Spink is offering two of the most important coins of the ancient world as well as two of the greatest rarities in British numismatics, all certified by Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC). The coins are being offered in Spink auctions that are scheduled for March 31 and April 3, 2023.
The April 3 sale features three NGC-certified rarities from the White Rose Collection, formed in the 1940s. It includes a Roman Imperatorial Octavian and Julius Caesar (c. 43 BCE) Gold Aureus graded NGC Ancients Ch AU★, 4/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface. Showing Octavian opposite the deceased Julius Caesar, the coin has an estimate of £60,000 to £100,000 (about $74,000 to $123,000 USD).
It is attributed to 43 BCE, the year after the assassination of Julius Caesar. During this time, the teenaged Octavian was accumulating the power that earned him a place in the Second Triumvirate. Octavian eventually became Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, in 27 BCE. It is one of only a few dozen Roman gold coins with Caesar’s portrait and is among those struck soonest after his death. Competition for such coins is intense among those trying to collect portraits of the first “Twelve Caesars” in gold.
A very rare coin from three centuries earlier is also expected to draw lively bidding. The Pharaonic Egypt, Nectanebo II (c. 361-343 BCE) Gold Stater graded NGC Ancients Ch XF★, 4/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface was issued by the last native ruler of ancient Egypt. The defeat and exile of Nectanebo II in 342 BCE marked the beginning of centuries of Egypt’s rule by foreigners, first by the Persians and later by the Greeks and Romans. This coin, a type seldom seen at auction, has an estimate of £80,000 to £120,000 (about $98,000 to $147,000).
“These two gold rarities are in outstanding condition and were struck at key moments in the history of the ancient world, making them treasures to the advanced collector,” said NGC Ancients Director David Vagi. “It’s always a privilege to evaluate coins of this caliber before they find their new homes.”
The White Rose Collection also includes what is generally regarded as the most beautiful coin in British numismatics. The collection’s Great Britain 1839 Una and the Lion 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 62 Ultra Cameo has an estimate of £200,000 to £240,000 (about $246,000 to $295,000). The epic design of the coin includes an obverse with a young Queen Victoria and a reverse showing her as Lady Una from Edmund Spenser’s The Fairie Queene, guiding a lion that represents Great Britain.
“We are thrilled to present the coins in the White Rose Collection, which was formed through purchases through Spink in the 1940s,” said Gregory Edmund, Senior Specialist at Spink.
Meanwhile, a Great Britain 1820 Gold Pattern 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 60 Cameo is the centerpiece of the St. Helier Collection, a group of a dozen English rarities being offered in the March 31 sale. This rare pattern showing King George III on the obverse and the beloved St. George and Dragon design on the reverse has an estimate of £150,000 to £200,000 (about $184,000 to $246,000).
To learn more about this coin and the others in the St. Helier Collection, click here.