Byzantine Gold Coin

One of the lesser known colloquialisms in the English language is the phrase “setting up Constantinople.” This phrase refers to establishing a successful home base for a business and it is not used very often. This is in part due to the fact that Constantinople refers to the legendary capital of the late, great Byzantine Empire of the Middle Ages. As great of an empire it was it apparently is not remembered well enough by the average person to remain at the center of a colloquialism.

What a pity as the Byzantine Empire was a powerful – yet mostly benign – empire that brought a certain measure of stability to the European region during a time period that was stoked by instability and lawlessness. Much greatness came out of the Byzantine Empire not the least of which was the establishment of a currency. Now, while currency is designed for function and not form it is pretty difficult to not tip one’s hat to the brilliantly designed gold coins of the Byzantine Empire.

The design and look of the Byzantine gold coin was modeled after the gold coins of the Roman Empire. Now, while it is safe to say that a tremendous amount of artistry went into the look of Roman coins the Byzantine gold coin was an even more unique and brilliantly designed currency. This is why there remains significant interest this very day in acquiring reproductions of these legendary and unique coins. Originally referred to as the “histamenon nomisma” coins these are among the most prized coins in collectors circles.

Byzantine Gold Coin

Byzantine Gold Coin

In addition to the artistry of these coins there is unique historical significance associated with them as they were the very first coins to feature the likeness of Jesus Christ on them. These coins are incredibly rare and while there is interest in the reproductions there is also serious interest in the original gold coins of which there are very few in existence with the bulk of those remaining in existence being only recently uncovered in excavations in the Middle East.

These coins are oddly designed in the shape of a “C” but the design does not detract from the look of the coin. Instead, it enhances their look. As previously mentioned, the one side of the coin features the image of Jesus Christ and the reverse side of the coins feature a well crafted image of the Byzantine Emperor. It has been said that this dual imagery is designed to create an impression that the law is governed by divine and secular order. This speaks much of the ideologies and thought processes of conventional wisdom during the era of the Empire. They are also incredibly striking to look at and this is what makes these coins so highly prized by collectors the world over.

If anything can greatly stimulate interest it is uniqueness mixed with scarcity. This is the most apt description of Byzantine gold coins and this description ties greatly in to the highly desired collectible nature of this wonderful coins.


One Response to “Byzantine Gold Coin”
  1. Koichi Ito says:

    Byzantine gold coins are cheaper than Ancient Greek or Roman gold coins. This is an ancient gold coins for beginners?

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