If you are interested in collecting older coins, then you are sure to come across Byzantine coins as an option. You can typically find a few at any shop that sells ancient coins, and there are thousands of them for sale through online vendors, too. But what do you need to know about these Byzantine coins to get started? Here are a few interesting facts to get you started.
Byzantine coins are often more than 1,000 years old.
Often, if you come upon a coin that's more than 100 years old, you consider it very old. Byzantine coins, though, are on a whole other level. The Byzantine Empire existed from about 395 AD until 1453 AD, and coins became common in use around 700 AD. So if you choose to collect Byzantine coins, you can bet you'll end up with some that are 1200 and even 1300 years old.
Most coins are bronze.
The Byzantine Empire did make some silver coins, especially early on in their coin-making days. However, most coins from the empire were made from bronze. These coins tend to be small in size, measuring about 10 mm in width, only. This is largely because bronze was valuable at the time. Only a small amount of bronze was needed to make a coin of value.
Symbols indicate the coins' worth.
Today, coins are usually printed with a number indicating their value. In the Byzantine Empire, though, coin makers used various symbols to indicate different values. Coins marked with an M, for example, were worth 40 nummi. (Nummi is the equivalent of Byzantine cents.) Those marked with an E were worth 5 nummi. The value letter is usually large and imprinted on the opposite side of the coin from the head stamp.
Byzantine coins had rough edges.
If you come across a Byzantine coin with rough, uneven edges, don't be shocked. Most of the Byzantine coins you see will look like this. They were made by stamping pieces of metal directly without edge molds like coin makers use today. Some coins have more rugged edges than others, but this should not be taken to be an indicator of age.
Now that you know a little more about Byzantine coins, you can start collecting them yourself. Visit coin shops near you to get started, and buy a few that you find interesting. These coins are pretty affordable considering their advanced age.Share