Roman gold of Caligula leads Nomos AG's sixth auction

Rare coin of emperor has estimate of $164,862 U.S.
Published : 04/24/12
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A gold aureus of the Roman emperor Gaius, who was also known as Caligula, highlights Nomos AG’s sixth auction.

The 200-lot auction, slated for May 8, “is quite a small sale,” according to Nomos partners Alan Walker and Arnold-Peter Weiss in the foreword, noting that “there have been so many amazing coins on the market recently that, perhaps, a little break is in order.” Despite the comments from the firm’s partners, the auction has no lack of highlights.

The circa A.D. 37 to 38 gold aureus, which also depicts Gaius’ mother, Agrippina Senior, is clearly the sale’s star. Struck at the Lugdunum Mint, the coin is part of a series struck to honor the members of the ruler’s family after he took over claim to rulership.

It features “splendid portraits of the emperor and his adored mother,” according to the auction firm. Though it has a few marks it is in otherwise Good Extremely Fine condition and carries an estimate of 150,000 Swiss francs (about $164,862 in U.S. funds).

The firm offers ancient Greek and Roman coins in the sale.

A buyer’s fee of 18 percent applies to all successful bids, with an additional 3 percent added to bids placed over the Internet.

For more information, telephone the firm at (011) 41 44 250 51 80, email it at or visit its website,

Some additional highlights:

Greece, Calabria, Tarentum, circa 333 to 331/0 B.C. gold stater, 8.52 grams, “one of the most elegant of all Greek gold coins,” “extremely rare and of wonderful style,” Lot 3, Very Fine.

Greece, Sicily, Gela, circa 480/475 to 475/470 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 17.04 grams, “probably the finest known example,” Lot 13, “lightly toned,” Good Extremely Fine.

Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, Dionysus I, circa 400 to 390 B.C. silver decadrachm, 42.83 grams, “unsigned but by Euianetos,” Lot 26, “a few very minor marks, otherwise, Good Extremely Fine.”

Greece, Islands off Thrace, Samothrace, circa 500 to 465 B.C. silver didrachm, 8.91 grams, “the third known example, the others being in Paris and Vienna,” Lot 35, “beautifully toned,” EF.

Greece, Bithynia, Kios, circa 340 to 330 gold stater, 8.59 grams, signed by the magistrate Agasikles, “one of perhaps ten known staters of Kios, almost all of which are in museums,” Lot 85, “traces of double-striking on the reverse and a few insignificant marks, otherwise lustrous, sharp and virtually as struck.”

Greece, islands off Caria, Rhodes, circa 404 to 385 B.C. silver tetradrachm, Lot 94, “a few very minor marks, otherwise Extremely Fine.”

Roman Republic, C. Clodius C.f. Vestalis, 41 B.C. gold aureus, 8.11 grams, Rome Mint, Lot 128, EF.

Roman Empire, Septimus Severus, with Julia Domna, circa A.D. 201 gold aureus, 7.27 grams, Rome Mint, Lot 158, Virtually As Struck. ■

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