The Heritage Month-Long auction closing on February 28 features Part I of A Special Collection of Ancient Coins. This offering concentrates on Roman Imperial coinage, with 204 such pieces out of 238 total coins in the auction. Bidding is open now and continues through the Live Session, scheduled to begin at 8 PM CT on Sunday, February 28.
A coin that has already attracted a good deal of attention is an AE sestertius of Gaius ‘Caligula’ (AD 37-41), minted in Rome AD 37-38 and graded XF40 smoothed by ANACS.
When the hated Tiberius died in May AD 37, the 25-year-old Caligula came to the Roman throne with a huge reservoir of public goodwill. But he was uniquely unsuited to the task at hand, having no experience in government, finance, or military affairs. He quickly squandered Tiberius’ carefully hoarded wealth on frivolous projects, condemned or exiled the most capable men in government, and demanded to be worshipped as a god. After three years of misrule, he was assassinated by a cabal of senators and Praetorian guardsmen led by Cassius Chaerea on 24 January AD 41.
Despite being perhaps the worst of all Roman emperors, Caligula’s coinage is interesting and attractive. He was the first ruler to place his portrait on Rome-mint issues of the largest denomination, the sestertius.
Some of the other fascinating Roman pieces in this auction include:
- Agrippina Senior (died AD 33). AE sestertius. ANACS VF35, smoothed
- Nero (AD 54-68). AE sestertius. NGC Choice VF 5/5 – 2/5, Fine Style, light smoothing
- Marcus Aurelius, as Augustus (AD 161-180). AE sestertius. NGC Choice XF 4/5 – 3/5, Fine Style
- Gordian I Africanus (March-April AD 238). AE sestertius. NGC Choice VF 4/5 – 4/5
- Gordian II Africanus (March-April AD 238). AR denarius. NGC AU 5/5 – 4/5
- Trajan Decius (AD 249-251). AE double sestertius. NGC Choice VF 4/5 – 2/5, smoothing
You can bid on this special offering of ancient coins through February 28 at Coins.HA.com.