Byzantine 5, 10, 20, 40 Nummi (Follis)  491AD to 1453
Byzantine 5, 10, 20, 40 Nummi (Follis) 491AD to 1453

The Byzantine Empire is a fascinating aspect of history to study. It arose when the Roman Empire fragmented in the 5th century AD, and survived all the way until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

Coins were minted by a wide range of empires, often considered to begin with Anastasius I (491-518 AD) and end with Constantine XI (1448-1453).

Their coins started out resembling the later Roman bronzes, but quickly developed a distinctive look, starting with the coinage reform of Anastasius I in 498. The denominations were:

• Five nummi, a 'pentanummium', marked with the letter 'E', the Greek numeral for 5.
• Ten nummi, a 'decanummium', marked with the letter 'I', the Greek numeral for 10.
• Twenty nummi or a half-/semifollis, marked with the ketter 'K', the Greek numeral for 20.
• Forty nummi, or a follis, marked with the letter 'M', the Greek numeral for 40.

Some early coins, before the reform, were marked with roman numerals, i.e. 'V' for 5 nummi, 'X' for 10 nummi, 'XX' for 20 nummi, and 'XXXX' for 40 nummi.

The coins discussed on this page are relatively thick and made of copper or copper-alloys. Other issues were struck in silver, others yet in gold, some small and regular, others delicate, ragged and convex.

Byzantine coins have the interesting feature that many coins have the regnal year of the emperor. It will be written as, for example, ANNO (often vertically) meaning 'year', and a roman numeral date, such as XX IV for '24'. To interpret this date, look up the emperor (if you can identify him!), find out when his reign started, and add the regnal year to that year - you now have the year that your coin was minted!

Approximate catalog values for common emperors, designs and dates are as follows:

worn: $5 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $45
well preserved: $100

worn: $10
average circulated: $80
well preserved: $150

worn: $12
average circulated: $100
well preserved: $250

worn: $15
average circulated: $120
well preserved: $300

Coins that are poorly cleaned or damaged in another way will be worth much less. Coins with the perfect trinity of a clear date, mint and emperor will be worth about twice the values quoted above. Please refer to our 'Important Terminology' page found on the top left in order to properly interpret these catalog values.

Coin: 15145 , Genre: Medieval
Requested by: D.SH, Fri, 09-Aug-2013 18:51:09 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sun, 03-Nov-2013 20:12:38 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Fri, 24-Nov-2017 15:57:48 GMT
Requester description: a warrior on one side and large letter (m ) on the other side and parts of letters on the the bottom (looks like HEUP)
Tags: byzantine 5 10 20 40 nummi follis warrior one letter monogram parts part letters heup ones script inscription monograms initial scripts initals calligraphy caligraphy inscriptions lettering scrip lettered initials iustinian justinian anastasius constantine constantinvs constantinus anastasivs ivstinian tiberius tiberivs theodosius theodosivs comnenus ivstitiam ivstinianvs constantius konstantine constanter constantia donstan constans constantina contans cons constan beard hair crown tiara cross tee goty goatee gotee whiskers beared bearded whisker beareded wiskers hairdo hairline crowned crowns tiarra crowning tiera


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