A gold aureus of Roman Emperor Nerva reflects the
delicate balance of power between the military and the ruling class in
An example of this coin is being offered by Numismatica Ars Classica
at an Oct. 24 auction.
The circa A.D. 97 gold coin features “a very attractive portrait” of
Nerva on the obverse, with clasped hands holding a legionary eagle set
upon a prow on the reverse.
U.S. Mint welcomes a fourth metal to the
American Eagle bullion program.
Also in this week’s print issue of Coin World, we teach our readers
about what a “weak-fatty” gold coin is and why you don’t want one in
Nerva’ s reign was influenced by his predecessor’s decision to
increase wages for soldiers from 225 denarii to 300 denarii, annually.
In addition, the coins used to pay the wages were of increased weight
and purity compared to previous coins, so the payout was even stronger.
Connect with Coin World:
up for our free eNewsletter
Like us on
us on Twitter
“This was a difficult act for an elderly senator to follow,
especially since for at least six decades now the army had been
instrumental in making and maintaining emperors,” according to the
catalog. “Money was key to Nerva’s success: he maintained Domitian’s
standards of heavy, pure aurei and he devoted reverse types to the army.”
The reverse may represent Nerva’s hope that the army and the senate
could work together (though their relationship was strained by two
assassination plots the year this coin was issued). Nerva died of
natural causes four months after issuing this coin and was succeeded
The coin has “an almost invisible edge nick at four o’clock on
obverse,” but is otherwise Good Very Fine / About Extremely Fine. It
has an estimate of 12,500 Swiss francs ($12,882 U.S.) in the auction