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Costantinople, 40-nummi follis, Anastasius I
7.1.2024
..da Ancient & Medieval Coins.
Identification help on this Byzantine.
34mm, 16.27g.
Thanks for any help.
plate 1
Click on images to enlarge
Rome, 8.1.2024
Dear,
I report below the significant elements regarding the figure coin:

40.nummi follis1, Costantinople mint, 491-518 A. D., DOC I 23i, SB 19

Summary description:
D. D N ANASTA-SIVS P P AVG2. Anastasius I, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
R. M large in the centre between two stars3; cross above, Є below, CON4, in exergue.

A search on the web for coins of the figure typology yielded the following results:

  1. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=189362 258, Lot: 500. Estimate $75. Sold for $80. Anastasius I. 491-518. Follis (35mm, 17.13g, 6h). Constantinople mint, 5th officina. Struck 507-512. Pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Large M; cross above, star to left and right, Є below; CON. DOC 23i; MIBE 27; SB 19. Near VF, brown-green patina, surfaces slightly rough.
  2. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=234293 303, Lot: 426. Estimate $100. Sold for $60. Anastasius I. 491-518. Follis (38mm, 17.67g, 5h). Constantinople mint, 5th officina. Struck 512-517. Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Large M; cross above, stars flanking; Є//CON. DOC 23i; MIBE 27; SB 19. VF, green patina, some roughness. From the Bramhall Collection.
  3. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=244616 313, Lot: 349. Estimate $100. Sold for $95. Anastasius I. 491-518. Follis (34mm, 16.13g, 5h). Constantinople mint, 5th officina. Struck 498-518. Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Large M; cross above, stars flanking; Є//CON. DOC 23i; MIBE 27; SB 19. Near VF, green patina, light flaking in areas. From the Iconodule Collection.
  4. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=270686 337, Lot: 549. Estimate $100. Sold for $70. Anastasius I. 491-518. Follis (37.5mm, 19.11g, 6h). Constantinople mint, 5th officina. Struck 498-518. Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Large M; cross above, stars flanking; Є//CON. DOC 23i; MIBE 27; SB 19. Near VF, earthen brown patina, scratches on portrait, minor reverse die break.
  5. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=276087 342, Lot: 811. Estimate $100. Sold for $80. Anastasius I. 491-518. Follis (36mm, 18.33g, 6h). Constantinople mint, 5th officina. Struck 498-518. Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Large M; cross above, stars flanking; Є//CON. DOC 23i; MIBE 27; SB 19. VF, brown patina. From the collection of the MoneyMuseum, Zurich. Ex Helios Webauktion (30 March 2010), lot 506703.
  6. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=278221 344, Lot: 526. Estimate $100. Sold for $110. Anastasius I. 491-518. Follis (33mm, 18.18g, 6h). Constantinople mint, 5th officina. Struck 498-518. Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Large M; cross above, stars flanking; Є//CON. DOC 23i; MIBE 27; SB 19. Near VF, dark green patina with touches of red, some minor deposits.
  7. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=113275 175, Lot: 273. Estimate $150. Sold for $152. Anastasius I. 491-518. AE 40 Nummi Follis (36mm, 18.26g, 7h). Constantinople mint. Struck circa 512-517. Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Large M; cross above, stars flanking, E below; CON. DOC 23i; MIBE 27; SB 19. Good VF, green patina, minor smoothing.
  8. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=113596 176, Lot: 247. Estimate $100.Sold for $130. Anastasius I. 491-518. Follis (35mm, 17.25g). Constantinople mint. Struck 498-518. Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right / Large M; cross above, stars flanking; E/CON. DOC 23i; SB 19. VF, dark greenish-brown patina, some minor roughness.
  9. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=180262 249, Lot: 364. Estimate $100. Sold for $95. Anastasius I. 491-518. Follis (36mm, 16.82g, 6h). Large module. Constantinople mint, 5th officina. Struck 498-518. Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Large M; cross above, stars flanking; Є//CON. DOC 23i; MIBE 27; SB 19. VF, dark green, almost black, patina. From the HLT Collection.
  10. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=180263 249, Lot: 365. Estimate $100. Sold for $95. Anastasius I. 491-518. Follis (38mm, 18.98g, 6h). Large module. Constantinople mint, 5th officina. Struck 498-518. Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Large M; cross above, stars flanking; Є//CON. DOC 23i; MIBE 27; SB 19. VF, even green patina. From the HLT Collection.
Let us come to the conclusions. Within the limits of a remote assessment, the coin, appears to have acceptable physical, general and stylistic characteristics. If authentic, its market value, in my opinion, should not exceed 60.

Best regards.
Giulio De Florio

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Notes:

(1) 40.nummi follis. I collect in the table below the physical characteristics of the coins of the figure type taken from the links above:

References: Weight (g) Diameter (mm) Die axis (h)
Link01 16,04 7 37,4
Link02 17,67 5 38
Link03 16,13 5 34
Link04 19,11 6 37,5
Link05 18,33 6 36
Link06 18,18 6 33
Link07 18,26 7 36
Link08 17,25 - 35
Link09 16,82 6 36
Link10 18,98 6 38
it can be deduced from the table that the physical characteristics of the coin under consideration (16,27g, 34mm) fall within the margins of variability of period coins of the same type found on the web.
(2) D N ANASTA-SIVS P P AVG (Dominus Noster ANASTASIVS Per Petuus AVGustus). I take from the DEI ( Diz. Encicl.Italiano) the following biographical profile of Emperor Anastasius I: "He was born in Durrs in 430 (or 431 A.D.), died perhaps in Constantinople in 518. A modest court official (Durrs 431 - possibly Constantinople 518), when Zeno Isauricus died (491), he married his widow Ariadne. He was crowned despite the hostility of the patriarch Euphemius, who suspected him of being a Monophysite (but Anastasius undertook to respect the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon), and of the Isaurians, who forced him to fight in their region of Asia Minor for five years (492 - 497). He then faced the incursions of the Slavs (from 493), the Bulgarians (from 499), to protect himself from which he had the famous 'long wall' of Constantinople built (507), and those of the Persians, who, having advanced into Mesopotamia (502), he forced into peace (505). He sanctioned instead the rule in Italy of Theodoric (493) and then that of Clovis, who recognised his high sovereignty. He reformed the financial administration by abolishing (498 or 501) the chrysargyron (tax on merchants, usurers, artisans and all those paid for their work, including prostitutes. However, doctors, teachers and peasants selling their own produce were exempt from it) and, while implementing reliefs, he amassed a substantial treasury. In his last years, favouring the Monophysites, he provoked popular uprisings and the rebellion of General Vitalian, who was defeated in 514 and rose again in 518.
(3) M (=40). At the time of Emperor Anastasius I, in 491, there survived, of the earlier late Roman coinage: the gold solid (see link) and two of its fractions, the semisis (see link) and the tremissis (see link), as well as a small copper coin called nummus (see link), which, by the mid-fifth century was worth 1/7200 of a solid and weighed less than 1 g. Anastasius' monetary reform consisted in replacing the small nummus, which had been almost the only copper coins of his predecessors, with larger pieces, with a face value of 5, 10, 20 and 40 times that of the nummus, as shown by the letters Є, I, K, M on the reverse. Less important were the innovations in silver; gold remained that of Zeno. In summary then, the reform of Anastasius (498), for bronze coinage, provided for a nominal of 40 nummi (see link), recognisable by the letter M on the reverse (the Greek letter M stands for 40), a nominal of 20 nummi, recognisable by the letter K (see link), called semifollis, a nominal of 10 nummi, characterised by the letter I (see link) and a 5-nummi nominal (see link), characterised by the letter Є. The follis was a constant in Byzantine coinage for the next six centuries. [News from an article by Philip Grierson, entitled BYZANTINE COINAGE].
(4) Є/CON, with Є/CON below M and CON in exergue. The sign CON is the indicative of Constantinople mint, the Є (=5) indicates the coin workshop that struck the coin.
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