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Byzantine Gold Coins 2

SCYPHATES (cup shaped)

The reason for the striking of scyphate coins is obscure. My own theory would be that in an era obssessed with and determined by the spread of Christian theocracy, the coin shape was supposed to recall that of the Ciboreum: the cup which stored the Eucharist: the symbolic blood and body of Christ

At any rate, it has been determined (by Simon Bendall) that in order to render full images and legends, the dies of these coins had to be struck twice while rocked gently from side to side. Furthermore, the obverse die was comprised of two discreet halves.

It is thus extremely difficult, even with the most plentiful issues, to find coins that are well struck on both sides, without being double struck. It is equally difficult to find coins of full weight and original contours. Nice examples are few and far between.

In fact, finding a well struck scyphate is about as difficult a task as you will encounter in the ancient coin market.

Here below are several unusually well struck examples.


click on the coin to see the image enlarged.

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Constantin IX. Monomachos, 1042 - 1055

Histamenon (4,38g). Mzst. Konstantinopel. Vs.: + IhS XhI hEX RGNANTIm, frontale Christusb├╝ste mit Kodex. Rs.: + CWnST-ATn bASILEVS Rm, frontale B├╝ste des Kaisers mit Krone, Kreuzzepter u. -globus. DOC 3; Sear 1830

Very rare to find this coin well struck both sides and ch ms.

NGC graded CH MS strk 5/5 surf 5/5

Andronicus II Palaeologus, with Michael IX. 1282-1328. AV Hyperpyron (23mm, 4.02 g,). Thessalonica mint. Bust of the Virgin, orans, within city walls with six groups of towers; K(retrograde)-K / Christ standing facing, crowning Andronicus and Michael kneeling to either side. DOC -; SB 2396 var.; Bendall 207.2.
Good VF, for the issue............$545

Byzantine Gold Coins Page 1



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