Ides of March silver denarius nets $546,250

Famous ancient rarity part of Rubicon Collection
Published : 09/26/11
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An example of possibly the most famous ancient coin type led all bidding Sept. 7 among five sessions of floor auctions during Heritage Auctions’ Long Beach Coin & Collectibles Expo auction.

The Eid Mar silver denarius of Marcus Junius Brutus realized $546,250, including the 15 percent buyer’s fee, propelling the auction of 481 ancient Greek and Roman coins and antiquities to an estimated realization of $1.72 million. The ancient coins, along with five other sessions, helped the firm realize more than $20.3 million (see related stories at

David S. Michaels, director of ancient coins for Heritage, said: “The market for quality ancient Greek and Roman coins has never been better. Many of these coins sold for multiples of what the same pieces sold for less than a decade ago. The demand for truly singular ancient coins is simply going off the charts.”

The Eid Mar coin, which was struck in late summer to fall in 42 B.C., features a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus, the lead assassin of Julius Caesar, on the obverse, and a liberty cap flanked by two daggers along with the legend EID MAR (for March 15, 44 B.C., the date Caesar was assassinated) on the reverse.

The example in the auction is listed as Nearly Extremely Fine/EF.

The full story of this rarity was reported in the Sept. 5 Coin World Special Edition.

The Eid Mar denarius was one of 26 rarities offered from the Rubicon Collection of Roman Coins, most of which featured famous Romans of the Imperatorial era.

A total of 411 lots sold, 85.4 percent of the 481 lots offered.

Full lot details are available in a printed catalog for $50 or a special page at the firm’s website,

All prices and totals listed here reflect the 15 percent buyer’s fee.

For more details about the auction, write the firm at 3500 Maple Ave., 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219-3941; or telephone Heritage either at 800-872-6467 or 214-528-3500.

Some highlights:

Greece, Bosporan Kingdom, Asander, circa 42 to 41 B.C. gold stater, 8.25 grams, Nearly Fleur-de-Coin, $23,000.

Greece, Ionia, circa 670 to 660 B.C. electrum stater, uncertain mint, 14.32 grams, “should be considered the first true coin type ever struck,” “one of only 12 known examples,” Good Very Fine, $74,750.

Roman Republic, anonymous, circa 240 to 225 B.C. bronze as, Rome Mint, liberal standard, 296.67 grams, prow left, one of 80 recorded of type compared to 1,200 pieces with prow facing right, Nearly EF, $7,475.

Roman Republic, March 44 B.C. silver denarius, Julius Caesar as dictator, 3.77 grams, moneyer M. Mettius, Good EF, $57,500.

Roman Republic, circa 46 to 45 B.C. gold denarius, Gnaeus Pompey Jr. as imperator, “perhaps fewer than 10 specimens in existence, of which this is easily the finest known,” Fleur-de-Coin, $63,250.

Roman Republic, summer 42 B.C. silver denarius, C. Cassius Longinus (assassin of Caesar and Imperator), 3.49 grams, Sardis or military mint possibly, Mint State “crisply struck from fresh dies and beautifully toned,” $32,200.

Roman Republic, spring-summer 41 B.C., gold aureus, Marc Antony and Octavian as triumvirs, 8.07 grams, Ephesus Mint, EF, “deeply struck on a round flan,” $80,500.

Roman Republic, 32 B.C. silver denarius, Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Marc Antony, Alexandria Mint, Nearly EF, “attractively toned with two excellent portraits,” $27,600.

Roman Imperial, 19 B.C. gold aureus, Augustus, Victory rides a bull on reverse, Pergamum Mint, Good VF, “a few surface marks,” $19,500.

Roman Imperial, 19 to 18 B.C. gold aureus, Augustus, seated Sphinx on reverse, Pergamum Mint, “A few surface marks, otherwise Good VF,” $20,700.

Roman Imperial, A.D. 14 to 37, reverse die for denarius from the Lugdunum Mint, “case-hardened bronze with a silver denarius of Tiberius (‘Tribute penny’ type) stuck in place,” “the presence of a silver denarius in the obverse indicates that during the course of striking, a denarius became lodged in the reverse die and caused the striking of an indeterminate number of brockages,” in custom wood and glass presentation case, $23,000.

Roman Imperial, A.D. 120 to 122 orichalcum sestertius, Hadrian, 26.76 grams, Rome Mint, choice EF, “Exceptionally detailed strike,” $10,350.

Byzantine Empire, A.D. 797 to 802 gold solidus, Irene as sole ruler, Constantinople, 4.47 grams, Mint State, “an exceptional example, well struck on a broad flan,” $13,225. ■

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