An extremely fine solid gold Byzantine solidus of Emperor Zeno, (Flavius Zeno Augustus) struck during his second reign, circa 476 - 491 A.D. at the Constantinople mint.
The obverse with pearl-diademed, helmeted, cuirassed bust, facing slightly right, his spear held in his right hand and resting over his shoulder, shield decorated with horseman spearing an enemy. The legend reading; D[ominvs] N[oster] ZENO PERP[etvvs] AVG[vstvs] - "Our Lord Zeno, Eternal Emperor"
The reverse with winged Victory, standing left, supporting long jeweled cross in right hand, star in right field, CONOB in exergue. The legend reading; VICTORIA AVGGG[vsti] with officina letter I. - "[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 CONOB coin may be read "Constantinople, 1/72 pound pure gold." -- Byzantine Coinage by Philip Grierson
Diameter: 20 mm. Weight: 4.45 g.
Provenance: Ex Spink, London, 11th September 1958.
Ex collection of Mr B.
This coin is from a lifelong collection of a wealthy European gentleman. Mr B was gifted a solidus on the occasion of each of his birthdays, this particular example gifted on his 10th Birthday. artancientltd