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Bulgarian Derivatives

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  • Bulgarian Derivatives

    I have recently acquired two Bulgarian coins (denomination Grosh or Grosch) dating to 1331 - 1337. They are around 20mm in diameter and weigh about 1.5g each. They are clearly highly derivative of contemporary Byzantine coinage, with obverse images of Christ enthroned and reverse images of (in the case of these two) Tsar Ivan Alexander and Prince Michael Asen wearing what can only be described as Byzantine imperial regalia.

    I have been very impressed with these two coins, thinking that if only the Byzantines had taken a little care over their coin production, then this is what Byzantine coins would have looked like.

    Is anybody aware of a reference for these coins? A book or a website? Does anybody have any other Bulgarian coins of this era, or for that matter any other clearly Byzantine-derived mediaeval coins?
    Attached Files
    Romans on a Budget -

  • #2
    Patrick it is hard enough finding Byzantine books dealing with this time period let alone books on the neighbors but I am sure that some material exsists. However, I think it will take a search or the help of one of the book dealers out there. Try one of the book dealers in the links.

    BTW Nice looking coins.


    • #3

      I collect Bulgarian Mediaval coins. My first purchase was the same type as the ones you have purchased (yours are very nice, BTW! :-)).

      There are a number of books in Bulgarian about Bulgarian Medieval coins. The most recent one is a catalog with photos and drawings of all types. It also lists rarity. The book is called "A Catalog of Medieval Bulgarian Coins IX-XV C" by A. Radushev and G. Zhekov, published in Sofia 1999. It is in Bulgarian, but it is nicely illustrated, so one could get a lot of information without being able to read the entire text. I purchased it directly from the publisher (Agato Publishers) during a recent trip to Bulgaria. However, they do have a Web site through which it can be ordered: ( and email (

      Feel free to email (, if there's anything else that you would like to ask.
      Lina Scorza


      • #4
        Is this a Bulgarian coin?

        It's broken. Looks silver, but I haven't checked. Findspot supposedly Bulgaria.


        • #5

          This does not look like a Mediaval Bulgarian coin to me - the style is different and it's not described in any of the Bulgarian sources.
          It could be from a different period.
          Lina Scorza


          • #6
            Patrick, I just added a book to my Library that I found your coins in. It is not a catalog but more of a study of the coinage in the area and time period.

            Coinage in South Eastern Europe 820-1396 by D. M. Metcalf published by Royal Numismatic Society

            I got it from Jerry Walker on V Coins and he seems to have more copies.


            • #7
              hey there.i am a newbie collector and treasure hunter from bulgaria.if you have any questions about bulgarian coins ask me.and please dont think that bulgarian coins are byzanties.