The many faces of the same coin.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by BenSi, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    This is a version of 1/2 tetarteron of Manuel I , this one really caught my attention and I was lucky enough to get this in an Auction in Zurich.

    The design was very simple and their are two versions of this coin . The difference was the monogram , the center being an added device versus a straight line. This example has its faults but a wonderful example, I am always attracted to the copper look with clean fields. s7.jpg

    OBV Small neat letters Monogram Sear 57

    REV Bust of emperor, beardless, wearing stemma, divitision, collar piece ( Most frequently decorated 5 jewels) and paneled loros of simplified type; holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

    Size 20.26mm

    Weight 2.7gm

    DOC lists 12 examples with weights ranging from 2.04gm to 2.77 gm with sizes from 18mm to 21mm.

    My other examples were extremely nice but not as eye catching.

    Size 18.88 weight 2.89gm

    The issue was very popular and was imitated as late as 1312 CE, the original was minted between 1143 to 1180 CE.

    The issue was easy to imitate, no legend and very simple icon. Unfortunately, their is no way to know when exactly this imitation was minted.
    t1.jpg Size 16mm Weight 2.4gm

    Their was a century or two this denomination was the dominate coinage of Greece.

    If you have one of these in your collection please feel free to share. It would be interesting to compare.
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  3. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    My related coin. I did not manage to measure and weight it yet. But I believe this is a Sear 1979, and not a 1977. Would be nice if you could cast some light on how to separate the two.
    Pic combined.png
  4. Theodosius

    Theodosius Unrepentant Fine Style Freak! Supporter

    That is a very attractive piece!

    BenSi likes this.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Mine is more complex with added dots and an extra line in the center 'pi'. Meaning?
  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice coins. Don't have any Manuel's yet but he is an interesting historical figure in the history of the Crusades. He appears as a "fiend" in this book by the bishop Odo of Deuil, where his misdeeds against the Crusaders are recounted.

    De profectione Ludovici VII in Orientem: The journey of Louis VII to the East


    He actually was a good emperor who slowed down the deterioration of the Byzantine state and territories. It's just that the Byzantines and Franks had different goals and objectives. By forcing the Crusaders to swear fealty and suzerainty to him in exchange for supplies they developed a deep resentment.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
    philologus_1 likes this.
  7. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    The monogram is the major difference on the two issues. t3.jpg

    This is above is SBCV-1979

    This one, is rarer

    It all has to do with the center of the monogram. Their is also a difference in the collar pieces on the rulers neck, 5 for SBCV-1977 and 6 for SBCV-1979.

    Then that leads us to Doug's coin.


    The color piece on the ruler has 6 dots. leading me to SBCV-1979, however I have never seen the other markings before. In my opinion it is not a miss-strike. It is something new.

    Sometimes on SBCV-1979 you will see a dot, (here I would say by the K ) these are thought to be mint marks of some sort. They will appear in different places of the SBCV-1979 monogram. I do not think a full study has ever been done, this however is far more complex than a simple dot.
  8. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    His biggest mistake was not properly preparing for his death, his son Alexius II as a young teen was quickly tricked and killed by Andronicus I, who then took the Purple.

    He had learned from the exploits of his Grandfather Alexius I on how best to protect the empire from the Latins. Basically trying to get some of the spoils without the fight.

    An excellent read is a book called "In the Shadow of Father and Son" it is about John II Comnenus aka John The Beautiful. I read it a few years ago and it influenced me to complete the collection of his coinage. Basically it shows he was one of the greatest rulers of the empire but not well known.

    During Manuel's reign, debasement of the coinage began again after 50 years of keeping the high standard of Alexius and John II.
  9. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Here is my SBCV-1979, the dot is at the M. Also note how many are in the DOC collection. I am sure at some point they said hey stop giving us these.

    OBV Large, often ill formed letters

    REV Bust of emperor, beardless, wearing stemma, divitision, collar piece ( Most frequently decorated with 6 jewels) and paneled loros of simplified type; holds in r. hand labarum on long shaft and in l. Globus cruciger.

    Size 17.33mm

    Weight 2.59 gm

    This coin is good Very fine, lightly circulated. I believe this to be a perfect example.

    DOC lists 27 examples with weights ranging from 1.10gm to 2.96 gm with sizes from 14mm to 18mm.
  10. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    The coins at the top of this thread are in wonderful condition, unlike mine!

    I have Sear 1977 in two sizes: SB1977ManuelIn16127.jpg
    Sear 1977
    19 mm. 2.41 grams


    Sear 1977.
    14 mm. 1.53 grams.
    I suppose this one could a half of the other, but the sizes of tetartera are so erratic that it is hard to say. If the OP coin is already a half, would this be a fourth? I doubt it. You would think the ancients would use different designs for different denominations, but it is often--even usually--not the case.

    Here is Sear 1979:

    Sear 1979
    16-15 mm. 1.64 grams.
  11. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Another SBCV-1977

    Size 16.40mm

    Weight 2.8gm

    Well worn but still attractive with bronze high lights.
  12. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    Interesting thread! I have a few coins of this ruler, but none of this type or with monogram. Thanks to @ancient coin hunter & @BenSi for the historical bio info.

    I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but since the O.P. mentioned always being "attracted to the copper look with clean fields" I thought of my coin shown below. It seems to have not just been 'cleaned', but stripped -- then some manner of reddish artificial (though pretty) toning added. I was attracted to it due to its copperish look which one could reasonably imagine the coin had after a short time in circulation.
    Justin II Æ follis, 565-578 AD
    Mint: Constantinople, year 2 (566-567 AD)
    Obv: D N IVSTI-NVS PPAV; Justin on left, Sophia on right, seated facing on double throne, both nimbate; he holds globus cruciger, she holds cruciform sceptre.
    Rev: Large M; above, cross; to the left, A/N/N/O in four lines; to the right, II; below, A; in exergue, CON.
    Weight: 15.45 gr. Diam.: 30 mm.
    Attrib.: Sear BCV 360; DO 26.
    Notes: Almost no corrosion damage, well and evenly struck, with less wear than is usually found for this type.
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