A previously unrecorded example of a valuable ancient Ides of March gold coin commemorating the assassination of Roman dictator Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. sold for £3,240,000 ($4,188,393, 3,588,602) on October 29, 2020. Authenticators in the United States and United Kingdom who verified its authenticity predicted it would sell for millions more than a London auction houses conservative £500,000 pre-sale estimate.
Im not surprised it set a world record as the most valuable ancient coin ever sold, said Mark Salzberg, Chairman of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation in Sarasota, Florida, the company whose experts in the U.S. and U.K. confirmed its authenticity. Its a masterpiece of artistry and rarity, still in mint condition after 2,000 years, and only the third known example made in gold. Many of us believed it would sell for millions, and it did.
The name of the winning bidder was not revealed by Roma Numismatics Limited
of London, England. According to the auction house, this previously unrecorded coin was closely held in a private European collection for many years.
The coin was made in 42 B.C., two years after the famous assassination, and is one of the most important and valuable coins of the ancient world. The front has a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus, one of Caesars assassins, and the other side dramatically has two daggers and the words EID MAR, a Latin abbreviation for Ides of March, explained Salzberg.
Though nearly 100 Ides of March coins made in silver are known, this is only the third example known in gold. Of the other two, one is in the British Museum on loan from a private collector and the other is in the Deutsche Bundesbank collection.
There were rumors of a third example and NGC authenticators were excited when this coin was submitted at our London office and sent for evaluation at our headquarters in Sarasota, Florida, said Salzberg.
The coin is only about the size of modern United States five-cent and United Kingdom five-pence denomination coins, but its an historic treasure worth far more than its weight in gold, he stated.