ISLAMIC, Time of the Rashidun. Pseudo-Byzantine types. Fals (Bronze, 22 mm, 4.53 g, 6 h), presumably imitating a RY 3 follis of Constans II, Class G, uncertain mint, circa AH 24/5-27/8 / AD 645-647. Crowned and draped bust facing, holding globus cruciger in his right hand; around, blundered legend. Rev. Large M flanked by blundered legend; above, cross; below, A; in exergue, traces of legend. Goodwin&Gyselen, p. 48, Class G. SICA I, Class G. A fascinating and mysterious piece overstruck on a halved byzantine follis. Heavy traces of overstriking, otherwise, very fine.
T. Goodwin noted, in correspondence with this cataloguer, 'that the cross [on the obverse] must come from the undertype, the reverse of a Byzantine follis, and one can see parts of the large 'M' on the face and shoulders of the bust. But why is the cross so clear? The answer lies in a common failing of Arab-Byzantine die engravers - they tended to engrave the face of a facing bust too deeply. So, unless the coin was struck with a great deal of force, the deeply cut parts of the obverse die did not make contact with the flan. A good example is the Hims bust series where it is rare to find the facial features properly struck. So is this cross on the face just pure chance or did a bored die engraver create it purposefully? If the latter, he must have had a few attempts before achieving success.'.