Justinian II and Tiberius, Gold Solidus
Item Reference: MM64796
Justinian II and Tiberius (Second Reign, AD 705-711)
Gold Solidus, Constantinople.
Obverse: Draped and youthful bust of Christ facing, cross behind his head, raising his right hand in benediction and holding book of Gospels in his left, d N IҺS ChS RЄX RЄGNANTIЧM.
Reverse: Crowned half-length figures of Justinian II, on left, and Tiberius, on right, both wearing chlamys and holding between them, in their right hands, a cross potent on two steps, d N IЧSTINIANЧS ЄT TIbЄRIЧS PP A.
Good extremely fine with bright, lustrous fields.
Sear 1414; DOC 2b; MIB 2b.
Justinian II, the ‘Slit Nosed’, issued the first Byzantine coins depicting Christ. This solidus, minted in Constantinople after Justinian’s return to the city, displays a bust of Jesus holding the book of gospels, and raising his right hand in benediction. While the early coins of Justinian II’s reign depict a rather older man with long hair, his second series portrays Jesus as more youthful and clean cut. An important piece of numismatic history and one of the first portraits of Christ in the coin world, this gold solidus survives in exceptional condition, with lustrous fields and extremely fine details.