LONDON & SARASOTA, FLA. – A previously unrecorded example of a valuable ancient “Ides of March” gold coin commemorating the assassination of Roman dictator Julius Caesar in 44 BCE sold for $4,188,393 on October 29. Authenticators in the United States and United Kingdom who verified its authenticity predicted it would sell for millions more than a London auction house’s conservative £500,000 estimate.
“I’m 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, Fla., the company whose experts in the United States and United Kingdom confirmed its authenticity. “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.”
The name of the winning bidder was not revealed by Roma Numismatics Limited of London. According to the auction house, this previously unrecorded coin was closely held in a private European collection for many years.
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.