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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 70, Lot: 1096. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2005. 
Sold For $800. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

JUSTINIAN II. First reign, 685-695 AD. AV Solidus (4.11 g, 6h). Syracuse mint. Crowned facing bust, holding globus cruciger / Cross potent on three steps; Q/CONOB. DOC II 44a; MIB 15; SB 1284. VF, irregular flan. Very rare. ($750)

The main references illustrate coins with a standard Greek Q in the reverse field. This piece, however, has a distinct variation with a pointed top to the Q, which makes it resemble an inverted ice cream cone. This is a detail that appears on solidi and tremisses struck at Ravenna, according to Hahn's attribution (MIB III 35 and 36). This may be merely a die engraver's eccentricity, or perhaps a symbol representing a distinct sub-category for the Italian mints.