World Coins

Byzantine lots highlight Oct. 25 auction

A gold solidus of Artavasdus, struck circa 742 to 743 at the Constantinople Mint, is a highlight among 591 lots of Byzantine coins in the Oct. 25 auction scheduled by Sincona Swiss International Coin Auction AG.

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A circa 742 to 743 gold solidus of Artavasdus struck at the Constantinople Mint leads all offerings among nearly 600 lots of a special selection of Byzantine gold coinage in an Oct. 25 auction.

After conspiring to depose one ruler, and following the death of Leo III, Artavasdus attacked his brother-in-law Constantinus V, eventually triumphantly entering Constantinople “to much acclaim,” according to the firm. The deposed ruler soon ousted Artavasdus and his sons, whom he apprehended and publicly blinded.

The coin, which is “one of the finest known,” according to the auction firm, also depicts Nicephorus. “Virtually as struck,” in Brilliant Uncirculated condition, the coin has an estimate of 50,000 Swiss francs (about $55,410 U.S.).

The auction, the third from Sincona Swiss International Coin Auction AG, is among three scheduled across one week by the Swiss firm.

All the auctions will be held in the Hotel Savoy in Zurich, Switzerland.

A 15 percent buyer’s fee applies to all successful lots, with an additional applicable fee varying depending on bidding method.

Catalogs may be viewed at

Write to the firm at Pelikanstrasse 11, CH-8001 Zürich, telephone Sincona at (011) 41 44 215 1090, email the company at or visit the website

Some highlights:

Byzantine, Justinus I and Justinianus I, 527 gold solidus, Constantinople Mint, 4.48 grams, Lot 3044, Extremely Fine.

Byzantine, Mauricius Tiberius, 586 to 587 gold solidus, regnal year P, Rome Mint, 4.43 grams, Lot 3160, “a bit rough in the strike but otherwise About Uncirculated.”

Byzantine, Heraclius Constantinus, March 11 to July 641 gold solidus, Oficina I, 4.51 grams, “cabinet piece,” Lot 3268, Uncirculated.

Byzantine, Constantinus IV Pogonatus, with Heraclius and Tiberius, 668 to 674 gold solidus, Syracuse Mint, 4.55 grams, Lot 3355, Good EF.

Byzantine, Anastasius II Artemius, 711 to 713 gold solidus, 3.99 grams, Lot 3409, EF.

Byzantine, Theodosius III of Adramytium, 715 to 717 gold solidus, Constantinople Mint, Oficina A, 4.39 grams, Lot 3417, Good EF.

Byzantine, Theodosius III of Adramytium, 715 to 717 debased gold solidus, 4 grams, Lot 3419, Good VF, “some scratches on rev[erse].”

Byzantine, Constantinus VI and Irene, 790 to 792 gold solidus, Constantinople Mint, 4.49 grams, “beautifully struck, all five portraits clear and sharp, small roughness on obv[erse] due to gold impurity,” Lot 3456, BU.

Byzantine, Michael I Rhangabe, with Theophylactus, 811 to 813 gold solidus, Constantinople Mint, 4.39 grams, Lot 3464, AU-EF.

Byzantine, Michael III the Drunkard, 842 to 843 gold solidus, Constantinople Mint, 4.45 grams, Lot 3494, Good VF.

Byzantine, Alexander, 912 to 913 gold solidus, Constantinople Mint, 4.36 grams, Lot 3503, Good VF. ¦

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