Macrinus aureus coin up 407.9% on estimate at Shoshana collection auction



2015-06-26 12:58:36

Macrinus aureus coin up 407.9% on estimate at Shoshana collection auction

The Macrinus aureus from Syria was the star of the Shoshana collection of Judean coins

A Macrinus aureus has taken the plaudits at Heritage Auctions' second instalment of the Shoshana collection of Judean coins, beating its estimate by 407.9%.

The AD 218 Roman Empire gold coin sold for $203,150 at the September 5 sale, to comfortably take the top spot.

Macrinus aureus gold coin The Macrinus aureus sold for $203,150

The extremely rare example was struck in high relief, and had come to auction with a $40,000 estimate.

Its entry in the collection is something of an oddity, as Macrinus' two year reign from AD 217-218 was conducted in neighbouring Syria.

The leading bona fide Judean coin at the auction was a Year 4 shekel from the seven year Judean war against the Romans, which lasted from AD 66-73.

It more than doubled its $30,000 estimate, selling for $65,725.

"The revolt against the Romans sent shock waves throughout the Empire," commented David Michaels, the auction house's director of ancient coins.

"As soon as the Romans fled Jerusalem, the Jews set up a mint and began striking coins to celebrate their newfound freedom, 19 centuries before Israel was reborn."

Shekels from the fourth year of the war (AD 69-70) are far rarer than their predecessors, with just 40 extant examples, caused by a decline in the silver supply - a key factorin explaining its strong showing.

The Romans recaptured Jerusalem in AD 70.

The Shoshana collection was assembled over a30 year periodby an anonymous Los Angeles enthusiast, and represents 11 centuries of Jewish numismatic history, from 500 BC to AD 600.

Shoshana is a version of the name Susanna and means lily or rose.

The first auction in March set a new world record for a Judean coin, with an AD 66 silver shekel achieving $1.1m, a 7.58% pa return on its previous sale in 1991.

View oursuperb range of rare coins in stock.

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