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Rare Coin Celebrating Caesar’s Assassination Might Fetch £5 Million

Rare Coin Celebrating Caesar’s Assassination Might Fetch £5 Million


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Minted as a “naked and shameless” celebration of Julius Caesar's murder by a blade-wielding team of conspiratorial Roman senators in 42 BC, this solid gold ‘assassination coin’ is one of only three of its type. When it is auctioned off on October 29 it’s expected to fetch a staggering £5 million (about $6.5 million).

The rare Roman coin is over 2,000-years-old, and Barry Murphy of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), an international coin certification service based in Sarasota, Florida, says the coin is the “holy grail” for ancient coin collectors.

Two daggers and the words “EID MAR” depicted on the rare assassination coin of Julius Caesar. ( Numismatic Guaranty Corporation )

An Assassination Story Worth £5 million

The super-valuable, mint-condition, ancient gold coin had been kept in a private collection in Europe until now. It is destined to be auctioned by London-based Roma Numismatics , dealers and auctioneers of fine and rare ancient coins, on October 29, 2020. The Daily Mail explains that a conservative pre-sale estimate has been given to the treasure of £500,000, but coin experts are telling the media that they expect it to reach “£3–5 million, breaking all previous records.”

So what is it that makes one Roman coin worth its weight in gold, and the next one worth 100,000 times its weight in gold? The answer to this question is maybe not what you would expect, for essentially, the reason this rare artifact has been so highly valued is because of its “story.” And here is the story that is apparently worth £5 million.

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23 Punctures Deflated the Roman Republic

The Roman Republic was founded in 480 BC and developed into a polity in which equality and democracy were the most esteemed values. During the Republic, the Senate governed the state, which was ruled over by leading members of the wealthiest families.

Julius Caesar was famously stabbed 23 times in a political assassination in Rome, Italy, by between 40-60 conspiratorial Roman senators on the “ Ides of March ” (March 15) 44 BC. Although Caesar had enemies in upper class circles, he was, however, very popular with the Roman lower and middle classes.

The Assassination of Julius Caesar.

As soon as the people of Rome got wind of Caesar’s death, riots broke out, which set in motion a long series of civil wars that ultimately brought about the death of the Roman Republic, and the birth of the Roman Empire .

The Extreme Value of the ‘Assassination Coin’

Speaking with Fox News , Mark Salzberg, chairman of the NGC, says this coin is “one of the most important and valuable coins of the ancient world.” Minted in 42 BC, two years after the historic assassination, the front of the coin is a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus , Caesar’s chief assassin, and the flip side, sinisterly depicts two daggers and the words “ EID MAR ,” a Latin abbreviation for “Ides of March.”

The front of the coin is a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus, Caesar’s chief assassin. ( Numismatic Guaranty Corporation )

That is the dark date in Roman history when, under the mass of wounds, Caesar stumped and fell at the foot of Pompey's famous statue. And further celebrating the slaughter of Caesar, the so-called ‘assassination coin’ also features a “cap of liberty,” signifying the motivations behind the murder , Mr. Salzberg said.

The coin falls into a category of around 100 coins featuring the “Ides of March.” But 97 of these are cast in silver, with only two others known to have been forged in gold. One is on display in the British Museum and the other is held in the collection of the Deutsche Bundesbank , the central bank of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Fall 2020: Season of the Rare Gold Coins

This exceptionally rare gold coin is expected to become the most expensive Roman gold coin to have ever been sold at auction, but it has some way to go to rival the show-stopper that surfaced only back in September, and featured in a Smithsonian Magazine article. Dated to 1794, the “Flowing Hair dollar" was one of the first coins ever minted by the newly created U.S. Mint. It is a rare example set to be sold at auction in Las Vegas and is expected to fetch “upward of $10 million,” double the value of the ‘assassination coin’ - making it the undisputed most valuable coin in the world.


This 2000-year-old Julius Caesar ‘assassination coin’ could fetch $6.4million in auction


A rare gold coin that honors the assassination of the Roman general Julius Caesar is all set to be up on auction. Estimated to be worth up to $6.4 million (£5 million), it is rightly touted to be the ‘holy grail’ for ancient coin collectors.


Held in a private collection in Europe until now, the two-millennia old wonder is one of three of the same design known to have been cast in gold. Its rarity, artistry, and fabled place in history make it worth millions and rightly so – a collector’s dream. Described as a ‘naked and shameless celebration’ of Caesar’s murder, it also features a ‘cap of liberty’ that apparently implies the motivations behind the incident.


Commenting on it, Mark Salzberg, chairman of the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of Sarasota, Florida, said, “It ( 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 Caesar’s assassins, and the other side dramatically has two daggers and the words EID MAR, a Latin abbreviation for Ides of March.” He also noted that it is ‘one of the most important and valuable coins of the ancient world.’


The exclusive Julius Caesar ‘assassination coin’ will be auctioned off by London-based Roma Numismatics on October 29, 2020.


Rare Coin Commemorating Caesar’s Death Fetches High Price at Auction

As the Imperial Roman Empire was ruled by a series of Roman Emperors, it experienced both peace and prosperity and then its eventual decline and fall. Photo By Brandon Bourdages / Shutterstock

According to CNN, an item at auction recently broke a record for its high sales price. “An ancient gold coin described as a ‘naked and shameless celebration’ of the assassination of Julius Caesar, featuring a portrait of one of the men who killed him, has set a new record for a coin sold at auction,” the article said. “Bought by an anonymous bidder for $3.5 million, the ‘aureus’ coin features a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus—one of the ringleaders in the assassination of Caesar in 44 BCE.

“It also depicts the daggers used by Brutus and his co-conspirator Cassius to slay the ancient general in the Theater of Pompey in Rome, and a cap of Liberty—a symbolic garment given to slaves upon their freedom.” The coin is also inscribed with a Latin phrase that translates to “The Ides of March.”

After Caesar’s assassination, Caesar’s posthumously adopted son Octavian became his successor, though he made fatal mistakes of his own.

Just Call Him Caesar

The coin in question was minted by Brutus himself as a sign that Caesar’s assassins had liberated the people of Rome, hence the “cap of Liberty” mentioned in the CNN article. But after liberation, what came next? A power vacuum, most obviously filled by Marcus Antonius, who we commonly call Marc Antony today.

“He’d been Caesar’s lieutenant for many years he’d been Caesar’s right-hand man, the guy that Caesar would delegate authority to when he was somewhere else,” said Dr. Gregory S. Aldrete, Professor of Humanistic Studies and History at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. “Finally though, when Caesar’s will was opened and read, it produced a surprise candidate. Caesar tapped an utterly obscure grandnephew of his as the primary heir and, what’s more, he then posthumously adopted that young boy as his son.”

The boy was 18-year-old Octavian, who inherited little more than Caesar’s name, becoming Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus. Dr. Aldrete said that in daily life, he went by the name Caesar, and his late adopted father’s name carried him far.

All That We Leave Behind

Octavian took the name Caesar Augustus and ruled over a peaceful and prosperous Rome for a long time. While not a great military commander, he was surrounded by those who made his reign work. However, when it came time to choose a successor, he finally faltered.

“Probably his greatest mistake was choosing to select the next emperor based on heredity,” Dr. Aldrete said. “By establishing a precedent of passing power to the nearest male relative, Augustus would doom Rome to a string of incompetent, sometimes even mentally unbalanced, emperors over the next hundred years or so.”

Dr. Aldrete said that Octavian outlived his first four choices for heir, including two grandchildren. When Octavian died, the power of Roman Emperor went to his 55-year-old stepson Tiberius, who eventually withdrew to the island of Capri and fell prey to “all sorts of paranoia and sexual overindulgence,” in Dr. Aldrete’s words.

“The next set of emperors will have several names among them who were notorious for insanity and debauchery, including Caligula and Nero,” he said. “Augustus’s decision to base imperial succession on the principle of heredity and blood relationships would end up having dire consequences for all of Roman history.”

Dr. Gregory S. Aldrete contributed to this article. Dr. Aldrete is Professor of Humanistic Studies and History at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, where he has taught since 1995. He earned his BA from Princeton University and his master’s degree and PhD in Ancient History from the University of Michigan.


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The item, Mr Salzberg explained, is 'one of the most important and valuable coins of the ancient world.'

Nearly 100 of such 'Ides of March' coins are known, according to the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation — however, most are cast in silver, and even these are considered essentially unobtainable by aficionados.

Only two others in gold are known to exist — one of which is on display in the British Museum, while the other resides in the permanent collection of the Deutsche Bundesbank, the central bank of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The minting of the coin has been described as a 'naked and shameless celebration' of Caesar's murder two years previously in 44 BC, as depicted. The assassination was prompted by concern among the senate that Caesar — having recently been named 'dictator in perpetuity' — would name himself king. Fear of this tyranny fostered a conspiracy of 60 senators who ended up stabbing the statesman 23 times, according to history's first recorded autopsy.

'We are extremely privileged to bring this coin to auction with the invaluable assistance of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, whose expert specialists have assisted in authenticating it,' said Roma Numismatics' director Richard Beale.

'Considering the coin’s rarity, artistry and fabled place in history, I would not be surprised if it sold for several million,' Mr Salzberg told Fox News.

This could make it the most expensive Roman gold coin to have ever been sold.

How England spent almost half a millennium under Roman rule

55BC - Julius Caesar crossed the channel with around 10,000 soldiers. They landed at a Pegwell Bay on the Isle of Thanet and were met by a force of Britons. Caesar was forced to withdraw.

54BC - Caesar crossed the channel again in his second attempt to conquer Britain. He came with with 27,000 infantry and cavalry and landed at Deal but were unopposed. They marched inland and after hard battles they defeated the Britons and key tribal leaders surrendered.

However, later that year, Caesar was forced to return to Gaul to deal with problems there and the Romans left.

54BC - 43BC - Although there were no Romans present in Britain during these years, their influence increased due to trade links.

43AD - A Roman force of 40,000 led by Aulus Plautius landed in Kent and took the south east. The emperor Claudius appointed Plautius as Governor of Britain and returned to Rome.

47AD - Londinium (London) was founded and Britain was declared part of the Roman empire. Networks of roads were built across the country.

50AD - Romans arrived in the southwest and made their mark in the form of a wooden fort on a hill near the river Exe. A town was created at the site of the fort decades later and names Isca.

When Romans let and Saxons ruled, all ex-Roman towns were called a 'ceaster'. this was called 'Exe ceaster' and a merger of this eventually gave rise to Exeter.

75 - 77AD - Romans defeated the last resistant tribes, making all Britain Roman. Many Britons started adopting Roman customs and law.

122AD - Emperor Hadrian ordered that a wall be built between England and Scotland to keep Scottish tribes out.

312AD - Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal throughout the Roman empire.

228AD - The Romans were being attacked by barbarian tribes and soldiers stationed in the country started to be recalled to Rome.

410AD - All Romans were recalled to Rome and Emperor Honorious told Britons they no longer had a connection to Rome.


An ultra-rare coin celebrating Julius Caesar's assassination sells for a record $3.4 million

An ancient gold coin described as a "naked and shameless celebration" of the assassination of.

An ancient gold coin described as a "naked and shameless celebration" of the assassination of Julius Caesar, featuring a portrait of one of the men who killed him, has set a new record for a coin sold at auction.

Bought by an anonymous bidder for £2.7 million ($3.5 million), the "aureus" coin features a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus -- one of the ringleaders in the assassination of Caesar in 44 BC.

It also depicts the daggers used by Brutus and his co-conspirator Cassius to slay the ancient general in the Theater of Pompey in Rome, and a cap of Liberty -- a symbolic garment given to slaves upon their freedom.

It is inscribed with the phrase "Eid Mar" -- the Ides of March -- a reference to March 15, the date of Caesar's death.

The coin was issued by Brutus two years after the assassination, in 42 BC.

"In an act of unparalleled braggadocio, we are at once presented with the murder weapons used to slay Caesar, the precise date of the deed, and the motive," Richard Beale, managing director of Roma Numismatics, the London auction house that sold the coin, wrote in a press release, describing the aureus as a "naked and shameless celebration" of the assassination.

Caesar's death is said to have been fueled by the belief among Roman politicians that he intended to make himself king.

Having been appointed "dictator perpetuo" -- dictator for life -- just two months earlier, Caesar was killed by a group of senators, including friends and people whom he had previously pardoned.

Brutus subsequently killed himself after losing the Battle of Philippi to Caesar's nephew and heir, Octavius, and friend Mark Antony.

Despite its age, the coin is in near-mint condition, and is one of only three known to exist.

The previous record price for a Roman coin was set in 2008, when a bronze sestertius of the Emperor Hadrian sold for around $2.5 million. The previous record for any coin was held by ancient Greek gold stater, which sold for $3.25 million in 2012.


Was Julius Caesar the real Jesus Christ?

CNN reported on 30th October that an ultra-rare coin, one of only three ever found and in near mint condition, celebrating Julius Caesar's assassination recently sold at an auction in London to an anonymous buyer for a record $3.5 million.

They write that the coin was issued by Brutus and was a "naked and shameless celebration" of the murder. It also features Brutus' portrait, the murder weapon and a 'liberty' cap.

I'm not sure how often these coins change hands but, if all the above is accurate, considering the situation on our planet and those currently in power right now, it seems to me to be pretty symbolic.

An ultra-rare coin celebrating Julius Caesar's assassination sells for a record $3.5 million​

Credit: Roma Numismatics Limited
Written by Harry Clarke-Ezzidio, CNNLondon

An ancient gold coin described as a "naked and shameless celebration" of the assassination of Julius Caesar, featuring a portrait of one of the men who killed him, has set a new record for a coin sold at auction.

Bought by an anonymous bidder for £2.7 million ($3.5 million), the "aureus" coin features a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus -- one of the ringleaders in the assassination of Caesar in 44 BC.

Julius Caesar was killed by Brutus and several others at the Theater of Pompey in Rome. Credit: Charles Phelps Cushing/ClassicStock/Getty Images

It also depicts the daggers used by Brutus and his co-conspirator Cassius to slay the ancient general in the Theater of Pompey in Rome, and a cap of Liberty -- a symbolic garment given to slaves upon their freedom.

It is inscribed with the phrase "Eid Mar" -- the Ides of March -- a reference to March 15, the date of Caesar's death.
The coin was issued by Brutus two years after the assassination, in 42 BC.

"In an act of unparalleled braggadocio, we are at once presented with the murder weapons used to slay Caesar, the precise date of the deed, and the motive," Richard Beale, managing director of Roma Numismatics, the London auction house that sold the coin, wrote in a press release, describing the aureus as a "naked and shameless celebration" of the assassination.

Caesar's death is said to have been fueled by the belief among Roman politicians that he intended to make himself king.
Having been appointed "dictator perpetuo" -- dictator for life -- just two months earlier, Caesar was killed by a group of senators, including friends and people whom he had previously pardoned.

Brutus subsequently killed himself after losing the Battle of Philippi to Caesar's nephew and heir, Octavius, and friend Mark Antony.

Despite its age, the coin is in near-mint condition, and is one of only three known to exist.

The previous record price for a Roman coin was set in 2008, when a bronze sestertius of the Emperor Hadrian sold for around $2.5 million. The previous record for any coin was held by ancient Greek gold stater, which sold for $3.25 million in 2012.

The headline of this story was updated to match the USD conversion of the final sale price in the article text.


An ultra-rare coin celebrating Julius Caesar’s assassination sells for a record $3.5 million

An ancient gold coin described as a “naked and shameless celebration” of the assassination of Julius Caesar, featuring a portrait of one of the men who killed him, has set a new record for a coin sold at auction.

Bought by an anonymous bidder for £2.7 million ($3.5 million), the “aureus” coin features a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus — one of the ringleaders in the assassination of Caesar in 44 BC.

It also depicts the daggers used by Brutus and his co-conspirator Cassius to slay the ancient general in the Theater of Pompey in Rome, and a cap of Liberty — a symbolic garment given to slaves upon their freedom.

It is inscribed with the phrase “Eid Mar” — the Ides of March — a reference to March 15, the date of Caesar’s death.

The coin was issued by Brutus two years after the assassination, in 42 BC.

“In an act of unparalleled braggadocio, we are at once presented with the murder weapons used to slay Caesar, the precise date of the deed, and the motive,” Richard Beale, managing director of Roma Numismatics, the London auction house that sold the coin, wrote in a press release, describing the aureus as a “naked and shameless celebration” of the assassination.

Caesar’s death is said to have been fueled by the belief among Roman politicians that he intended to make himself king.

Having been appointed “dictator perpetuo” — dictator for life — just two months earlier, Caesar was killed by a group of senators, including friends and people whom he had previously pardoned.

Brutus subsequently killed himself after losing the Battle of Philippi to Caesar’s nephew and heir, Octavius, and friend Mark Antony.

Despite its age, the coin is in near-mint condition, and is one of only three known to exist.

The previous record price for a Roman coin was set in 2008, when a bronze sestertius of the Emperor Hadrian sold for around $2.5 million. The previous record for any coin was held by ancient Greek gold stater, which sold for $3.25 million in 2012.

The headline of this story was updated to match the USD conversion of the final sale price in the article text.


Bank of Brutus: An Ancient Coin Celebrating Julius Caesar’s Assassination Just Sold for $3.5 Million

An ancient Roman coin celebrating Julius Caesar’s death has set an auction record. Last Thursday, the ultra-rare gold coin, dating back more than 2,000 years, sold to an anonymous bidder for a stunning $3.5 million during an auction held by Roma Numismatics, reports CNN. That hammer price easily beat the previous record for a Roman coin by $1 million and was more than five times the pre-sale estimates of $625,000.

In its listing, the London-based auction house referred to the coin as a “naked and shameless celebration” of the murder of Caesar. The general was killed by a group of his closest friends and confidants in 44 BC, partly because they feared he would name himself king. One side of the token features a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus, one of the assassination’s ringleaders the other features the daggers he and Cassius used to kill the general, along with a cap of liberty, which was the garment that was given to slaves upon their freedom in Ancient Rome. Underneath those three images are the words “Eid Mar,” which translates to the “Ides of March,” a direct reference to the day of the slaying.

The “aureus” coin, as it’s known to experts and collectors, was issued by Brutus two years after Caesar’s assassination and is one of just three known to exist. Despite its age, it is listed as being in near-mint condition, with only a few surface marks. Of the other coins, one is on display at the British Museum as part of a long-term loan, while the other is part of the Deutsche Bundesbank collection.

The previous record for a Roman coin was set back in 2008, when a bronze token depicting the head of Emperor Hadrian sold for around $2.5 million. The title of world’s most expensive coin belongs to a 1794 “Flowing Hair” silver dollar that sold for $10 million in 2013. That coin failed to sell when it went up for auction early last month.


An ultra-rare coin celebrating Julius Caesar's assassination sells for a record $3.4 million

Wow - this is super cool! Thanks for sharing. Imagine owning something like this - mind blowing to me!

An ancient gold coin described as a "naked and shameless celebration" of the assassination of Julius Caesar, featuring a portrait of one of the men who killed him, has set a new record for a coin sold at auction.

Bought by an anonymous bidder for £2.7 million ($3.5 million), the "aureus" coin features a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus -- one of the ringleaders in the assassination of Caesar in 44 BC.

It also depicts the daggers used by Brutus and his co-conspirator Cassius to slay the ancient general in the Theater of Pompey in Rome, and a cap of Liberty -- a symbolic garment given to slaves upon their freedom.

It is inscribed with the phrase "Eid Mar" -- the Ides of March -- a reference to March 15, the date of Caesar's death.

The coin was issued by Brutus two years after the assassination, in 42 BC.

"In an act of unparalleled braggadocio, we are at once presented with the murder weapons used to slay Caesar, the precise date of the deed, and the motive," Richard Beale, managing director of Roma Numismatics, the London auction house that sold the coin, wrote in a press release, describing the aureus as a "naked and shameless celebration" of the assassination.

Caesar's death is said to have been fueled by the belief among Roman politicians that he intended to make himself king.

Having been appointed "dictator perpetuo" -- dictator for life -- just two months earlier, Caesar was killed by a group of senators, including friends and people whom he had previously pardoned.

Brutus subsequently killed himself after losing the Battle of Philippi to Caesar's nephew and heir, Octavius, and friend Mark Antony.

Despite its age, the coin is in near-mint condition, and is one of only three known to exist.

The previous record price for a Roman coin was set in 2008, when a bronze sestertius of the Emperor Hadrian sold for around $2.5 million. The previous record for any coin was held by ancient Greek gold stater, which sold for $3.25 million in 2012.


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