A previously unknown example of the ancient Ides of March gold coin that commemorated Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC sold for $4,188,393 on October 29, 2020 at Roma Numismatics Limited in London. It was authenticated by experts in the United States and United Kingdom who predicted that it would sell for millions.
“I’m not surprised it set a world record as the most valuable ancient coin ever sold,” Mark Salzberg, Chairman of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation in Sarasota, Florida, the company whose experts confirmed its authenticity, said. “It’s 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.”
Prior to changing hands in the auction, the coin had been held in a private European collection for many years.
“The coin 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,” Salzberg said.
Though there are nearly 100 silver Ides of March coins known to exist, this is only the third example in gold. One of the others is in the British Museum on loan from a private collection 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 it’s an historic treasure worth far more than its weight in gold,” he stated.