A 2,600-year-old stater and a Jewish War shekel are among the coins expected to realize six-figure prices
Coins graded by NGC Ancients, a division of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) devoted to ancient coins of the Western World, are well represented in Heritage Auctions’ NYINC World Coins Signature Auction, to be held January 7-8, 2018 in New York City.
The top 32 ancient coins in the auction (according to the presale estimates) are all graded by NGC Ancients. Featuring images of animals, gods, kings and emperors, they cover a nearly 1,000-year period of history stretching from the seventh Century BCE to the fourth Century CE.
The auction’s highlights include:
- Lot 32049 – An electrum stater from Ionia, graded NGC VF with 4/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface. This famous coin type was struck around 625 to 600 BCE, and is among the earliest coins to bear an inscription. Besides being one of the oldest items in this auction, it is also one of the most expensive; Heritage Auctions estimates its value at $200,000 to $300,000 (second only to an extremely rare world coin: a medieval English gold penny).
- Lot 32080 – A Year 5 silver shekel from the Jewish War, graded NGC XF with a 4/5 Strike and 3/5 Surface. This extremely rare coin was struck in 70 or 71 CE, during the terrifying, final stage of the Jewish revolt against Rome that led to the destruction of Jerusalem. Heritage Auctions estimates its value at $100,000 to $150,000.
- Lot 32076 – A gold stater of Eucratides I the Great, graded NGC Choice MS ★ with a 5/5 Strike and a 5/5 Surface. Eucratides I ruled the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom (an area centered on modern-day Afghanistan) from about 171 to 145 BCE. This high-grade coin bears a particularly bold portrait. Heritage Auctions estimates its value at $80,000 to $110,000.
- Lot 32083 – A silver denarius of Quintus Labienus, graded NGC AU with a 4/5 Strike and a 3/5 Surface. In the chaos after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE, Labienus briefly rose to power on the eastern fringe of the Roman Empire. Heritage Auctions estimates this extremely rare coin’s value at $80,000 to $100,000.
NGC-graded ancient coins are also featured in two other sales being held in New York the same week as the Heritage auction. They include:
- A gold aureus of Julius Caesar, graded NGC Ch AU with a 5/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface that is for sale in Ira & Larry Goldberg’s New York Sale (Auction XLII), being held January 9, 2018. Its estimated value is $12,000.
- A Year 3 silver half-shekel from the Jewish War, graded NGC XF with a 5/5 Strike and 3/5 Surface, that is for sale in the Stack’s Bowers NYINC Session E – Ancient & World Coins auction, scheduled for January 13, 2018. Stack’s Bowers’ pre-auction estimate of $8,000 to $10,000 had already been surpassed in online bidding four weeks before the auction.
NGC Ancients attributes, grades and encapsulates most coins struck in the Western world through 500 CE (AD), as well as Byzantine coins.