John inherited the empire of Nicaea from Theodore, his father in law. Like Theodore, he was a vigorous and competent leader. Although not quite as gifted as Theodore in terms of military ability, he was nevertheless a good role model for Nicaeans who needed a morale boost, still reeling after a generation or two for the loss of Constantinople. He chose to spend the bulk of his time in office strengthening Nicaea economically as well as its defensive line against the various foreign threats. The only serious mistake he made was his deathbed designation of his son Theodore as successor.
SB 2073, DOC 5 AU Hyperpyron Obv: Nimbate Christ enthroned facing, holding gospels, raising right hand in benediction.
Rev: Virgin Mary standing facing to right wearing pallium, four pellets on collar and headband, reaching up with right hand to crown emperor, who stands facing to left holding labarum. (Magnesia). $127 10/12/04.
SB 2081, DOC IV 27 Trachy Obv: Archangel Michael standing facing, holding scepter and globus cruciger.
Rev: John III standing facing, holding labarum and patriarchal cross. (Magnesia).
SB 2131, DOC IV 11 AE Trachy Obv: Facing bust of St. George.
Rev: Facing half-length figures of John and St. Demetrius, supporting labarum topped by cross in circle between them. (Thessalonica). $400 5/21/03.