World Coins

Roman Republican coins highlight of auction

A rare gold 60-as coin of Central Italy led all bidding during the Oct. 5 and 6 auction of the RBW Collection of Roman Republican Coins, realizing 88,125 Swiss francs ($95,657 U.S.).

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The Roman Republic reigned for nearly 500 years, stretching across a vast swath of Europe and leaving a rich, deep numismatic history.

Numismatica Ars Classica offers a special collection of 1,220 lots of coins from this legacy in an Oct. 5 and 6 auction in Zurich, in the catalog for the RBW Collection of Roman Republican Coins.

The RBW Collection offers multiple rarities for specialists but also affordable options for all levels of buyers, but one highlight is the second known example of its kind, and the only example available publicly.

The circa 209 B.C. gold 60-as coin from Central Italy is one of the most significant coins in the collection, not only because of its rarity — the only other known example is in the British Museum — but for its historical value (some experts suggest it was struck in Etruria) and pedigree (it was once part of the collection formed by Count Bartolomeo Borghesi and later, Enrico Caruso).

In About Extremely Fine/EF condition, the coin has an estimate of 15,000 Swiss francs or about $16,562 in U.S. funds.

Numismatica Ars Classica’s buyer’s fees begin at 17.5 percent, with an additional 1.5 percent added for telephone and Internet bidders.

The complete catalog may be viewed in PDF form at the firm’s website

For more information about the auction, telephone the firm at (011) 41 44 261 1703 or email it at

Some additional highlights:

Roman Republic, after 326 B.C. struck bronze, Neapolis, Roma Mint, “the first Roman coin,” “brown-green patina,” Lot 61, VF.

Roman Republic, circa 270 B.C. cast bronze as, 355.76 grams, “lovely enamel-like green patina,” Lot 5, Extremely Fine.

Roman Republic, circa 265 B.C. cast bronze as, 259.92 grams, “light green patina, two minor metal flaws on reverse,” Lot 8, “otherwise About EF/Good Very Fine.”

Roman Republic, circa 230 B.C. cast bronze dupondius, “among the finest specimens known,” Lot 14, About EF.

Roman Republic, circa 214 B.C. silver denarius, Roma Mint, “possibly the finest specimen known,” “struck in high relief on a very large flan,” Lot 192, virtually As Struck and almost Fleur de Coin.

Roman Republic, after 211 B.C. bronze dupondius, Roma Mint, “traces of overstriking over an as, brown-green patina,” “only 16 specimens are known, of which only four are in private hands,” Lot 214, Good VF/About EF.

Roman Republic, circa 120 to 115 B.C. bronze as, Spain, “only very few specimens known,” Lot 337, EF.

Roman Republic, circa 211 to 210 B.C. silver sestertius, South East Italy, “unique, ... previously unknown coin,” Lot 358, “scuff on helmet and a few minor marks, otherwise VF.”

Roman Republic, circa 214 to 212 B.C. silver half victoriatus, Luceria Mint, “very few specimens known, lightly toned,” Lot 430, Good VF.

Roman Republic, circa 206 to 195 B.C. silver denarius, Lot 502, “delicate old cabinet tone,” EF.

Roman Republic, circa 206 to 195 B.C. silver denarius, Lot 561, “lightly toned,” EF.

Roman Republic, circa 194 to 190 B.C. silver quinarius, “apparently unique,” Lot 611, “an insignificant scratch on reverse, otherwise Good VF.”

Roman Republic, circa 179 to 170 B.C. silver quinarius, “only the second specimen known and the only one in private hands,” Lot 684, About VF.

Roman Republic, 133 B.C. silver denarius, “possibly the finest specimen known,” Lot 1008, “old cabinet tone,” EF.

Roman Republic, circa 113 or 112 B.C. bronze uncia, “previously unrecorded ... apparently unique, brown toned” Lot 1126, Good VF/About EF.

Roman Republic, circa 118 to 107 B.C. silver denarius, “possibly the finest specimen known,” Lot 1148, Good EF. ¦

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