By CoinWeek ….
We admit it.
Today’s “Top 4” new coin listings on MA-Shops.com was originally a “Top 5” — but by the time of writing the top coin had already sold. If anyone needed a reminder that online auctions can move fast, there it is. Anyway, while the original listing for top coin is no longer visible, be sure to visit the seller and check out Münzen Weller’s inventory on MA-Shops.
But before you do, enjoy this preview of the top four new coins and medals on MA-Shops the week of December 18, 2015.
- FRANCE: 1781 Libertas Americana Medal. AU
The Libertas Americana medal was designed by Benjamin Franklin, drawn by Antoine Gibelin and engraved by the famous French engraver Augustin Dupré. The purpose of the medal was three-fold: to commemorate American liberty (“Libertas Americana” in Latin), to celebrate peace at the end of the war with Britain, and to honor the friendship between France and the fledgling United States. Two gold Libertas Americana medals, presumed to have been lost, were presented to King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. Twenty-five silver medals are known to survive today; these were presented to French dignitaries. 100 bronze medals, like the About Uncirculated specimen listed here, are known to be extant and were given to members of Congress.
The obverse depicts a personified Liberty facing left, her hair flowing. Over her right shoulder and behind her head is a liberty cap atop a pole. LIBERTAS AMERICANA, with dots after each word, runs clockwise along the top half of the rim. In the exergue beneath Liberty is the date 4 JUIL. 1776 (July 4, 1776) in French.
The reverse shows an allegorical figure of Athena/Minerva, the traditional protector of heroes, dressed in armor and carrying a shield and spear. Here she is protecting the infant Herakles/Hercules from a lion. Hercules is identifiable as such because he is strangling the two snakes sent by Hera/Juno to kill him in his crib. Since the shield carries a fleur-de-lys, the metaphor is apparent: Minerva is France, Hercules is the United States, and the lion is Great Britain. The inscription DUPRE.F in the lower right corner of the design stands for the Latin “Dupre fecit”, or “Dupre (he) made it”. Also in Latin, the inscription NON SINE DIIS ANIMOSUS INFANS, which is a phrase from Horace that means “Not without God is the infant bold”. The dates in the exergue represent the October 17, 1777 surrender of British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga and the October 19, 1781 surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown–significant battles and dates crucial to American victory.
Beyond being historically important and created by important historical figures, the medal is also significant as an influence on the design of early United States coinage.
- GERMAN, BAVARIA: 1821 Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria River Gold Ducat. Gem
River gold ducats were produced from gold panned from the rivers of Bavaria or as a by-product of industrial gold washing. The ducats made from such gold are among the rarest of Bavarian coins. In the fiscal year during which this particular specimen was issued, only 1,100 were minted.
The obverse features a portrait of Maximilian I Joseph, the first King of Bavaria (ruled 1805/6-1825). The reverse features the image of a Classical river god in the foreground and a Gothic cathedral in the background.
- AUSTRIA: 2009 Vienna Philharmonic 20-Ounce 2,000 Euro
Since its introduction in 1989, the Vienna Philharmonic gold bullion coin from the Austrian Mint is one of the most popular bullion coins in the world. This 20-ounce specimen was issued in 2009 to celebrate the program’s 20th anniversary. It has a face value of 2,000 euros and consists of 622.06 grams of .9999 fine gold. Only 6,027 were minted, and if it seems like there’s something up with that number, that’s because 2,009 coins 20-ounce Philharmonics were produced for distribution in Europe, Japan and the United States, respectively.
The obverse features the Viennese Music Association’s pipe organ as the central motif. The inscription REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH (Austrian Republic) runs along the top of the rim while the weight, fineness and face value of the coin are found below. The reverse features instruments from the internationally-acclaimed Vienna Philharmonic orchestra, including the Vienna Horn, the bassoon and the harp in back and a cello surrounded by four violins in the front. WIENER PHILHARMONIKER (Vienna Philharmonic) is inscribed above them. Both sides were designed by the Austrian Mint’s Chief Engraver, Thomas Pesendorfer (View Designer’s Profile).
- ROMAN: Diocletian Gold Aureus Nicoemdia 294. BU
How often do you find a gold coin from Roman times in Brilliant Uncirculated condition?
This coin was produced at the Imperial mint in Nicomedia in the year 294 CE. The Roman Emperor Diocletian (ruled 284-305) made the Bithynian city (in the northwestern part of what is now Turkey, on the Black Sea) his eastern capital in 286. In that year, Diocletian introduced the tetrarchy, or “rule of four”. It was the first attempt to make the Empire more governable by delegating administrative duties among four partner emperors (though one was usually superior to the others). The arrangement was built upon further by his successor Constantine, and was ultimately responsible (at least bureaucratically) for the division between the East and West Roman Empires.
The aureus was a Roman gold coin worth about 800 silver denarii at the time of Diocletian. In 301, the emperor would introduce the gold solidus, which became an important denomination for centuries to come.
The obverse of this aureus features an effigy of Diocletian wearing a laurel wreath and the inscription DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG (DIOCLETIANUS PIUS FELIX AUGUSTUS in Latin, or “Diocletian Dutiful and Fortunate Augustus”) is split in two parts to either side of his head. The reverse features a standing Jupiter, holding a lightning bolt in his right hand and a hasta (a kind of long scepter) in his left. The inscription IOVI CONSERVATORI (“for Jupiter (Jove) the protector”) encircles the deity, while the letters SMN are found below. The ‘SM’ stands for “Sacra Moneta” (sacred money), and the ‘N’ is the mint mark for Nicomedia.
About MA Shops
MA Shops is an internet marketplace headquartered in Germany that works with a network of predominantly European coin dealers to sell coins, paper currency, medals, military orders and decorations, stamps and even bottles of wine directly to the collector. Founded by Joachim Schwiening, MA Shops offers a wide variety of Ancient, Modern, World and U.S. coins.