This is a very rare Armenian coin as it is the earliest example of coinage inscribed with Armenian writing. This coin is struck during reign of Kiurike I (979-989 AD.) ruler of Armenian kingdom of Lori. On the front side we see facing bust of Christ with cross nimbate, wearing himation. I[SOU]S and K[RISDO]S is inscribed in Armenian letters. On the reverse the Armenian inscription in five lines reads: “May God aid Kiurike the Kouropalates”. The title Kouropalates was bestowed upon the most prominent local dynasty on the fringes of the Byzantine empire, the granting of which signified favor and recognition by the Byzantine court.
The importance of this unique issue of Armenian medieval coinage was eloquently summarized by David M. Lang in ANS Museum Notes VI in 1954: “…this is the earliest monetary issue to bear an inscription in Armenia, as well as being the only such type struck within Great Armenia in Transcaucasia before the transference of the kingdom to Little Armenia in Cilicia.”
This coin is recently sold for $16.000!