A Nice & Rare Follis of Constantine IV

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by robinjojo, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Here's a coin that I purchased from Harlan Berk back in the early 90s (that's as close I can get without resorting to carbon 14 dating). It is a follis of Constantine IV, Byzantine Emperor, who ruled from 668-685 AD.

    While his gold coinage is relatively available, as is some of his bronze coinage, this particular coin is very difficult to locate. It is without qualification, the key coin of my Byzantine bronzes.


    The son of Constans II, Constantine IV's reign was highlighted by the Arab siege of Constaninople from 674-678, one that failed and ended in a truce in which the Arabs surrendered the occupied islands in the Aegean and paid annual tribute to the Emperor.

    The orthodox doctrine of the Eastern Church was also reaffirmed during his reign, resolving the conflict between that doctrine and monotheism, which was rejected and denounced as heretical in 681, at the Third Council of Constantinople.

    Here's a link for more information on his reign:


    Byzantine Empire, Circa 668-681 AD
    Constantine IV, 668-685 AD
    Officina A
    Berk - 715
    Hanh - 77
    35 mm, 16.41 grams, 6h

    D-Camera Constantine IV Follis, 668-685 AD, 16.41 grams, Berk purchase  6-6-20.jpg

    What other coins of Constantine IV and the period of his reign are out there? Please post if you wish. Thanks
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    What a great coin, Robin. I have never seen that reverse type on a Byzantine bronze before. Congrats.
  4. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Here's one other example, this one depicting Constantine IV with a beard. It was purchased at about the same time as the first example.

    Constantine IV
    Officina A
    34 mm, 17.3 grams, 6h

    D-Camera Constantine IV Follis, 668-685 AD, 17.3 grams, Berk purchase  6-6-20.jpg
    randygeki, Marsyas Mike, Bing and 2 others like this.
  5. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    A regular Sicilian follis:

  6. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

  7. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, that is what attracted my attention, as I am rather oblivious about the type, is it Sear 1210?
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    As I understand the matter, the reason those are scarce is that many were chopped into four pieces and overstruck as half folles by Justinian II:

    Doing the math, that doubles the value of each large coin: 10 nummi in yields 20 out so the original became 80 nummi for the price of 40.
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    Nice coin. I have some Constans II pieces but they are nothing to look at for the most part. Your Constantine IV coin is large for the time, well struck, and with an interesting reverse.
  10. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Disregard my entry, it seems that it's Constans rather than Constantine IV, S.1107
  11. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    What a great coin! Thanks for sharing it! How concidental that you did, because last night I thought about posting this composite photo I made years ago of half folles of Constantine's successors made from quartered sections of his folles.

    And here are a few more of his folles.

    Constantinople 668-73. 17.04 gr. 41 mm. 7 hr. Sear 1173 (this coin); DO 28e; Hahn 77.

    Constantinople 674-81. 17 gr. 38 mm. 7 hr. Sear 1176 (this coin); BNP 7; Hahn 80 (this coin). Ex coll. Ian Roper and Harlan Berk. Ex Hunt "Highly Important Byzantine Coins", Sotheby's Dec. 5-6 1990, lot 431.

    Constantinople 683-84. 16.65 gr. 35 mm. 6 hr. Sear 1177; DO 32b; Hahn 81. After Heraclius and Tiberius were deposed in 681, their images were removed from the coinage and replaced on the folles by the regnal year.
  12. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    Great example
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