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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 came into wide circulation.

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 honors.

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.

After 2000 years, Julius Caesar is still the most famous human ever to have lived. His very name has come to mean "king" in various languages. He hailed from a patrician family that was relatively poor and dwelled on the fringes of Roman politics. In spite of this he was able to outmaneuver opponents such as Cato and Cicero to attain his Consulship. It should be noted he went deep into debt to do so, and had he lost he would surely have been banished or killed by his enemies.

After his consulship he attained a Pro-Consulship in Gaul. Once there, his military achievements are legendary - thanks in no small part to his literary acheivements. He was also the first Roman to communicate offically through the use of letters within Rome, as well as the first consul to have scribes officially record and publish every speech he gave at the senate. His written accounts of the Gallic wars rank amongst the best selling books of all time. Romans, at the time, awaited breathlessly his regular missives of triumph from Gaul - and endlessly debated his methods which were considered harsh even by Roman standards.

Caesar was also the first Roman to put his portrait on a coin. Octavian struck many Caesar portrait coins during the Roman Civil Wars emphasizing his lineage to his adoptive Father. But the vast majority of Caesar portraits portray a cartoonish stick-figure hastily engraved at military mints in the midst of war, to pay impatient battle weary troops.

Fine style Caesar portraits engraved by artists of talent a rare.

The Caesarians. Julius Caesar. 44 BCE.

AR Lifetime Denarius (3,85g). P. Sepullius Macer, moneyer for. Julius Caesar, Mzst. Rom. Vs.: Caesar with laurel crown r., CAESAR IMP Rs.: , Venus with Victoria, scepter and sheild P SEPVLLIVS / MACER Cr. 480/5b; Syd. 1071.Sear 106

A regal portrait of excellent style, beautifully centered on a full flan with a striking old cabinet tone.

ex Kunker Spring 2015 lot 7794

NGC Graded XF ★ Strk 5/5 Surf 5/5
Fine Style noted.....................$25,000

The Caesarians. Julius Caesar. 43 BCE.

AR Denarius L. Flaminius Chilo and Julius Caesar, 43 BC. Denarius Silver, 19mm, (3.60 g ), Rome. Laureate head of Julius Caesar to right. Rev. L.FLAMINIVS IIII.VIR Goddess, Venus or Pax, standing to left, holding caduceus in her right hand and long scepter in her left. Babelon (Flaminia) 2, (Julia) 44. Crawford 485/1. CRI 113. Sydenham 1089.

Dramatic Pedigreed Masterpiece of Roman portraiture in high relief. Beautifully toned with sound metal on a very broad flan. Some very minor striking flatness on the wreath. Struck in Rome probably in August 43 after Octavian had regained the city. The very prominent and detailed laurel wreath he wears (mixed with leaves and laurel berries) hints at the Senate’s forthcoming proclamation of Caesar as a god, which took place on 1 January 42. This enabled Octavian to call himself "Divi Filius:" Son of God.

From the Stoecklin Collection, (noted on the holder) bought from Hess AG in Luzern.

NGC graded AU★ Strk 4/5, surf 4/5
fine style noted
..................$38,000

The Caesarians. Divus Julius Caesar 42BC

Divus Julius Caesar (died 44 BC). AR denarius (18mm, 3.55 gm,) Rome, posthumous issue struck by L. Mussidius Longus, moneyer, 42 BC. Laureate head of Julius Caesar right / L • MVSSIDIVS • LONGVS, rudder, cornucopia on globe, winged caduceus, and flamen's cap. Crawford 494/39a. Sydenham 1096a. Babelon Julia 58 and Mussidia 8. RSC 29. 

The finest portrait available for this issue, with an atractive old cabinet tone.

NGC Graded CH XF Strk 4/5 surf 4/5 Fine Style noted................$10,000

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.

A very rare portrait of wonderful 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 just after the youthful vigorous Octavian had taken control of Rome and the Western provinces. The youthful Caesar portrait was certainly meant to justify the great power Octavian had achieved at the tender age of 23.

Ex NGSA VII (2012) lot 318

NGC Graded CH XF ★ Stk 5/5 Srf 4/5 Fine Style noted..................$22,000

The Caesarians. Julius Caesar.

49-44 BC. Denarius (18 mm, 3.97 g, ), mint moving with Caesar in Gallia Narbonensis or Hispania Citerior, 49-48. CAESAR Elephant trampling serpent to right. Rev. Priestly implements: culullus, aspergillum, ax with wolf's head at the top and apex. Babelon (Julia) 9. Cohen 49. Crawford 443/1. RBW 1557. Sydenham 1006. Woytek, Arma et Nummi, p. 119ff

Stunning multi-hued example, with violets, cobalt blue and red-orange tones.

NGC graded CH AU ★ strk 5/5 surf 4/5
.........................................$10,000

The Caesarians. Julius Caesar.

49-48 BC, Denarius, 3.80g. Military mint, Obv: Elephant walking r., trampling serpent, CAESAR in exergue. Rx: Priestly implements: Ladle; sprinkler; ax with lion's head above blade; priest's hat with cheek pieces, chin straps, disc and spike above; no legend. Scarcer, probably Gallic variant with legs of elephant parallel to each other, as recognized by Woytek.Exquisite elephant struck in high relief Cr-443/1, Syd-1006, Sear Imperators-9, C-49.

Another stunning example of Caesar's first coin. Perfectly centered, deeply struck, and certainly very near mint state.

NGC graded CH AU ★ strk 5/5 surf 4/5 lights marks noted (invisible),,,,,,,$8500

4The Caesarians. Julius Caesar.9-44 BC.

AR Denarius, an obverse brockage, military mint travelling with Caesar, 49-48 BC, elephant trampling serpent, rev. incuse of obverse (RSC 49; CRI 9; Sydenham 1006; RRC 443/1), 

Ex Spink Numismatic e-circular.

Exceedingly Rare mint error of this most popular type. Perfectly centered both sides, which makes this coin unique amongst the few recorded brockages of this type.

Obverse is Good VF, the Reverse EF. A most atttractive coin,

$6000

Octavian, as Sole Imperator (32-27 BC).

AR denarius (21mm, 3.84 gm, 4h). Italian mint (Brundisium or Rome?), ca. 32 BC. Bare head of Octavian right; dotted border / CAESAR-DIVI•F, Pax standing facing, head left, olive branch upward in right hand, cornucopia in left; dotted border. RIC I 252.

A rare combination of an historically important coin that marks Octavian as Sole Imparator: Master of the Known World, along with an unusually beautiful portrait, on a well struck, toned and perfectly centered flan.

NGC AU ★ 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style noted.
$17,500

Tiberius, with Drusus Caesar (14-37).

CAPPADOCIA. Caesarea (as Eusebeia). AR Drachm 3.55 g. Obv: TI CAES AVG P M TR P XXXIV Laureate head of Tiberius right.
Rev: DRVSVS CAES TI AVG F COS II TR P IT. Bare head of Drusus left.

RPC 3621 (rv. legend); RIC 84 (same).

Two of the finest portraits on coinage of two of Rome's finest generals: Tiberius and his brother Drusus (father of Claudius). Unrivaled engraving by some Cappodocian Artist of great talent. Very rare dies. And the only truly fine style silver coin of Tiberius

NGC Graded AU strk 4/5 surf 2/5, brushed, fine style noted.....$4500

Nero. AD 54-68.

AV Aureus (19mm, 7.73 g). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck AD 60-61. NERO CAESAR AVG IMP, bare head right / PONTIF • MAX • TR • P • VII • COS IIII • P • P •, EX • S C within oak wreath. RIC I 21; WCN 10; Lyon 21 (unlisted dies); Calicó 427; BMCRE 23; BN 28-9; Adda 36; Biaggi –; Jameson –; Mazzini 215

A bold and realistic portrait of young Nero, at an age where he spent most of his time carousing with musicians and actors, convinced that he himself was Rome's greatest artist.

NGC CH XF Strk 5/5, surf 3/5, brushed....................... $12,000

Titus. As Caesar, AD 69-79.

AV Aureus (18.5mm, 7.37 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck under Vespasian, AD 72-73. [T] CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT, laureate head right / NEP RED, Neptune, naked except for cloak on left shoulder, standing left, right foot set on globe, holding acrostolium in right hand and vertical scepter in left. RIC II.1 365 (Vespasian); Calicó 743; BMCRE –; BN 65-7;

A superb portrait of one of Rome's most well loved Emperors, at the very height of his popularity. This coin celebrates Titus' Victorius and Safe return from the Jewish War by Sea under the auspices of Neptune, who guided his ship safely through a storm

NGC AU Strk 5/5 surf 3/5, brushed
sold

GALBA, (July 68 - January 69 A.D.)

Ssilver denarius, Rome Mint, (3.19 g), obv. head of Galba bare-headed to right around IMP SER GALBA AVG, rev. SPQR/ OB/ C S. in three lines in oak wreath, (S.2109, RSC 287, BMC 34, RIC 167).

an Excellent portrait on sound attractively toned metal.

NGC XF 5/5, 4/5 fine style.......$3750

Trajan augustus, 98 – 117

Aureus circa 116-117, AV 7.23 g. IMP CAES NER TRAIAN OPTIM AVG GERM DAC Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust r. Rev. PARTHICO P M TR P COS VI P P S P Q R Draped bust of Sol r. C 187 var. (GER). BMC 621. RIC 329. CBN 882. Calicó 1038. Woytek 572f (this coin listed )
.
Well centred on a full flan, minor marks and a small scuff on reverse, with excellent high grade portratis of Trajan and Sol.

Ex Stacks s 14th December 2004, 35

NGC graded CH AU srk 5/5 surf 3/5 marks, fine style noted........$18,500

Gordian III  238-244 

AV Aureus. Rome, AD 241-243. 5.22g, 21mm,IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / P M TR P IIII COS II P P, Apollo, bare to waist, seated left, holding branch and resting left elbow on lyre. RIC 102; C. 249 var. (draped only); Calicó 3221a; Hunter -; Biaggi 1366. 12h.

Very rare and superb portrait of the Boy Emperor who assumed the throne at age 13 and was killed in battle less than a year after this coin was issued.

NGC Graded MS Strk 5/5 surf 4/5 fine style noted............................ $14,500

Constans, as Augustus (AD 337-350).

AV solidus (22mm, 4.48 gm, ). . Trier, ca. AD 347-348. CONSTANS-AVGVSTVS, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Constans right, seen from front / VICTORIAE DD NN AVGG, two Victories standing facing, turned toward each other, holding between them a wreath inscribed VOT / X / MVLT / XX in four lines; TR in exergue. RIC VIII 135.

Perfectly struck and centered on a lustrous flan.

NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5.................$5750

Arcadius AD 383-408

AV Solidus. Constantinople, AD 378-383. D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust to right / CONCORDIA AVGGGG I, Constantinopolis, helmeted, seated facing, head to right, foot on prow, holding sceptre and globe; lions' heads on throne; CONOB in exergue. RIC IX 46f var. (unlisted officina); Depeyrot 38/6 var. (same).

NGC graded CH MS ★ 5/5 - 5/5
$3500

 

 

 

 

 

 


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