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    Justinian Solidus of Alexandria

    Justinian I the Great (AD 527-565). AV solidus (22mm, 4.32 gm, 6h). NGC Choice AU ★ 5/5 - 4/5. Egypt, Alexandria, ca. AD 527-537. D N IVSTINI-ANVS PP AVG, helmeted bust of Justinian facing, the helmeted ornamented with diadem and small cross, head slightly right, wearing cuirass and holding spear over right shoulder and shield decorated with horseman spearing enemy on left arm / VICTOR-I-A AVGGG A, angel standing facing, holding long cross in right hand and globus cruciger in left, eight-pointed star in right field, ALEXA OB, in exergue. Sear --. DOC --. MIB --. See Lanz 148 (4 January 2010), lot 167; Gemini IX (8 January 2012), lot 528; and CNG Triton XX (10 January 2017) for examples of the same type. Extremely rare, one of only six or seven known examples!

    Until about 2010, only bronze coins were known to have been struck for Justinian I at the mint of Alexandria. In that year came the discovery of an hitherto unrecorded issue of gold solidi with the mintmark ALEXA OB (the OB standing for "obrizium" or "pure gold"). Alexandria (and Egypt) had remained under East Roman rule despite the loss of western North Africa to the Vandals in AD 429; however, the mint had ceased operations from the mid-5th century BC until re-opened by Justin I (AD 517-527); from then until the Arab conquests its main product was a series of bronze coins in rather unusual denominations of 3, 6, 12 and 33 nummi. Until the new discovery, gold coins were known to have been struck in Alexandria only for Justin II (AD 565-578) and during the Revolt of the Heraclii (AD 608-610), both types of extreme rarity. This newly discovered issue of Justinian I is of considerable numismatic interest, being of extremely good style, in many ways superior to the product of the Constantinople mint, and bearing a long and explicit identifying mint mark. To date only five other examples of this important discovery piece have been offered at auction, with this example ranking among the finest specimens.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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