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Roman Gold Coins
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Roman Gold Coins

Between 211 and 202 BCE, the Romans defeated Carthage in the Second Punic War, took over the gold mining region of Spain, and minted their first gold coins.

But it wasn't until Caesar returned from his victories in the Gallic wars with enough gold to issue 200 coins to each of his soldiers, and pay off the Roman Debt, that the aureus was born.http://www.livius.org/a/1/emperors/julius_caesar_mus_corinth1.JPG

Originally, at about 8 grams, the aureus was comparable to the stater in weight; and one aureus was a month's pay for a legionaire.

Coinage also served as the Empire's newspaper, as each issue served notice as to who was in charge, what they looked like, their military accomplishments, conquests, public building projects, and religious affiliations.

As the Empire expanded, Rome was able to acquire gold from West Africa, Macedon, the Bosporus region and the Zagrean Mountains. At the same time, Rome was able to export a stable monetary system as well as a network of relatively safe highways and shipping routes that promoted an era of prosperous world trade.

By the time of Constantine, after many reforms and debasments, the areus weighed slightly more than half its original weight and was replaced with the Solidus at about 4.5 grams. The solidus (fine gold) retained it's status as the world's trade coin for the next 500 years.

ROME Anonymous. Ca. 211 BCE.

AV 60 asses , (3.31 gm)   Head of Mars right, bearded, wearing crested Italo-Corinthian helmet; mark of value VI (ligate) X beneath / Eagle standing right on thunderbolt, wings spread; ROMA below. Crawford 44/2. Bahrfeldt 4a. Sydenham 226. A nearly perfect specimen, with full mint luster, cleanly struck from fresh dies, and possessing considerable detail seldom encountered on this type.

NGC graded CH MS strk 5/5 surf 5/5
POR


The Caesarians. Divus Julius Caesar. 40 BCE.

AR Denarius (19mm, 3.58 g, 12h). Rome mint; Q. Voconius Vitulus, moneyer. Wreathed head of Caesar right / Bull-calf walking left. Crawford 526/4; CRI 331; Sydenham 1133; RSC 45. Very Rare portrait.

A very rare portrait of spectacular style of a youthful vigorous Caesar by an artist of great talent. Amongst the finest style Caesar portraits, perfectly centered on a broad flan and with a beautiful old cabinet tone. The moneyer Vitulus was an ally of Octavian, and this coin was struck during his war with Antony to emphasize the youthful vigorous Octavian's lineage to Julius Caesar.

Ex NGSA VII (2012) lot 318

NGC Graded CH XF ** Stk 5/5 Srf 4/5 Fine Style noted...................POR

VENI VIDI VICI: This coin is usually included in the Greek section, but as it is so indellibly linked to Julius Caesar, I include it here. Ceasar's victory over Pompey at Pharsalus was followed by a quick victory over Pharnakes, the upstart, self-styled, 'King of Kings', at Zela in 47 BC. This victory prompted one of Antiquity's most famous quotes - a three word dispatch to the Roman senate: "I came, I saw, I conquered."

The great rarity of this coin, and the fact that there is no concomittant silver or bronze coinage suggests that it was a purely ceremonial piece issued to proclaim Pharnake's rule over the region of the Bosporus. The tenuousness of that rule is underlined by the fact that Caesar, who wrote an entire tome chronicling his defeat of the Gauls, saw fit to dispatch with Pharnakes in a three word missive.

After this Victory Caesar continued on to Egypt to collect Pompey's head, after which he sojourned a while with Cleopatra, with whom he fathered a son: Caesarion, before retuning to become Dictator over Rome.

Kings of Bosporus, Pharnaces c 63 – 46 BCE

AV Stater, (8.23 g) Panticapaeum 51-50 BCE (year 245), . Diademed head r. Rev. BAΣIΛEΩΣ / BAΣIΛE - ΩN (King of Kings) Apollo seated l., holding laurel branch in extended r. hand over tripod, l. arm resting on kithara at his side; behind, EMΣ (245) / ivy leaf. Below, MEΓAΛOY ΦAPNAKOY. (Pharnakes the Great) Golenko-Karyszowski, NC 1972, p. 37, 10 (these dies) and pl. 2, 10. A. N. Zograph, Ancient Coinage, part II, pl. XLIV, 3.

Well struck on a large flan, and a superior example of this extremely rare, and historically fascinating issue.

NGC graded CH AU Strk 5/5 surf 4/5
POR

The Caesarians. Divus Julius Caesar. 40 BCE.

Julius Caesar and Ti. Sempronius Gracchus, moneyere. AR denarius, 40 BC, ( 3.63g) wreathed head of Caesar right, between s - c, rev., ti sempronivs graccvs q desig, standard, legionary eagle, plough, and measuring rod,(Crawford 525/4b; Sydenham 1129; Sear Imperators 327a)

A portrait of lovely style, perfectly struck and centered. The reverse is a touch off center though all the elements and legends visible. Light graffiti in the obverse field is only visible with a loop.

NGC graded XF strk 4/5 surf 3/5 Fine Style noted, light grafitti............$7500.

The Caesarians. Julius Caesar, 49-44 BC.

AR Denarius, (4.01 g) military mint moving with Caesar. Obv. Laureate head of Pietas right, LII behind. Rev. CAE-SAR. Trophy of Gallic arms, axe surmounted by an animal's head on right. Crawford 452/2; Sear, CRI 11; Sydenham 1009; RSC 18.

A superior example of this early and very scarce Caesar denarius used to pay legionaires in the Civil War against the forces of Pompey. The reverse is a reminder of Caesar's recent triumph against Gaul..

ex Patrick Tan Collection

NGC graded CH AU strk 4/5 surf 5/5
sold

Claudius (AD 41-54) Aureus (7,74 g), Rome 44/5. : TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG PM TRP IIII, Laureate head right. Rv.: Praetorian camp gate with guard holding speer and standard IMPER RECEPT. RIC:25, C:43. Perhaps the most famous gold coin of antiquity (After the ides mar). Provenance Peus Nachf. auction. Rare - awesome claudius portrait, well centered, struck
Good VF....................sold

VESPASIAN (AD 69-79) Av Aureus (7.39g) Rome 69-70 Laureate Head of Vespasian right, IUDEA mourning jewess seared right beneath trophy. Mazzini I pl lxii (this coin) RIC 15. Provenance: Ex Kollack collection. Ex Mazzini collection, Ex Burrage collection. Antiqua.
Commemorates Vespasian's victory in the Jewish War. Very rare
Several surface scrapes and marks, superb Vespasian portrait
EF ...........................SOLD

Constantius II (AD 337-361).

AV solidus (4.50 gm,) Antioch mint., AD 347-355. FL IVL CONSTAN-TIVS PERP AVG, draped and cuirassed bust of Constantius II to right, wearing pearl diadem / GLORIA REIPVBLICAE, Roma, seated facing on left, and Constantinopolis, seated left on right, supporting round shield inscribed VOT/XX/MVLT/XXX, SMANΓ in exergue. RIC 83. Depeyrot 6/3.

ex Patrick Tan Collection

NGC Graded CH AU Strk 5/5, surf 3/5 (surface is absolutely clean).........$3800

Western Roman Empire Valentinian II (AD 375-392).

AV solidus ( 4.48 gm). Constantinople, AD 378-383. D N VALENTINI-ANVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, bust seen from front / CONCORDI-A AVGGGΘ, Constantinopolis, helmeted with head right, seated facing on throne, holding scepter in right hand and and globe in left; right foot on prow; CONOB in exergue. RIC IX 46(d)4. Depeyrot 33/2. Fully Detailed strike.

NGC graded MS strk 5/5, surf 4/5
$3200

Eastern Roman Empire Theodosius I the Great (AD 379-395).

AV solidus ( 4.48 gm).  Constantinople, AD 379-383. D N THEODO-SIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Theodosius right, bust seen from front / CONCORDI-A AVGGGB, Constantinopolis enthroned facing on throne ornamented with lion heads, foot on ship's prow, holding scepter in right hand and resting left on a shield inscribed VOT/V/MVLT/X; CONOB in exergue. RIC IX 47(b)2. Depeyrot 38/1. Fully Detailed strike

NGC graded MS strk 5/5, surf 4/5
$3300

Western Roman Empire: Honorius, 393-423

AV-Solidus, 397/402, Constantinopolis, 9. Offizin; 4,46 g. Gepanzerte Büste v. v. mit Helm, Schild und Speer//Constantinopolis sitzt v. v. mit Zepter und Victoria auf Globus, Fuß auf Prora. RIC 8. Fully detailed strike

NGC graded MS strk 5/5, surf 4/5
$3600

Eastern Roman Empire: Marcian, AD 450-457

AV solidus (4.45 gm) Constantinople, AD 450-457. D N MARCIA NVS P F AVG, diademed, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Marcian facing three-quarter right, holding spear over shoulder and shield decorated with horseman motif / VICTORI-A AVGGG, Victory standing left, holding long jeweled cross in right hand; star in right field; H // CONOB. RIC X 510. Hahn 5b; Depeyrot 87/1: A perfect coin: rare thus.

NGC graded Gem MS Strk 5/5, srf 5/5
sold

 


For info, comments, purchase requests contact: Jeff Kahn at Jkahn21@nyc.rr.com
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