Extremely rare gold coin showing Empress Magnia Urbica could sell for $42,000 today



2015-06-26 12:21:21

Extremely rare gold coin showing Empress Magnia Urbica could sell for $42,000 today

Once thought to exist only as a forgery, the unusually backed aureus will star in Chicago

Here's a final look at the exciting collaborative coin auction to be held by Gemini and Heritage later today in Chicago.

As we've mentioned, two of the key highlights for investors and collectorsare a very rare gold Constantius II medallion and the expected top lot: a unique silver decadrachm.

Finally, let's take a look at an unusual (not that any version is common) aureus of Magnia Urbica, Wife of Carinus.

Magnia Urbica gold coin Magnia Urbica gold coin

The obverse shows the empress with the draped bust facing right, wearing a stephane. The reverse shows Venus standing facing left holding an apple and a sceptre.

The "commonest" aureus of Magnia Urbica is from the mint of Rome, with the reverse showing the text VENERI VICTRICI and showing Venus standing and facing right. This aureus, in contrast, is far rarer, being apparently only the second recorded aureus of Urbica from the mint of Lugdunum, with her standard Lugdunese reverse type, with the text VENVS GENETRIX, and Venus facing left.

Magnia Urbica gold coin reverse Magnia Urbica gold coin (reverse)

In his relevant Lugdunum-mint volume of 1976, Bastien could find no specimen at all of this aureus, and suspected that the piece reported by Cohen from the Wiczay Collection, published in 1815, might just have been the known Becker forgery.

However, a genuine specimen of Urbica's Lugdunese aureus surfaced in Leu 25, 23 April 1980, and this second specimen, from the same die pair as the first, was published in the English edition of Calico's Roman Aurei, 2003, and then in two prominent auctions in 2004.

It is interesting that the same obverse die of the aurei was also used to strike denarii of Urbica in the same issue. This wonderful example of an extremely rare mint state coin is listed at $42,000 in the sale which begins in a few hours' time in Chicago, Illinois and online.

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