Rare gold Caracalla aureus highlights Aurora Collection at $50,000


2015-06-26 13:32:39


Rare gold Caracalla aureus highlights Aurora Collection at $50,000

Baldwin's will auction Roman coins in January, led by a rare gold aureus from Caracalla and Geta

Baldwin's has announced its sale of The Aurora Collection of Roman Gold Coins on January 8 in New York, with a rare $50,000-estimated aureus from the reign of Caracalla and Geta set to lead bids.

Caracalla gold aureau GetaCaracalla is depicted as a sun god on the coin, showing his eagerness to out-do Geta

The collection is one of the finest to come to auction in recent years, and is expected to see bids of over $1m. It is being held in association with Dmitry Markov Coins and M&M Numismatics at the New York Numismatic Convention.

The gold aureus was struck between AD 200 and 202, and portrays both Geta and his older brother Caracalla, the sons of Emperor Septimus Severus (AD 193-211), on either side.

The brothers fought to become the next Roman emperor following their father's death, but were jointly nominated by the Roman army and forced to rule together. However, their tense relationship led to Caracalla murdering Geta at a reconciliation meeting held by their mother, Julia Domna.

Following Geta's death, Caracalla became sole ruler and continued to eradicate all trace of his brother, killing his entire family and supporters and destroying any art, statue or coin that bore his portrait. It is for this reason that the present coin is so rare today, especially those of "medallic" quality such as this one.

Caracalla needed to prove his worth as an emperor and rebuild his reputation

The second highest bids are expected to be seen by an AD 215 gold aureus, again from the reign of Caracalla, which is described by Baldwin's as "a vital propaganda tool in rebuilding Caracalla's reputation in the wake of the assassination".

Estimated at $40,000, the coin shows the emperor in full military uniform to portray his might as the head of the Roman army, while the reverse depicts a religious sceneat the Temple of Vesta, which reflects Caracalla's piety.

The example at auction is thought to be a "unique variety of a very rare type" by Baldwin's coin specialist Paul Hill.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a magnificent selection of rare coins for sale.

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