Julius Caesar “assassination coin” may be worth millions
LONDON.- A previously unrecorded example of a valuable ancient “Ides of March” gold coin commemorating the assassination of Roman dictator Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. has been confirmed by rare coin authenticators in the United States and the United Kingdom. Experts describe it as “a masterpiece.”
“It was made in 42 B.C., two years after the famous assassination, and is one of the most important and valuable coins of the ancient world. The front has a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus, one of Caesar’s assassins, and the other side dramatically has two daggers and the words EID MAR, a Latin abbreviation for Ides of March,” explained Mark Salzberg, Chairman of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (www.NGCcoin.com) in Sarasota, Florida, the company whose experts who confirmed its authenticity.
Though nearly 100 Ides of March coins made in silver are known, this is only the third example known in gold. Of the other two, one is in the British Museum on loan from a private collector and the other is in the Deutsche Bundesbank collection.
“There were rumors of a third example and NGC authenticators were excited when this coin was submitted at our London office and sent for evaluation at our headquarters in Sarasota, Florida,” said Salzberg.
The EID MAR gold coin will be offered at public auction by Roma Numismatics Limited of London, England on October 29, 2020. According to the auction house, this previously unrecorded coin was closely held in a private European collection for many years.
“The conservative pre-auction estimate is £500,000 ($647,173, €548,511), but considering the coin’s rarity, artistry, and fabled place in history I would not be surprised if it sold for several million,” predicted Salzberg.
Adding to its appeal, the coin is still in mint condition according to NGC’s experts, despite its being more than 2,000 years old.
In between the two daggers is a pileus, a cap of liberty traditionally given to Roman slaves when they were freed. The cap’s image was a symbolic statement that Rome was liberated after the assassination of the tyrant Caesar.
The coin is about the size of modern United States five-cent and United Kingdom five-pence denomination coins.
“It’s a small gold coin with huge historical and collector value. It is the undisputed masterpiece of ancient coinage,” stated Salzberg.