World Coins

Silver decadrachm of Sicily leads bidding in Gemini sale

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A circa 400 to 370 B.C. silver decadrachm of Syracuse, Sicily in ancient Greece, one of five examples from the same pair of dies, led all bidding during Gemini Numismatic Auctions’ Jan. 8 auction.

The coin, which is in choice Extremely Fine condition, realized $138,000.

The auction, the Gemini group’s ninth, realized approximately $2,645,000, including a 15 percent buyer’s fee. A total of 693 lots of the 767 offered, or 90.4 percent, sold.

The auction was held in conjunction with the New York International Numismatic Convention. It offered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and English coins. Consignments included the Harry N. Sneh Collection and the Phillip Davis Collection of Roman Republican Imitations.

Harlan J. Berk Ltd. and B&H Kreindler are parties in the joint venture conducting the auction.

All successful bids are subject to an 18 percent buyer’s fee, with a discount to 15 percent for certain payment methods. The 15 percent fee is reflected in totals and prices here.

The auction catalog is posted at A print copy can be ordered by sending an email to or individually through either of the partners.

Write to Berk at 31 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60602, or telephone the firm at 312-609-0018.

Contact Kreindler by telephone at 631-427-0732 or email him at

Some additional highlights:

Greece, Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III (the Great), circa 325 to 315 B.C. silver tetradrachm, Pella, 17.21 grams, Virtually Mint State, $25,875.

Greece, uncertain mint in Ionia or Lydia, circa 550 to 530 B.C. electrum hecte, 2.29 grams, “unique horsefly hecte,” Extremely Fine, $46,000.

Roman Empire, Augustus, circa A.D. 6 to 7 gold quinarius, 3.91 grams, Lugdunum, “two tiny scrapes ... this is no doubt the finest example of a gold quinarius of Augustus in existence,” Mint State, $126,500.

Roman Empire, Caligula, A.D. 37 to 38 gold quinarius, 3.83 grams, Lugdunum, “unique new variant,” “previously unpublished,” “minor traces of mounting” on obverse, About VF, $51,750.

Roman Empire, Titus, A.D. 80 to 81 silver “Colosseum” sestertius, Rome, 20.26 grams, “aside from the pitting, the coin is a Good VF,” $51,750.

Roman Empire, Hadrian, circa A.D. 132 silver sestertius, 25.82 grams, Rome, “from a medallic obverse die in high relief,” “flan crack,” VF, $32,200.

Roman Empire, Lucilla (wife of Lucius Verus), circa A.D. 161 to 169 copper medallion, 39 millimeters, 52.91 grams, Rome, “completely natural and untouched with a black olive patina,” EF, $57,500.

Roman Empire, Clodius Albinus as caesar, circa A.D. 194 gold aureus, 7.05 grams, Rome, “aside from the contact marks ... VF,” $54,625.

Roman Empire, Uranius Antoninus, circa A.D. 253 to 254 gold aureus, commemorating the games held by Philip I in honor of the millennium of Rome, “apparently the fourth recorded specimen of one of the more interesting types,” Near Mint State, $92,000.

Roman Empire, Galeria Valeria (wife of Galerius), circa A.D. 307 to 308 gold aureus, 5.35 grams, Nicomedia, EF, $27,025.

Byzantine Empire, Leo V the Armenian, A.D. 813 gold solidus, “only the third recorded specimen of this very rare inaugural issue of Leo V,” “finest known example,” Mint State, $64,400. ¦

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