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a pleasant Byzantine golden surprise coin


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I treated myself to this inexpensive gold coin.  I had always wanted this style bust of Nicephorus III, and now I have one.  The crack is much less garish in person, by the way.  Unless one holds it up to the light, it's not all that visible.

I'm always nervous about ordering scyphate coins, expecially gold, and a cracked one at that, but everything seems to be fine.  The service was also very, very fast.

It's also fortunate that this is one of the more golden varieties of the reign.  Some are very pale.



Nicephorus III El histamenon nomisma.

32mm  S 1883, 4.34g.


Post your gold of Nicephorus III or pre-reform Alexius I.


Romanus IV AE27 Follis. Christ / ornamented Cross


Obv:  Bust of Christ facing.


Rev:  ornamented Cross w. C-R, P-delta  


SB#1866.  1068-1071 AD.  5.12g.

This was mentioned in another thread.  1867 is the 'overtype', but the strike was so crappy, 1866 is the dominant coin.  I purchased it for it's preservation, interesting overstrike, and better-than-normal patina.


Edited by Nerosmyfavorite68
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  • Nerosmyfavorite68 changed the title to a pleasant Byzantine golden surprise coin

Nice option for a budget gold coin! In case you hadn't seen it before, here is your coin at Leu Web Auction 12 (30 May 2020), Lot 1530.

Here is mine of the same type -- I think!

It was described as Michael VII Ducas (SB 1868), which should read "MIXAHΛ RACIΛ O Δ" or similar. But to me it looks much more like yours, legend reading something more like "+NIKHΦP ΔEOΠ" (SB 1883?).

I don't think this was my first ancient gold coin, but it was one of the first. Bought maybe 10 years ago, give or take.

Crack or no, I'd rather have yours!


Edited by Curtis JJ
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Whoops, somehow my post from a day ago didn't post:

Cool, thanks!  I had no idea about the previous auction appearance.

Yours is also a pleasant coin.  I'll note the previous auction, thanks!

I've really enjoyed my past three buys.  I'm still kicking myself for overpaying for the aqua Trajan, but the savings from the other two buys made up for that.

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Nice coin.

After Michael vii Ducas, it was debasement time for this type of histamenon.

Debasement from gold to silver.

After Alexius i Comnenus this type was electrum trachy or billon trachy (with heavy surface silvering) and not a gold histamenon.

People could not accept anymore that a coin can be gold histamenon, having pure silver colour and content.

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