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three large & pleasing Byzantine AE's

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I'm quite pleased with the merchandise.  Although it took two weeks to ship it out, it managed to lap my first (and probably last) U.S. coin order.  Only the Post Office could manage to lose a registered letter.  I'm despairing of ever seeing that one.

As with every successful order from this dealer, I was quite happy with the goods.  I'm a big fan of good patinas and this dealer seems to have those in quantity.  I got a three-fer, a Justinian 'plague face' follis, a nice example of the middle size Heraclius SCL series, and an oversized Phocas.

If you couldn't tell already, I'm a big fan of large-module coins, 34mm and up.

The first one is a nice example of the middle-sized Heraclius SCL follis.  I prefer 883, but this one is overstruck on a large module year 20 S-810. Both counterstamp and undertype are in nice shape, wear-wise, and the coin has an olive patina typical of these Byzantine Sicilian issues.  The dark patina makes it rather tough to make out in person.  I had to get a magnifier to figure out the orientation.  The coins are all waxed.  Of the bunch, the Justinian I is probably the most impressive in hand.




Heraclius (610-641). Æ 40 Nummi (31mm, 12.29g, 6h). Syracuse, 632-641. Countermarked: crowned facing busts of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine; cross above. R/ Monogram and SCs. MIB pl. 18, Km 6; DOC 243; Sear 884.


Secondly is my first example of the 'plague face' Justinian issue.  For those who aren't aware, for whatever reason, the Constantinople mint, and only that mint, showed him with a swollen face for year 15.  These large coins are very impressive, and the year 12-14's are even more so.


Justinian I (527-565). Æ 40 Nummi (38mm, 20.73g, 6h). Constantinople, year 15 (541/2). Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust r. R/ Large M; cross above; Γ/CON. MIBE 95a; DOC 40c; Sear 163.


The third has been covered before, but here's an oversized Phocas, my second largest of that emperor, with a muddled S-805 overstrike.  Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine are a lot more present when looking at it in person.  The muddled overstrikes make it hard to make out what information is on the coin, even the mintmark.  The eyes are a bit goggly, but the style seems to me to be better than Kyzicus.  My Dad recently got me a junk-box Kyzicus Phocas, and even there, it was obvious what mint was responsible.  This bust is more refined.


Æ 40 Nummi (35mm, 11.71g, 6h)

The coin was purchased as a Constans II from Syracuse (how?), but I knew immediately what it was.

Feel free to post any of the above types or a really muddled Byzantine overstrike from the general period.

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The Justinian has an apple-y/army green color.  One sometimes sees this with Justin  I or Justinian coins, and sometimes in the Theophilus-Romanus I era, but not a lot elsewhere.  I've come across a few green anonymous folles, but not a huge amount. Other than the SCL mint, one doesn't see as many green Byzantine AE's as one would expect.

I'm thinking of perhaps getting Dad a Justinian I for Christmas.

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a nice set of coins for sure. One of those Heraclius pieces is eventually on my radar. Yours has some pretty good portraits on it, although as you acknowledge, the SCL is tougher to see but you’ve found it.

i didn’t realize the year 15 Justinian’s had a fatter face but since you mention it, o think you’re right. I just haven’t paid attention. Now I might want one. Another coin for the list.. hah.

regarding greenie’s. That seems to really drift around. I used to think I had an idea too but it varies considerably, most my green coins are closer to Basil 1 and there about. Although I have some very green coins from Justinian and Michael VII so who can say. A more knowledgeable collector told me it’s the first color copper will change to, depending on a myriad of soil conditions, so there’s no hard and fast rule.

My greenest Cyzicus Justinian piece. And I think a patina stripped (but handsome in its own right) coin as well.


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Nice coins!

Yes, like you also mentioned, most of the Byzantine greenies I've seen have been Justin-Justinian and the period of circa 880-920's.  Perhaps a difference in the copper content?

I do have one or two green post-A2 anonymous folles, but I don't recall offhand seeing a green A2.

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