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An Interesting Case Of Ancient Inflation


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I won this coin over the weekend and it arrived today. Some of you may know that I have a thing for recycled Byzantine coins. I usually see older follis overstruck by newer emperors. However, this is the first time I've seen a half follis overstruck on a different denomination - in this case, a 16 Nummi (an already odd denomination in my opinion).

Without further ado, here is the coin both in the half follis orientation and the 16 nummi orientation:


Justin II and Sophia
AE Half Follis
565-578 AD
Obverse: DN IVSTINVS PP AVG, Justin left and Sophia right, seated facing on double-throne, both nimbate, Justin holding cross on globe, Sophia holding sceptre topped by cross
Reverse: Large K, ANNO to left, cross above, regnal year "E" to right, officina letter below. (No mintmark on this series)
SB 361



Justinian I
527-565 AD
AE 16 Nummi
Obverse: DN IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right
Reverse: Large I, officina letter to left, star-cross-star above, SP to right, mintmark TES



Thanks for looking! Feel free to share any examples of ancient inflation that you may have! 🙂

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very cool example, was this on eBay? One of my friends from Reddit may have been chasing this was well. He was pretty bummed not to win. Good for you! Hah



i do have two examples, although because of Constantine IV and his attempt at a monetary reform, which failed, it mucks it up. The first I think is Deflation, then to inflation with the second example.

Please forgive me about the sear numbers, I don’t have my notes infront me me.


Constantine VI decanummi, over struck on a Constans II Follis. This is a 6.5g decanummi from ~670, which was overstruck on Follis from 10-15 years earlier. This followed the Large super follis that Constantine IV put out near the beginning of he reign, that quickly fell apart. You can see the crown of Constans above Constantine on the obverse and the crowns of the 3 children on the reverse, in what should be the exegue. 


now to the inflation, this is a Justinian II first reign Half follis. This example is an obvious cut coin. Harlan Berk has said these were made from the large Constantine iv follis, which I’ve checked and math works quite well. This example is exactly 5.00g. (With the host follis being in the 20g region), so a 50% inflation, 80 nummi made from a follis.


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