Byzantine anonymous folles

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. KParsons

    KParsons New Member

    That's a great point. I'm interested in this information so I know what's really scarce versus just what I'm seeing in the market today, so I gathered this more so I'm an informed buyer.

    I will say that it's certainly possible that comprehensive evidence of relative rarity can influence prices - as long as it becomes common knowledge in the hobby. That seems to be tough these days.

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  3. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    When I started this thread my page had a frequency table from seven published collections. Then @KParsons pointed out a recent article with data from Turkish museums and excavations. I have redone the table:

    to include columns for that data. In general the new data confirm the general impression given by the old data. The one odd thing is that he did not include Class J coins from anywhere because the Bolo Museum did not have any Class J pieces. That is unfortunate for our purpose.
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  4. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    Here's my Basil II & Constantine VIII:

    10.0g and 27.0mm
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  5. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    It has been, and in a DOC work. I just ran into this. Most will find this to be an easier read.

    This was referenced in 2002 , It is strange on how the coin world and the academic do not update at the same time. @Valentinian great website and good thread. I truly cannot defend the concept of an A3 class follis but I really doubt if we can erase it easily or soon.
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  6. KParsons

    KParsons New Member

    I agree that the A2/A3 distinction isn't meaningful at this time. While there are clearly larger coins and smaller coins (and pretty much everything in between) - and the style/feel of the coins seem different - there doesn't appear (yet) to be a hard line that you can draw based on weight, size, or variety such that what's an A2 and what's an A3 is apparent. I agree with David, who said in an earlier post:

    That, to me, is the key. Get crystal clear on the major varieties (and the minor variations of these varieties), redo the classification (hopefully chronologically), and then see if any natural divisions emerge (such as A2/A3) that are clear to understand and explain.

    And here are my tables of numbers. There are 3 tables here - excavation/hoard/stray finds, museums/major collections, and the Mardin "hoard" (which has way different ratios than the others, so I kept it separate as an outlier). I kept these separate because I think valid conclusions that can be drawn from each table are different.

    Anon Folles Excavation-Hoard-Stray Finds.jpg

    Anon Folles Museums-Collections.jpg

    Anon Folles Mardin Hoard.jpg
  7. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Great info, just not sure I agree, especially concerning the E versus F ratio. Me, and many dealers I have always spoken to who specialize in these, have always found the E much easier to find, especially in nice condition, than the F.
  8. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Well this thread was expensive for me, it rekindled my interest in the series and I did add a few new ones that I have already shared. Here is my newest..

    Class F 26.88mm and 7.38gm. r5.jpg
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  9. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice Class F. For those reading, the Class F frequently is very corroded or overstruck badly. This is a well above average specimen.
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  10. KParsons

    KParsons New Member

    I agree with you - F is very tough to find in the market - especially in good condition. I would put J in a similar category. F and J are also frequently overstruck, making a clear impression of the design even rarer. In contrast, Class E coins are rarely overstruck (a fact that begs the question of why), so the combination of higher grades and rare overstrikes makes E way more available in nice, high grades.

    Market trends (perception of rarity) and absolute rarity aren't always the same. Conditional rarity is another thing entirely. I believe that when a coin type has conditional rarity (rare in higher grades), it also drives up the perception of absolute rarity in all grades. The result is more collectors 'hoarding' these coins in all grades, which further drives market rarity.

    One of my purposes in gathering this data was to get a sense of absolute rarity, which I believe the excavation table provides. It isn't intended to reflect market rarity. The market seems to value J (all grades), F (all grades), H, G, I, and high grade A2/3's the most.
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  11. KParsons

    KParsons New Member

    I agree! BenSi, your Class F is very nice. Nice pickup!
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  12. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    I bought it from a dealer that I have worked with for decades, he misattributed it as a D and I told him in advance he was incorrect, he agreed and reattributed it but sold it at the same price, so I got a good deal. I cannot find any traces of it being overstruck so that was a big plus. Thanks for the compliments.
  13. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I started this thread by announcing a web site on Byzantine anonymous folles.

    Almost all the site is unchanged since then, but the tables of the frequencies of the types have been improved and extended.

    One thing collectors want to know is how common or rare various types are, so I included a table with that type of data that I extracted from several major sources. Then, in a post above our member @KParsons cited some additional sources and contributed some tables of additional data about frequencies of the various types. In cooperation with him I have added a supplemental page of frequency data to the site:

    If you don't care about anonymous folles, that won't matter to you. However, if you care a lot about them you might find the data interesting. It tables over 25,000 extant anonymous folles! Imagine the vast numbers that must have been issued.
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  14. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Great posts and information overall sir. What is puzzling to me is the E class. I have never had a problem buying pretty nice ones. Sure, it seemed scarcer than A-D, but always findable. Maybe because it looks so much like other types there is not much demand for it.

    What I always found from the marketplace is F, H, and J scarce, but when you find an H its usually pretty nice. The F and J usually come cruddy, (corroded, overstruck, or other issues), so I always told people to focus on a nice one of those most. Most Es might not be terrific, but corroded or overstruck ones not a major limitation like the other 2.
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  15. KParsons

    KParsons New Member

    I think you nailed the reason - it just doesn't look different enough from Class A coins to generate a lot of demand, which results in it being more available in the marketplace. Since they are rarely overstruck, that also helps find nicer ones where the design is clear. It's tough to argue the relative rarity, though, with the overwhelming amount of data that is extremely consistent for Class E % across the board.

    I'll also agree with you regarding your observations of F, H, and J. They are hard to find in almost any condition, but nice F and J coins are particularly rare.

    Thank you, Valentinian, for pulling all this together. It has been a pleasure working with you on this.
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