Rarely Seen Error on Late Roman Gold

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Al Kowsky, Apr 27, 2021.

  1. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    CNG E-Auction 489, 584_2(4).jpg
    Zeno, 2nd Reign, AD 476-491, Constantinople Mint, 1st Officina. AV Solidus: 21 mm, 4.49 gm, 6 h. Obverse: Pearl diademed emperor with feather plumed helmet, cuirassed bust facing slightly right, holding spear over shoulder & shield decorated with horseman spearing a fallen enemy. D N ZENO PERP AVG. Reverse: Victory standing left holding a long-jeweled cross, star in right field. VICTORI A A**GGGA, in exergue CONOB. RIC X 910 & 929. Ex CNG 489, lot 584.

    CNG states in their description "Overstruck on an uncertain under type.", however, the under type is clearly identifiable if you rotate the reverse image 90 degrees CCW, as seen in the photo below.

    Zeno AV solidus, flip-over double strike.jpg
    Zeno solidus cut-outs.jpg

    The closeup reverse image from 11:00- 1:00 o'clock reveals traces of the helmet feathers & letters PER. Another closeup view from 7:00- 5:00 o'clock reveals the bottom of the cuirass & shield. The coin is a flip-over double strike, not unlike errors seen on modern manufactured coins, but very rare on late Roman gold coins :jawdrop:. Double strikes & over strikes on late Roman & Byzantine copper coins are fairly common. Pictured below for comparison is another well struck solidus of Zeno, once thought to be an Ostrogothic copy but now considered a product of the Constantinople Mint.

    CNG E-Auction 489, 584_2(4).jpg NGC 2101304-001 (3).jpg
    akeady, Spaniard, galba68 and 19 others like this.
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  3. DiomedesofArgos

    DiomedesofArgos Well-Known Member

  4. Hrefn

    Hrefn Well-Known Member

    Fascinating. Here’s another Zeno solidus where the CONOR in the exergue appears reworked to CONOB. The poor fallen warrior on the obverse shield appears to be getting the spear right in the face.
    I think the alteration in the exergue’s inscription supports the attribution of these solidi to Constantinople .
    Plus, Ouch! upload_2021-4-27_10-4-20.jpeg upload_2021-4-27_10-5-38.jpeg
  5. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Hrefn, That's a great looking solidus of Zeno :happy:! You're right, that poor fallen enemy is taking the spear in the head :eek:, just like the zombies on the "Walking Dead" show :hilarious:. I've seen many solidi of Zeno with the R converted into a B, & I've never seen an expert explanation for this o_O....
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
    Hrefn and galba68 like this.
  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Very interesting coin @Al Kowsky and a nice catch.
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