A solid gold Byzantine solidus of Emperor Phocas, struck 602 - 610 A.D. at the Constantinople mint.
The obverse depicts the bust of Focas, with cross-topped crown and holding the globus cruciger in his right hand. The globussymbolises Christ's authority over the world, and by proxy the authority of the Byzantine ruler, in this case Focas. The legend reads: d[ominvs] NN[oster] FOCAS PERP[etvvs] AVG[vstvs] - "Our Lord Focas, Eternal Emperor"
The reverse shows an angel standing holding staff mounted with Christogram in right hand and globus cruciger in the left. The legend reads: VICTORIA AVGYS - "To the Victory of the Emperors"
CONOB in exergue.
CONOB - Literally translated as, "Constantinopoli obryzum". The solidus weighed 1/72 (4.45g) of the Roman pound. "OB" was used as both an abbreviation for the word obryzum, translated as, 'refined' or 'pure gold' and as the Greek numeral 72. Thus, the exergue inscription CONOB may be read "Constantinople, 1/72 pound pure gold." -- Byzantine Coinage by Philip Grierson
Diameter: 21 mm. Weight: 4.40 g.
Ex British private collection. artancientltd