Graded Ancients: Mint State Byzantine Gold
We are constantly scouring the rare U.S. and ancient coin market for opportunities we feel are not to be missed. In the process of finding groups of coins to offer you, we are at times dumbfounded by how certain coins could be purchased at extremely affordable levels.
This month’s offer of Mint State gold from the Byzantine Empire is by far one of the best examples of this type of value. These coins, incredibly, have survived over 14 centuries in perfect Mint State condition. We can only imagine the vast changes of hands, burials (intentional and unintentional), and the array of historical events that have destroyed entire villages, much less their hoard of gold coins.
Gold coins of the Byzantine Empire and Emperor Phocas in Focus
The Byzantine Empire, also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, was born out of the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, and survived 1,000 years until its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Prior to this time, the Empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe.
The Byzantine Empire continued many of the coinage conventions begun by the Romans, which featured an Emperor on the obverse and a religious symbol of some kind on the reverse. Naturally, an Empire of such breadth and power minted gold coins in prolific numbers and used them in daily trade. However, the number of those coins that have survived in Mint State and graded by NGC is only in the hundreds!
Emperor Phocas reigned from 602-610 AD, and like many rulers of the time, had a very colorful tenure. Contemporary historians taunted him as a ‘barbarian half-breed,’ a ‘Cyclops,’ and a ‘Centaur.’ One later historian even went so far as to say he was “the origin of all of the calamities that plagued the Empire in their own day.”
He rose to the throne after leading an armed revolt overthrowing Emperor Maurice’s government, and in the process, killing Maurice and his six sons and throwing their bodies into the sea. His early reign was marked by a drop in taxes and a strong papal alignment, but his legacy began crumbling just as the outer frontier did. He was eventually overthrown and brutally killed by Heraclius. The Column of Phocas in Rome, and his gold solidus coins are the remaining relics of his reign, a brief yet important phase in Europe’s captivating history.
NGC-graded Ancients: Security and peace of mind
We only offer coins the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has deemed Mint State or better, with no negative condition notations found on many ancient coins. Those would include things like smoothing, clipped, edge marks, repaired, or ex-jewelry, to name a few. Coins with these notations are collectable, but have historically not held their value compared to their problem-free counterparts.
When you buy an accurate and conservatively NGC-graded coin, there is a peace of mind that the coin is indeed what it is said to be. In addition, the grading of ancients has made them far more liquid and easily traded.
About the NGC Choice and Star designation
A coin graded Choice Mint State means it is at the top end of the quality spectrum of expected levels of quality for the grade of Mint State. A coin that is graded Mint State Star (*) has exceptional eye appeal based on impressive aspects of strike, surface, or style.
The obverse of the coin features a facing bust of Phocas, holding a cross. The reverse shows an angel holding a long staff surmounted by a staurogram (the monogram of the cross) and a globus cruciger (also known as the orb and cross).
We have assembled the following group of 17 NGC-graded gold solidus coins for this special offer.
Choice Mint State: 4 available - Call for pricing & availability
Mint State Star: 2 available - Call for pricing & availability
Mint State: 11 available - Call for pricing & availability
Please call 800-831-0007 or send me and email to add one of these ancient coins to your portfolio.