When you’re a numismatist, you talk a lot about history; whether you collect coins, banknotes, tokens, or medals, it’s intimately connected to our hobby. It’s difficult to get much more historic than the subject of today’s blog post – ancient coins. There is an impressive range of ancients in Geoffrey Bell Auctions Ltd.’s upcoming Toronto Coin Expo 2018 Spring Sale. Here’s but a handful.
“If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it,” was said over 2,000 years ago. Julius Caesar is, even today, considered one of the greatest military commanders in history and he played a prominent role in the demise of the Roman Republic before being so iconically assassinated at the age of 55.
This most-famous of the Roman leaders is represented by a 49 BC AR denarius featuring an elephant walking right, trampling a Celtic war trumpet with CAESAR below on the obverse and a reverse of priestly implements. The coin is VF with an obverse scrape.
If you like the ultimate love story, the subject of this next coin is for you. Mark Antony was another politician and general in addition to being a supporter of Julius Caesar. In 30 BC, at the age of 53, he would commit suicide by falling upon his sword thinking, mistakenly, that Cleopatra had already committed suicide. Learning she was still alive, he would be taken to her where he died in her arms.
The Spring Sale features a 40 BC AR denarius of Mark Antony with his bare head right and lituus behind on the obverse and the reverse sporting the prow of a Roman galley with star above. The coin is aVF.
Augustus, first emperor of the new Roman Empire lived to be 75, his last words having been said to have been, “Have I played the part well? Then applaud as I exit.” He’s represented by an AE As with the ruler’s bare head right on the obverse and the reverse of the Moneyer’s legend around a large S C, the Moneyer being C. Cassius Celer. The coin is VF with some reverse deposits.
The Roman emperor Caligula reigned for less than 4 years before his assassination. Caligula was actually a nickname, having been named after his famous relative, Gaius Caesar (Julius Caesar). The coin, an AE As from 37-41 AD features his bare head left on the obverse and Vesta seated left, holding patera and sceptre, with VESTA above and S C to the sides on the reverse. The coin is a lovely VF/gVF.
These ancient coins and many more will open the Toronto Coin Expo 2018 Spring Sale, so make sure you’re in the room or online early!