Antiques: Roman gold coins commemorating Caesar’s assassination are sold for a record £ 3.24 MILLION
A rare gold coin commemorating the assassination of Roman General Julius Caesar was sold at auction yesterday for a record £ 3.24 million – including premium.
Over two thousand years old, the token is one of three of the same design known to be cast in gold, making it the “ holy grail ” for ancient coin collectors, experts said.
The gold coin, previously held in a private collection in Europe, was sold at auction on October 29, 2020 by London-based Roma Numismatics.
The name of the winning bidder has not been disclosed by the auctioneers.
The minting of the coin has been described as a ‘naked and shameless celebration’ of Caesar’s assassination two years earlier in 44 BC.
The assassination was prompted by concerns among the Roman senate that Caesar – recently dubbed ‘dictator forever’ – would call himself king.
Fear of this tyranny led to a conspiracy of 60 senators to stab the statesman 23 times, according to the first recorded autopsy in history.
However, Caesar had been popular with the lower and middle classes – and the uproar after his assassination helped set in motion the fall of the Republic.
A rare gold coin commemorating the murder of Roman General Julius Caesar (pictured) sold at auction yesterday for a record £ 3.24 million
“I’m not surprised it set a world record as the most valuable ancient coin ever sold,” said Mark Salzberg, president of the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, confirming the coin’s authenticity.
‘It is a masterpiece of artistry and rarity, still in mint condition after 2000 years, and only the third known specimen made of gold. Many of us thought it would sell for millions, and it did, ‘he added.
The coin “was created in 42 BC, two years after the famous murder,” Salzberg said Fox news back in October.
“The front has a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus – one of Caesar’s assassins – and the other side dramatically has two daggers and the words EID MAR, a Latin abbreviation for Ides of March,” he added.
It also includes a ‘cap of liberty’, which indicates the motivation behind the murder – and on the other hand, the date of the act.
The item, Mr. Salzberg explained, is “one of the most important and valuable coins of the ancient world.”
According to the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, nearly 100 such ‘Ides of March’ coins are known – most, however, are cast in silver, and even these are considered essentially out of reach by enthusiasts.
Only two others in gold are known to be on display in the British Museum, while the other is in the permanent collection of the Deutsche Bundesbank, the central bank of the Federal Republic of Germany.
“There were rumors of a third copy, and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation authenticators were thrilled when this coin was submitted to our London office and sent to our headquarters in Sarasota, Florida for evaluation,” said Mr. Salzberg.
“The coin is about the size of the current US five-cent and five-pence coins in the United Kingdom, but it is a historical treasure worth far more than its weight in gold.”
“There were rumors of a third copy, and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation authenticators were thrilled when this coin was submitted to our London office and sent to our headquarters in Sarasota, Florida for evaluation,” said Mr. Salzberg. “ The coin is about the size of today’s United Kingdom five-cent and five-pence coins, but it is a historical treasure worth far more than its weight in gold ”
The minting of the coin has been described as a ‘naked and shameless celebration’ of Caesar’s assassination two years earlier in 44 BC, as depicted. The assassination was prompted by concerns among the Senate that Caesar – recently dubbed “ dictator forever ” – would call himself king. Fear of this tyranny spawned a conspiracy of 60 senators to stab the statesman 23 times, according to the first recorded autopsy in history.
Roma Numismatics CEO Richard Beale said they had “the privilege of putting this coin up for auction with the invaluable help of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, whose expert specialists helped authenticate it.”
“Given its rarity, artistry and storied place in the coin’s history, I wouldn’t be surprised if it sold for several million dollars,” Mr. Salzberg had told Fox News ahead of the commemorative gold coin auction.
The coin had been given a conservative estimate of £ 500,000 before sale – but its final value at auction (at a hammer price, excluding fees, of £ 2.7 million) makes it unmatched among the old coin trade.
Of the Roman coins, the previous record holder – a bronze sestertius of Emperor Hadrian – was sold in 2008 for CHF 2.3 million (about 1.7 million pounds at the time).
Until yesterday, the title of most expensive coin belonged to a Greek gold stater from the town of Panticapaeum, which sold for $ 3.25 million (equivalent to approximately £ 2 million) in 2012.
How England Spent Nearly Half a Millennium Under Roman Rule
55BC – Julius Caesar crossed the canal with about 10,000 soldiers. They landed in a Pegwell Bay on the island of Thanet and were met by a British force. Caesar had to withdraw.
54BC – Caesar crossed the channel again in his second attempt to conquer Britain. He arrived with 27,000 infantry and cavalry and landed in Deal, but met no resistance. They marched inland and after heavy fighting defeated the British and the main tribal leaders surrendered.
Later that year, however, Caesar was forced to return to Gaul to resolve the problems there, and the Romans left.
54BC – 43BC – Although there were no Romans in Britain during these years, their influence increased through trade relations.
43AD – A Roman force of 40,000 led by Aulus Plautius landed in Kent and took the southeast. Emperor Claudius appointed Plautius governor of Great Britain and returned to Rome.
47AD – Londinium (London) was founded and Great Britain declared part of the Roman Empire. Road networks were built throughout the country.
50AD – Romans arrived to the Southwest and made their mark in the form of a wooden fortress on a hill near the River Exe. Decades later, a city called Isca emerged on the site of the fortress.
When the Romans left it and ruled Saxons, all former Roman cities were called a ‘ceaster’. this was called ‘Exe ceaster’ and a merger of these eventually led to Exeter.
75 – 77AD – Romans defeated the last of the resistant strains, making all of Great Britain Roman. Many Britons began to adopt Roman customs and laws.
122AD – Emperor Hadrian ordered a wall to be built between England and Scotland to keep out Scottish tribes.
312AD – Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal throughout the Roman Empire.
228AD – The Romans were attacked by barbarian tribes and soldiers stationed in the country were recalled to Rome.
410AD – All Romans were called back to Rome and Emperor Honorious told the British that they had lost connection with Rome.
Source: History on the net