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Byzantine Coins

The Byzantine Empire was originally known as the Eastern Roman Empire, and most of its coinage follows the pattern of its progenitor. Most coin collectors and historians regard 498 A.D. as the date of the first official Byzantine coinage, as Emperor Anastasius reformed the remains of the original Roman system. Under Anastasius, Byzantine coins were split into gold, called the solidus, and bronze, called the nummus.

The nummus developed denominations, as the tiny nummus coins did not add up to much value on their own. The additional denominations included 5, 10, 20, and 40 nummi. As time passed, the solidus and nummus system was replaced with a new system called the hyperpyron. These coins were frequently minted in a unique cup shape, which some believe allowed bankers to be able to stack them easily for counting. Others suggest that the cup shape of these coins helped their thin, debased nature resist cracking and bending.

The obverse of a Byzantine coin typically features the face of the reigning emperor at the time of minting, although the Byzantine Empire preferred to display the frontal face of the emperor as opposed to the bust profile most common on other types of coins. This preference echoed through the ages to influence many European coins in the Middle Ages. The reverse of Byzantine coins feature a prominent Christian symbol as well as the value of the coin displayed in Greek letters.


Quick Facts

  • A gold Zoe and Theodora coin from 1042 A.D. sold at auction for $190,000 in 2014. Zoe and Theodora were the daughters of Emperor Constantine VIII and reigned as co-empresses for a mere two months
  • Beginning in 695 A.D., Byzantine coins were minted with a frontal face of Christ on the obverse, with Emperor Justinian II moving to the reverse. This marks the first time Christian iconography appeared on a coin
  • The Byzantine Empire's adoption of religious symbols on its coins was the driving factor behind Islamic Caliph Abd al-Malik developing uniform Islamic currency featuring legends on both sides, but no types

Recommended Items at Auction

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CONSTANTINE IX MONOMACHUS (1042-1055). AV HISTAMENON NOMISMA (30MM, 4.38 GM), CONSTANTINOPLE.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
CONSTANTINE IX MONOMACHUS (1042-1055). AV HISTAMENON NOMISMA (30MM, 4.38 GM), CONSTANTINOPLE.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €1,750- €3,500
€502 Bids
MICHAEL VII DUCAS (1071-1078). HISTAMENON NOMISMA SCYPHATE (30 MM, 4.39 G) CONSTANTINOPLE
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
MICHAEL VII DUCAS (1071-1078). HISTAMENON NOMISMA SCYPHATE (30 MM, 4.39 G) CONSTANTINOPLE
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €2,500- €5,000
€101 Bid
BASILIUS I WITH CONSTANTINE (867-886), SOLIDUS, AD 871-886, CONSTANTINOPOLE
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
BASILIUS I WITH CONSTANTINE (867-886), SOLIDUS, AD 871-886, CONSTANTINOPOLE
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €750- €1,500
€101 Bid
Ancient Byzantine Bronze Crusaders Trachy Coin
Nov 05, 2:00 PM EDT
Ancient Byzantine Bronze Crusaders Trachy Coin
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
THRACE. BYZANTION (CIRCA 350-300 BC). HALF-SIGLOS OR HEMIDRACHM (13 MM, 2.5 G)
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
THRACE. BYZANTION (CIRCA 350-300 BC). HALF-SIGLOS OR HEMIDRACHM (13 MM, 2.5 G)
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €30- €60
€100 Bids
MAURICIUS TIBERIUS (582-602) FOLLIS (595-596 AD), (10.43 G) ANTIOCH.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
MAURICIUS TIBERIUS (582-602) FOLLIS (595-596 AD), (10.43 G) ANTIOCH.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €50- €100
€100 Bids
CONSTANTINE IX MONOMACHUS (1042-1055). AV HISTAMENON NOMISMA (29 MM, 4.33 GM), CONSTANTINOPLE.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
CONSTANTINE IX MONOMACHUS (1042-1055). AV HISTAMENON NOMISMA (29 MM, 4.33 GM), CONSTANTINOPLE.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €2,000- €4,000
€100 Bids
CONSTANTINE IX (1042-1055). AV HISTAMENON SCYPHATE (28 MM, 4.34 GM), CONSTANTINOPLE.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
CONSTANTINE IX (1042-1055). AV HISTAMENON SCYPHATE (28 MM, 4.34 GM), CONSTANTINOPLE.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€100 Bids
CONSTANTINE X DUCAS, WITH EUDOCIA, (1059-1067). FOLLIS BRONZE, (4.93 G) CONSTANTINOPLE.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
CONSTANTINE X DUCAS, WITH EUDOCIA, (1059-1067). FOLLIS BRONZE, (4.93 G) CONSTANTINOPLE.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €30- €60
€100 Bids
ALEXIUS I COMNENUS (1081-1118), ELECTRUM-HISTAMENON (30 MM, 4.01 G), CONSTANTINOPOLE, 1081 - 1092.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
ALEXIUS I COMNENUS (1081-1118), ELECTRUM-HISTAMENON (30 MM, 4.01 G), CONSTANTINOPOLE, 1081 - 1092.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €450- €900
€100 Bids
THEODOSIUS II (402-450) SOLIDUS, GOLD (21 MM, 4.5 G.) CONSTANTINOPLE, AD 408-419.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
THEODOSIUS II (402-450) SOLIDUS, GOLD (21 MM, 4.5 G.) CONSTANTINOPLE, AD 408-419.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€100 Bids
THEODOSIUS II (402-450) SOLIDUS, GOLD (20 MM, 4.5 G.) CONSTANTINOPLE, AD 408-419.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
THEODOSIUS II (402-450) SOLIDUS, GOLD (20 MM, 4.5 G.) CONSTANTINOPLE, AD 408-419.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€100 Bids
THEODOSIUS II (402-450) TREMISSIS, GOLD (13 MM, 0.87 G) CONSTANTINOPLE, 423-424.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
THEODOSIUS II (402-450) TREMISSIS, GOLD (13 MM, 0.87 G) CONSTANTINOPLE, 423-424.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €500- €1,000
€100 Bids
ZENO. SECOND REIGN (476-491) SEMISSIS, GOLD (17 MM, 1.94 G) CONSTANTINOPLE MINT. STRUCK AD 477-491
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
ZENO. SECOND REIGN (476-491) SEMISSIS, GOLD (17 MM, 1.94 G) CONSTANTINOPLE MINT. STRUCK AD 477-491
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €250- €500
€100 Bids
JOHN II COMNENUS (1118-1143) HYPERPYRON, GOLD (27 MM, 4.46 G), CONSTANTINOPLE, 1137-1143
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
JOHN II COMNENUS (1118-1143) HYPERPYRON, GOLD (27 MM, 4.46 G), CONSTANTINOPLE, 1137-1143
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €750- €1,500
€100 Bids
ANDRONICUS II PALAEOLOGUS (1282-1328) HYPERPYRON, GOLD (23 MM, 4.10 G) CONSTANTINOPOLE, 1282-1294.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
ANDRONICUS II PALAEOLOGUS (1282-1328) HYPERPYRON, GOLD (23 MM, 4.10 G) CONSTANTINOPOLE, 1282-1294.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €500- €1,000
€100 Bids
Byzantine Empire. Justinian I (527-565 AD). Bronze Follis (14.2 grams)
Oct 08, 11:30 AM EDT
Byzantine Empire. Justinian I (527-565 AD). Bronze Follis (14.2 grams)
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$80 Bids
THEOPHILUS WITH MICHAEL II AND CONSTANTINE(829-842). SOLIDUS, GOLD (21MM, 4.48 G) CONSTANTINOPLE, AD 831-842.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
THEOPHILUS WITH MICHAEL II AND CONSTANTINE(829-842). SOLIDUS, GOLD (21MM, 4.48 G) CONSTANTINOPLE, AD 831-842.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€100 Bids
JOHN I ZIMISCES (969-976) MILIARESION, SILVER (22 MM, 3.35 G), CONSTANTINOPOLIS.
Oct 15, 9:30 AM CEST
JOHN I ZIMISCES (969-976) MILIARESION, SILVER (22 MM, 3.35 G), CONSTANTINOPOLIS.
by La Galerie Numismatique
Est: €150- €300
€100 Bids
Slabbed Byzantine Empire Bronze Nummis
Oct 01, 1:00 PM EDT
Slabbed Byzantine Empire Bronze Nummis
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $15- $150
$150 Bids
Slabbed Byzantine Empire Bronze Nummis
Oct 01, 1:00 PM EDT
Slabbed Byzantine Empire Bronze Nummis
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $15- $150
$150 Bids
Slabbed Byzantine Empire Bronze Nummis
Oct 01, 1:00 PM EDT
Slabbed Byzantine Empire Bronze Nummis
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $15- $150
$150 Bids
Slabbed Byzantine Empire Bronze Nummis
Oct 01, 1:00 PM EDT
Slabbed Byzantine Empire Bronze Nummis
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $15- $150
$150 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Byzantine Coins


La Galerie Numismatique

La Galerie Numismatique

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Connoisseur Online

Connoisseur Online