Superb and one of the finest known rare AE2 of Zeno (474-475, 476-491 AD), 21mm, 5 g. Obv: Bust of Zeno facing right, DN ZENO PERE AVG. Rev: CONCORDIA, Zeno standing, long cross in his hand, holding a globe, captive at his feet. Very rare, with superb black patina and in excellent EF. RIC 948 variety, with an unrecorded obverse inscription variety.
Notes: A great rarity, with only a handful of known examples. This coin is probably the finest known of this issue and of great academic interest. It shows the COMPLETE ending of the reverse inscription - CONCORDIA - it's been assumed for a long time that some sort of abbreviation has to follow, but there were no specimens well-preserved enough to confirm that. This coin also shows the complete absence of the mint-mark - the presence, or absence, of the mint-mark was not known, since all these coins were struck on a small flan. Quick note about the AE2's of Zeno. Again, these were struck in the ancient Cherson. They are much rarer than the AE2's of Leo, and are usually somewhat smaller (although, one of the 15 specimens sold below weighs 6.1g, which is heavier than any Leo's AE2 we have ever handled). The creators of RIC had only 1 example to examine, although a number of other is known to exist. Their example was tooled and the obverse and reverse inscriptions were somewhat ambiguous. A lot of the coins we offer are much clearer than the RIC specimen, and offer new insights into the mysterious reverse inscription - it was speculated that CONCORDIA reverse has to be followed by a some sorts of an abbreviation - a number of our specimens definitively show that "CONCORDIA" is not followed by anything. The abbreviated form of "CONCORDIA" was not known, but clearly shows on two of our coins. Also, we are offering a number of new obverse inscription types, and a beautiful reverse type with Zeno wearing a cloak were previously not known.