Leo VI "the Wise" missing letter???

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Steven Michael Gardner, Jun 23, 2021.

  1. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    I have a question about the Obverse lettering: +LЄOn bASILЄVS ROm This is
    how the Reference Sear 1729 indicates that this coins spelling should be,
    however as you can see my coin is missing the letter "n" after the LEO on
    the beginning of the Obverse spelling...?
    I have had several Leo VI coins and this is the first time that I have come across
    this, can I get some expert opinions on what is going on here and what this may mean
    for this particular coin..??

    29.mm 9.1gm
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
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  3. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    There is something about the way some things are wavy that usually are straight that makes me not like this coin. I do not know enough about this period to have an opinion worth stating but would ask Byzantine experts if this might be a contemporary counterfeit.

    My example with N for comparison.
    tibor likes this.
  4. Steven Michael Gardner

    Steven Michael Gardner Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your insight, I am an artist by trade so from my point of view I find it
    unthinkable for a forger to create a counterfeit of this or any coin, and leave a
    letter out??? Isn't the object of a counterfeit to be indistinguishable from an
    However yes I too have seen other ancient coins with missing letters
    and have deemed some of them modern day copies...
  5. LouisvilleKYShop

    LouisvilleKYShop New Member

    catadc likes this.
  6. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Sort of. Many of the barbaric imitations/counterfeits have artists/celators who failed to understand the reversing of a die, and often have retrograde legends or letters.
    Sometimes they gave up on copying lettering altogether and just did their own thing:
    Constantine I VLPP barb (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
    Bing likes this.
  7. LouisvilleKYShop

    LouisvilleKYShop New Member

    Here are the photos I took of the coin when I listed it for sale if that help:

    5.jpg 3.jpg 2.jpg 1.JPG
  8. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    Of 63 examples in the Dumbarton Oaks catalogue, only one (III.2, p. 521, 8.60) has a variant obverse legend, ending "LVSROm". The same coin has "P for b" on reverse. According to Sear, "This [type] appears to have been issued in greater quantities than almost any other individual type in the Byzantine series", suggesting that a lot of dies must have been cut. Perhaps the error was overlooked or not considered serious enough to scrap the die.
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