.09g, 6h; R.1886-8, Sear 1760

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Nice one @ewomack - definitely superior to my example which was $90. Bidding started at $30 as I recall. The weight appears on the low side so I am wondering if is indeed a half Follis. All the examples shown have been really nice. I also have a miliaresion of Romanus, Christopher, and Constantine VII

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This is the only Romanus I that I own...I need to rectify that I think.


Constantine VIII overstruck on Romanus I
913-1028 AD
Obverse: IC-XC to right and left of bust of Christ facing with nimbus cross behind head. SILEVS RW-MAIWN
Reverse: RWMAN bASILEVS RWM, crowned, bearded, facing bust of Romanus, wearing chlamys, holding labarum and cross on globe XRISTUS bASILEU bASILE

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