Heritage offered a fascinating group of flashy (and very old) gold
coins to kick off its World and Ancient Coins Platinum Night sale Aug.
3, part of its American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money
auctions: The Golden Gate Collection of Roman Gold Aurei. The group of
40 coins covers a century-long span during the peak of the Roman
Imperial period from A.D. 60 to 160, “a time when the Roman Empire
reached its greatest territorial [extent], economic influence, and
artistic influence, all reflected in its coinage.” Heritage suspects
that the group, acquired by the consignor’s father in 1981, was likely
unearthed as a single find in Israel in the late 1970s, though more
specific information on the find location is elusive.
Steve rarely writes about the world coins, so this group of coins must be a real treat if he
decided to cover it. Here’s the second of these Roman gold coins:
Faustina Junior, wife of Marcus Aurelius (149 to 175/6) gold aureus,
Choice About Uncirculated, NGC Star, Fine Style
While Roman coins depicting men formed the majority of the
collection, some strong and beautiful women were also represented,
including Faustina Junior, daughter of Antoninus Pius and wife of
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A sensitive gold aureus struck in Rome featuring an expressive
portrait of the roughly 20-year-old princess, with her elegant hair
waved and rolled in a double bun coiled at the back and wound through
with a band of pearls and held in place with a hair band, sold for $25,850.
How can collectors determine a coin’s value when
price guides assign it different values?
Also in this week’s print issue, we learn of the first report of a
2017 doubled die variety, found on a Lincoln cent.
It was graded Choice About Uncirculated by NGC with both surfaces
and strike graded 5/5, with an NGC ★ designation and Fine Style
notation, recognizing the high relief die work and detailed engraving.
The reverse depicts a standing Venus wearing drapery that both reveals
and conceals her curvy figure, facing the viewer, her head turned
left, holding an apple in her right hand and a ship’s tiller entwined
by a dolphin in her left. When this coin was struck in 149 to 152, the
younger Faustina had just been named empress by the Senate to honor