Help on a Byzantine Follis Imitation or?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by BenSi, May 2, 2021.

  1. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    I thought it was an imitation but I am not sure, seems to have signs of overstrike or double strike. Its not my time period, I cannot figure out the ruler or even the mint.

    Any help would be appreciated. The picture was the best I could do, the reverse clearly has a M. The rest ??
    11.9gm and 32,76mm

    The mint mark I am unfamiliar with, here is a focus on that.

    It came from a group lot of all around descent coins. No imitations in the group perhaps besides this.

    Any assistance would be appreciated. TY
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  3. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    None of our experts have chimed in, I see, so I'll offer my 2 cents. The coin most probably depicts Heraclius with Heraclius Constantine. I think there are two possibilities, 1) the Seleucia Isauriae mint, or 2) a Syrian imitation struck by the Sassanids, Pottier Class IV(2).

    The Seleucia Isauriae mint should have a mint signature something like SЄLISЧ, but I have certainly seem some wild ones, and a double or overstrike (quite common) could make these look like your coin. Here's an example (not mine):
    Screen Shot 2021-05-02 at 10.28.13 PM.jpg
    If there's any evidence of a large star above the M, this strikes me as the best bet.

    A secondary possibility: the Syrian imitations issued during the Sasanian occupation can vary quite widely, and could look like your coin. I'd suggest looking at Pottier's paper Le monnayage de la Syrie sous l'occupation Perse, available here: .

    Here's mine, which is somewhat different (probably from what Pottier later called a "secondary mint" further east), and overstruck on an Anastasius follis:

    The weight of your coin is consistent with either possibility, but would be more common for the Seleucia mint. I hope those thoughts help with your research!
    DonnaML, Andres2, BenSi and 2 others like this.
  4. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    THANK YOU @Severus Alexander , I was in the right era but no idea to go from there, the obverse is actually charming, i normally would have dismissed it but it had that certain something.
    Your detailed analysis was excellent.
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  5. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    I does indeed look like a Heraclius issue of Issauria, Sear 844-846. They are notoriously rough as well as tough to find, you done good. I'm still looking for
    the half follis. I have Sear 845 and 848, the 848 is very weakly struck as the officina "B" is barely visible and the year is off the flan. As Sear notes, they are often struck over earlier issues. My 845 is a very bold strike with tan desert patination.
    Sorry, I don't have an image available of either one. Maybe I should get busy with my camera stuff. Thanks for posting the coin, I love weird stuff which is what drew me to the Byzantine series originally. I'm a scrounger.
    BenSi and Severus Alexander like this.
  6. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Sear 844 of Heraclius from Seleucia can look like this:
    31 mm. 10.51 grams. Year 7.
    The type is usually very poorly struck.
    BenSi likes this.
  7. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    Great coin Valentinian, congrats.
  8. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    A very interesting coin!

    I think it is an imitation. The style of the figures and their headdresses on the obverse look quite un-Byzantine.
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