February 7, 2019 – The price of the presumably most expensive Byzantine coin ever sold in a public auction was five times higher than its pre-sale estimate. The gold histamenon from 1042 changed hands at the Heritage Long Beach Signature Auction 3035, which took place from September 3 through September 5, 2014, for 190,000 USD.
This gold histamenon from 1042 was sold by Heritage Auctions. Photo: Heritage Auctions, HA.com.
The reverse of this record-setting piece features two Byzantine empresses. Zoe on the left and her younger sister Theodora on the right. The two daughters of Constantine VIII jointly ruled over the empire for a mere seven weeks, namely in the spring of 1042. Their joint reign was not very successful. Zoe is generally described as power-hungry and voluptuous, while her sister is considered more reserved and austere. That was not the best basis for a successful partnership. When Zoe married Constantine IX on June 12, 1042, he took over the throne.
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