World Coins

Byzantine gold coin leads Lanz auction in Germany

A rare gold histamenon issued during the brief, joint reign of empresses Zoe and Theodora realized €57,500 ($76,938 U.S.), including the 15 percent buyer’s fee, in a Dec. 12 auction.

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A gold Byzantine coin led all bidding during Numismatik Lanz’s Dec. 12 auction of Numismatic Rarities in Munich.

A histamenon of the Byzantine empresses Zoe and Theodora from their short joint reign from April to June 1042, in Extremely Fine condition, realized €57,500 ($76,938 in U.S. funds), including the 15 percent buyer’s fee.

Other highlights include a circa 214 to 212 B.C. gold diobol from the Sicilian city of Syracuse struck during the so-called Fifth Republic, before the city was conquered by the Romans and consequently lost its political autonomy. In EF, the coin realized €41,400 ($55,395 U.S.).

Another standout of the auction was from the Italian offerings, where every lot was sold.

The extremely rare, undated testone of Carlo Giovanni Amadeo, who as duke ruled over Savoy from 1490 to 1496, realized €20,700 ($27,698 U.S.). The coin, in Very Fine, was possibly struck at Turin.

The auction, the firm’s 153rd, realized the equivalent of about $950,000 U.S., including the buyer’s fee, according to Lanz. A total of 694 lots from 906 offered (three were withdrawn before the sale), or 76.6 percent, were sold in the auction.

For more information about the firm, telephone it at (011) 49 89 29 90 70, email it at or visit its website, ¦

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