Byzantine Empire Andronicus II & Michael IX, Electrum Hyperpyron, 1295-1320

Denomination: Gold hyperpyron

Period: Byzantine empire

Date: 1295-1320

Origin: Constantinople mint

Condition: VF+ for type

Obverse: Bust of the Virgin Mary, within city walls with 6 towers

Reverse: Andronicus left and Michael right, kneeling either side of Christ standing crowning both emperors

Size and Weight: 23mm, 3.27g

References: Spink 2396, BMC 2 p.620, 21-3

Features and Provenance: This coin is unusual in more ways than one. The most obvious aspect is the shape, it is cupped, or as numismatists call it, scyphate. The reason for the shape is unknown but aids stacking and promotes sturdiness and durability. The next thing is that it is made of Electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver - the more gold the more orange the coin would be. The obverse is the concave side and the reverse the convex. 

Andronicus was a senior Byzantine emperor from 1282-1328. Under his rule the empire went into decline. In his efforts to save funds he reduced the army and sold off the fleet which weakened the state even further. He ruled with his son, Michael, for a quarter of a century, until his son's premature death, he was then forced to abdicate by Andronicus III. He retired to a monastery and lived as monk Anthony until his death in 1332.  

 

 

Condition Summary. This varies with the age of coin and there are grades between

Uncirculated (U). As struck with no traces of wear

Extremely Fine (EF). Very slight traces of wear, all parts of legend etc present, visible and clear

Very Fine (VF). Some signs of wear on the higher parts of the relief, all parts of legend etc present, but maybe worn

Fine (F). Wear on the coin and parts of legend etc may be missing or not visible

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Product Code: RNC059
  • Availability: Sold
  • £350.00

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