A previously unrecorded example of an ancient “Ides of March” gold coin commemorating the assassination of Roman dictator Julius Caesar in 44 BC has been confirmed by rare coin authenticators in the US and the UK. It has been described as a masterpiece by experts.
“It was made in 42 BC, 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 Caesar’s assassins, and the other side dramatically has two daggers and the words EID MAR, a Latin abbreviation for Ides of March,” Mark Salzberg, Chairman of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation in Sarasota, FL said.
There are nearly 100 silver Ides of March coins, but this is only the third gold example known to exist. One is at 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,” Salzberg said.
This EID MAR gold coin will be offered at public auction by Roma Numismatics Limited of London on October 29, 2020. According to the auction house, this previously unrecorded coin was closely held in a private European collection for many years.
“The conservative preauction estimate is £500,000 ($647,173, €548,511), but considering the coin’s rarity, artistry, and fabled place in history I would not be surprised if it sold for several million,” Salzberg said.
Making it even more appealing, the 2,000-year-old coin is still in mint condition, according to NGC’s experts.
It is about the size of modern nickels in the US and a five pence piece in the UK. “It’s a small gold coin with huge historical and collector value. It is the undisputed masterpiece of ancient coinage,” Salzberg said.