World Coins

An ‘affordable’ ancient coin from a pedigreed collection

A circa 305 to 290 B.C. silver nomos of Velia in ancient Greece has a pre-sale estimate of 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,007 U.S.)

Images courtesy of Numismatica Ars Classica.

How much is an “affordable” coin from a famous collection with a serious pedigree? 

Auction catalogs filled with glossy pages of rarities that carry prices tags equal to or greater than vehicles or dwellings, depending on your location, might repel some collectors.

A coin from Numismatica Ars Classica’s Oct. 1 auction offers an insight as to what price level such collectors might find affordable.

The firm’s 116th auction presents the first part of “A Highly Important Collection of Greek Coins of a Man in Love With Art.” 

According to the firm, the late collector who built this collection is from a royal family, but wished to remain anonymous. 

In the more affordable range (relatively speaking) of items in this collection is the circa 305 to 290 B.C. silver nomos from Velia, an ancient city of Magna Graecia on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The offered coin was once part of the Prospero Collection, sold in 2012.

The coin weighs 7.11 grams, or nearly a quarter ounce. 

The obverse shows Athena, wearing a crested Attic helmet decorated with a wreath and wing. The reverse depicts a lion advancing, with a palm tree in the background (an element not usually seen on coins of Velia). 

Though the coin exhibits minor areas of corrosion on the edge, it is “otherwise Very Fine,” according to the auction house.

It has an estimate of 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,007 U.S.).

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