Byzantine Coins – Manuel I Commenus Aspron Trachy 1152-1167


Product Code:RNC094

1 in stock

1 in stock


Heading: Byzantine coins for sale – Manuel I Comnenus Aspron Trachy

Denomination: Aspron trachy made of electrum

Period: Byzantine empire

Date: 1152 – 1167

Origin: Constantinople mint

Condition: Near mint state. an excellent example of this often poorly struck coin

Obverse: Christ Pantokrator enthroned. facing; IC-XC across fields. holding Book of Gospels and raising right hand

Reverse: Manuel standing facing on left. wearing stemma. jewelled loros. holding akakia and the Virgin Mary standing facing; wearing tunic and maphorium. holding patriarchal cross between them; M-[O]V across upper fields [the legend Manuel in Greek would be to left]. MANUHA to left DECPO[TH] to right in Greek lettering

Size and Weight: 33mm. 3.54g

References: Sear 1958

Features and Provenance:  This coin is unusual in more ways than one when compared to our Byzantine coins for sale. 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 helps this already thin coin’s sturdiness and durability. The next thing is that the Byzantines made it with Electrum, which is a naturally occuring alloy of gold and silver. They were called Aspron Trachy which means white and uneven. The obverse is the concave side and the reverse the convex.

Manuel I would probably not have taken the throne if he was alive today. The lack of communication was to his advantage.  His father named him as successor on his deathbed after campaigning in Cilicia. doing so ahead of Manuel’s elder brother. The army agreed to this. To ensure that his brother. who was at home in Constantinople. would not take the throne and the family fortune ahead of him. Manuel sent a messenger to arrest his brother. When the messenger arrived they had heard nothing of the king’s death and the arrest was completed.

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


Additional information

Weight50 g


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