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Gold coins of Justin I and Justinian I Byzantine Emperor

April 4 527 through August 1 527

Due to Justin I's failing health (he had cancer), he needed to chose a successor.  His nephew, Justinian I, who was currently serving as an adviser was made co-emperor.  This coinage was a successful attempt to show through the coinage the succession order of Justin I to Justinian I.  It is thought that the last coinage type (with "lyre" backed thrones) were actually produced upon Justin I's death.  There are some subtle differences in the obverse legend that indicate such an event.

These coins have always had a special appeal and now this is the most complete collection that has ever been put together.  The closest collection (public or private) is Dumbarton Oaks with 7 specimens (6 different varieties).  Of the possible 19 varieties, this collection has 14.  And of the 11 major types, this collection has 10!

Currently (11/00), I am finishing a die study based on Dr. William E. Metcalf's 1987 work, "Joint Reign Gold of Justin I and Justinian I", published by the ANS in Numismatic Studies #17.  In my die study, there has been an exhaustive reexamination of the dies and I have tried to get a census of all known specimens.  The intention is to have it published mid-2001.

During the process of researching this coinage, the coin that Sear had listed as 115a is die linked to two other coins that definitely has an exergual line on the obverse.  The Tolstoi/Hermitage specimen that Sear cites is just a very late die state.

 

Solidus

Constantinople

W-1    DO-1c   Sear-114   Berk-NA    MIBE-1a

Byzant gold coinByzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W1, S-114, DOC-1c, Berk-NA, MIB-1a, R-NA, BMC-1 & 2, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.49g
Diameter - 21.4 mm
Die Axis - 195?
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - H
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, seated with hands clasped on chest, left knee of Justin I and right knee of Justinian I higher
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINIANPPAVG, CONOB in exergue
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGGH, CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Fine
Strike - Much better than average, slight weakness on reverse Angel's face
Flan Quality - Fine, 90% centered
Wear - Minimal
Overall Condition Rating - Almost Mint State (XF+)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Die roughness below INIA on obervse 
Desirability - High
Rarity - Rare (10 to 20 known) - 12 known, 4 impounded in museum collections (11/00)
Provenance - Sotheby's Sale LN7263, April 1997
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $4000.00 - $4500.00

 


W-2    DO-2    Sear-116   Berk-NA    MIBE-1b
W-3    DO-NA   Sear-115b  Berk-NA    MIBE-1c

Byzant gold coinByzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W3, S-115b, DOC-NA, Berk-NA, MIB-1c, R-NA, BMC-NA, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.41g
Diameter - 20.1 mm
Die Axis - 178?
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - B
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, seated with hands clasped on chest, right knee of Justin I and right knee of Justinian I higher
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINIANPPAVG, CONOB in exergue
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGGB, CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Superior
Strike - Superior
Flan Quality - Fine, 90% centered, slight wavyness
Wear - Minimal
Overall Condition Rating - Almost Mint State (XF+)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Small scratch from Angel's head to top of cross at left top Reverse 
Desirability - High
Rarity - Extremely Rare (2 to 5 known) - 5 known, 2 impounded in museum collections (11/00)
Provenance - Frank Kovacs Mail Bid Sale, October 1998
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $4500.00 - $5000.00

 


W-4    DO-5b   Sear-120   Berk-41    MIBE-1d

Byzant gold coinByzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W4, S-120, DOC-5b, Berk-41, MIB-1d, R-NA, BMC-NA, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.45g
Diameter - 21.2 mm
Die Axis - 180?
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - S
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, each seated holding globus, Cross between heads
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINIANPPAVG, CONOB in exergue
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGGS, CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Superb
Strike - One of the most complete strikes that I have ever seen for this series of coins
Flan Quality - Excellant, 100% centered
Wear - None
Overall Condition Rating - Mint State (FDC)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Small impression on the rim at 8 o'clock on the obverse 
Desirability - High
Rarity - Rare (10 to 20 known) - 11 known, 5 impounded in museum collections (11/00)
Provenance - Private treaty Ed Waddell, July 2000
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $7000 - $7500

 


W-4v1  DO-5b   Sear-NA    Berk-NA    MIBE-1d var
W-4v2  DO-8    Sear-124   Berk-NA    MIBE-1d var

Byzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W4v2, S-124, DOC-8, Berk-NA, MIB-1d var, R-437, BMC-6, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.48g
Diameter - 20.2 mm
Die Axis - 180°
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - r (Gamma)
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, each seated holding globus, Cross between heads
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINIPPAVG, CONOB in exergue (Missing AN in JUSTINIAN)
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right (Note the dot under the Star, this is one of two reverse dies that exhibit such a dot.  What is the meaning?  I have not idea, but most likely it meant something.)
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGG(Gamma), CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Superb, polished
Strike - Superb, even the eyes of the emperors and Angel are present
Flan Quality - Superb, 100% centered
Wear - None
Overall Condition Rating - Mint State (FDC)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Only this coins incredible condition
Desirability - High
Rarity - Rare (10 to 20 known) - 15 known, 6 impounded in museum collections (11/00)
Provenance - Private treaty Ed Waddell, January 2000
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $7000.00 - $7500.00

 


W-4v3  DO-NA   Sear-NA    Berk-NA    MIBE-1d var

Byzant gold coinByzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W4v3, S-NA, DOC-NA, Berk-NA, MIB-1d var, R-436, BMC-5, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.45g
Diameter - 21.0 mm
Die Axis - 180?
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - I
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, each seated holding globus, Cross between heads
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINANPPAVG, CONOB in exergue (Missing the I in JUSTINIAN)
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGGI, CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Fine
Strike - Some weakness apparent at center of both sides
Flan Quality - Fine, 100% centered
Wear - Minimal, if any
Overall Condition Rating - Mint State (XF)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Flatness of the upper part of both Angel's wings on reverse
Desirability - High
Rarity - Rare (10 to 20 known) - 14 known, 4 impounded in museum collections (11/00)
Provenance - Private Treaty Ed Waddel, July 2000
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $4000.00 - $4500.00

 


W-5    DO-NA   Sear-117   Berk-NA    MIBE-N1
W-5v1  DO-NA   Sear-NA    Berk-NA    MIBE-N1 var

Byzant gold coinByzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W5v1, S-NA, DOC-NA, Berk-NA, MIB-N1 var, R-NA, BMC-NA, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.47g
Diameter - 19.8 mm
Die Axis - 195?
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - B
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, each seated holding globus, a partial throne with a cushion on both sides, long Cross between their heads
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINIANPPAV, CONOB in exergue (No G at end of obverse legend)
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGGB, CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Fine obverse and superb reverse
Strike - Better than average, with a little weakness on obverse legend from 9 to 12 o'clock
Flan Quality - Fine, 95% centered
Wear - Minimal, if any
Overall Condition Rating - Almost Mint State (XF)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Weakness on obverse legend from 9 to 12 o'clock
Desirability - High
Rarity - Extremely Rare (2 to 5 known) - 3 known, 1 impounded in a museum collection (11/00)
Provenance - Private treaty from Artkeepers, October 2000
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $4500.00 - $5000.00

 


W-6    DO-1a   Sear-115   Berk-NA    MIBE-2a

Byzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W6, S-115, DOC-1a, Berk-NA, MIB-2a, R-NA, BMC-3, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.50g
Diameter - 20.4 mm
Die Axis - 185°
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - (Theta)
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, seated with hands clasped on chest, left knee of Justin I and right knee of Justinian I higher, high backed throne present on both sides made of dots
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINIANPPAV, CONOB in exergue (No G at end of legend)
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGG(Theta), CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Superb, polished
Strike - Superb, even the eyes of the emperors and Angels are present
Flan Quality - Superb, 90% center
Wear - None
Overall Condition Rating - Mint State (FDC)
This Coin's Uniqueness - None
Desirability - High
Rarity - Rare (10 to 20 known) - 16 known, 6 impounded in museums (11/00)
Provenance - Private treaty Ed Waddell, January 2000
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $7000.00 - $7500.00

 


W-6v1  DO-NA   Sear-NA    Berk-NA    MIBE-2a var
W-7    DO-6b   Sear-121   Berk-NA    MIBE-2b

Byzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W7, S-121, DOC-6b, Berk-NA, MIB-2b, R-NA, BMC-NA, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.49g
Diameter - 20.5 mm
Die Axis - 180?
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - A
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, seated on throne with cross between heads, each holding globus, throne make of uprights (missing the lower section on both sides)
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINANPPAVG, CONOB in exergue
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGGA, CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Fine
Strike - Average, slight weakness on both emperors upper body and periphal edges of obverse legends
Flan Quality - Fine, 90% centered
Wear - Minimal, if any
Overall Condition Rating - Mint State (XF)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Two stains on the reverse, one at 8 to 9 o'clock and the other at 2 o'clock
Desirability - High
Rarity - Extremely Rare (2 to 5 known) - 3 known, 2 impounded in museum collections (11/00)
Provenance - Harlan Berk's Buy or Bid Sale #112, 01/2000, Lot 56 = Private treaty Harlan Berk, November 2000
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $5000.00 - $5500.00

 


W-8    DO-3    Sear-118   Berk-NA    MIBE-2c

Byzant gold coinByzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W8, S-118, DOC-3, Berk-NA, MIB-2c, R-NA, BMC-NA, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.48g
Diameter - 20.6 mm
Die Axis - 195?
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - r (Gamma)
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, seated on throne with cross between heads, each holding globus, throne made of uprights and crossbar
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINIANPPAVG, CONOB in exergue
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGG(Gamma) CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Superior, polished
Strike - Die alignment weakness on the lower part of Justin's body on obverse, and upper part of the Angel's left wing
Flan Quality - Superior, 100% centered
Wear - Minimal
Overall Condition Rating - Mint State (FDC)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Die crack to N of CONOB on reverse
Desirability - High
Rarity - Scarce to Rare (20 to 50 known) - 28 known, 10 impounded in museum collections (11/00)
Provenance - Private treaty from A.H. Baldwins, March 1998
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $4000.00 - $4500.00

 

 

W-8v1  DO-4    Sear-119   Berk-NA    MIBE-2c var

Byzant gold coinByzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W8v1, S-119, DOC-4, Berk-NA, MIB-2c var, R-438, BMC-NA, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.47g
Diameter - 20.8 mm
Die Axis - 175°
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - S
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, each holding globus, sitting on throne with a cross-bar between their heads and a Cross above
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINANPPAVG, CONOB in exergue (Missing the I in JUSTINIAN)
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGGS, CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Extremely fine
Strike - Almost superb, with the slightess weakness at the lower legend lettering on obverse
Flan Quality - Fine, 85% centered
Wear - Minimal, if any
Overall Condition Rating - Almost Mint State (XF+)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Light stain on reverse
Desirability - High
Rarity - Extremely Rare (2 to 5 known) - 5 known, 1 impounded in museum collection (11/00)
Provenance - Private Treaty Ed Waddell - July 2000
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $4500.00 - $5000.00

 


W-8v2  DO-NA   Sear-NA    Berk-NA    MIBE-2c var
W-9    DO-NA   Sear-115c  Berk-NA    MIBE-3a

Byzant gold coinByzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W9, S-115c, DOC-NA, Berk-NA, MIB-3a, R-NA, BMC-NA, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.48g
Diameter - 20.7 mm
Die Axis - 180°
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - Z (retrograde)
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, seated with hands clasped on chest, right knee of both Justin I and Justinian I higher, seated on "lyre" backed throne
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINIANPPAVG, CONOB in exergue
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGGZ(retrograde), CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Extremely fine, polished
Strike - Superb
Flan Quality - Fine, 95% centered, small flan buckle as produced
Wear - Minimal, if any
Overall Condition Rating - Almost Mint State (XF+)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Small flan buckle visible from 7 to 11 o'clock on the reverse
Desirability - High
Rarity - Extremely Rare (2 to 5 known) - 3 known, none impounded in museum collections (11/00)
Provenance - Private Collector - November 2000
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $6000.00 - $6500.00

 


W-10   DO-7a   Sear-122   Berk-NA    MIBE-3b

Byzant gold coinByzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Constantinople
Reference Information - W10, S-122, DOC-7a, Berk-NA, MIB-3b, R-NA, BMC-NA, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.50g
Diameter - 21.6 mm
Die Axis - 170°
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - Delta
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, each holding globus on chest, seating on "lyre" backed throne with cross-bar and a Cross between their heads
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINVETIVSTINIANVSPPAVG, CONOB in exergue
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory seated facing right holding cross and globus with cross, star at right
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGG(Delta), CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Fine-Extremely Fine (The "scratches" between the bodies of Justin I and Justinian I is actually die clash marks that are present on all known specimens.)
Strike - Superb
Flan Quality - Fine, 90% centered
Wear - Very Light
Overall Condition Rating - Almost Mint State (XF)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Rim flatness on the lower part of the reverse
Desirability - High
Rarity - Rare (10 to 20 known) - 11 known, 5 impounded in museum collections (11/00)
Provenance - Private Collector - November 2000
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - $5500.00 - $6000.00

 


W-10v1 DO-7b   Sear-123   Berk-NA    MIBE-3b var Thessalonica

W-11   DO-NA   Sear-NA    Berk-NA    MIBE-N3

Byzant gold coinByzant gold coin
Denomination - Solidus
Minted At - Thessalonica
Reference Information - W11, S-NA, DOC-NA, Berk-NA, MIB-NA, R-NA, BMC-NA, BN-NA
Weight in Grams - 4.42g
Diameter - 19.7 mm
Die Axis - 195?
Accepted Striking Period - 527
Officinae - NA
Obverse Image - Justin I on left and Justinian I on right, both nimbate, seated with hands holding globus, left knee of Justin I and left knee of Justinian I higher
Obverse Legend - DNIVSTINETIVSTINIANPPACG, CONOB in exergue
Reverse Image - Angel of Victory standing facing left, holding cross made of dots, stars in left and right field
Reverse Legend - VICTORI-AAVGGG, CONOB in exergue
Die Quality - Extremely Fine
Strike - Superior
Flan Quality - Fine, 95% centered, polished
Wear - Minimal, if any
Overall Condition Rating - Mint State (~FDC)
This Coin's Uniqueness - Light die lines running vertically in field of obverse 
Desirability - Extremely High
Rarity - Unique (only 1 known)
Provenance - November 1993 Aus Auktion Dorotheum 30 - Lot 114, May 1995 Bank Leu Sale 61 - Lot 320, Harlan Berk, May 1997
1999 Approximate Value (US $) - Whatever someone will pay