This is a very rare Armenian coin because it is the earliest example of a coin with an inscription in Armenian. It was minted during the reign of King Kiurike I (979-989), the ruler of the Armenian kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget.
On the front, we see a bust of Jesus with a cross and an inscription, I [SOU] S and K [RISDO] S written in Armenian letters. On the reverse side, the five-line Armenian inscription reads: “May God help the Kiurikians”.
Kiurikians were the most famous local dynasty of the Byzantine Empire’s neighbor state. The name of Kiurikians was met with favor and recognition by the Byzantine court.
The importance of this unique Armenian medieval coin was eloquently described by David M. Lang in the Museum of Monuments of the Academy of Sciences in 1954. “…
This coin was in the earliest issue of a money coin with an Armenian inscription in Armenia, as well as the only example of such inscription in Greater Armenia before the kingdom’s transition to Lesser Armenia, Cilicia.”
This coin was recently sold for $ 16,000!