The market for premium ancient Greek and Roman coins continues to
thrive, based on recent auction results in sales in Europe.
Recent offerings of major collections, as well as scattered
highlights of iconic coins, provide proof that the top end of the
market is, for the most part, cruising right along. Some weakness is
evident when material isn’t superb quality, but top items bring top prices.
A handful of lots sold at auction in late September to mid-October
reveal market dynamics for these popular areas of coin collecting.
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Perhaps no coin of antiquity is as familiar, or as important, as the
‘Eid Mar’ denarius of Brutus: its dagger-flanked liberty cap and
explicit inscription are a simple and direct monument to one of the
great events in western history, the assassination of Julius Caesar on
the “Ides of March.”
An example of this famous, coveted rarity realized a hammer price of
325,000 Swiss francs ($332,583 U.S.) during Numismatica Ars Classica’s
Oct. 6 auction of part III of the Michael Gasvoda Collection of Roman coins.
The coin grades Good EF, according to the auction house. It was
struck circa 43 or 42 B.C., not long after the 44 B.C. murder of the ruler.
The reverse testifies to the murder by naming the date of the event,
by showing daggers as the instruments of delivery, and by displaying
the pileus, or freedman’s cap, which symbolizes the professed goal of
the assassins’ work.
Though dozens of men were involved in the plot against Caesar, all
are represented on the reverse by only two daggers — a clear allusion
to Brutus and Cassius as leaders of the coup and, subsequently, of the
armed opposition to Antony and Octavian.
Keep reading about recently sold ancient rarities:
coin’s six-figure price rooted in its standard-bearing design
: Ancient Greek coins, in many ways, the standard bearers for
classical beauty in coin design. Among the well known and respected
practitioners of this art is the sculptor known to us today as Kimon.
How much would you pay for this
gold aureus from A.D. 71? (Tip: It would need to be a lot)
: The design is more readily available as a silver denarius, but
less so in gold on the aureus.
Why this 460 B.C.
silver tetradrachm brought a whopping $613,999
: The coin is "Very rare and among the finest specimens known
of this prestigious and fascinating issue."