Gold aureus of Carinus achieves 407% increase on estimate

A gold aureus of Carinus, minted in Lugdunum in AD 284, achieved $152,100 against a $30,000 estimate at Baldwin's in New York on January 8 - an increase of 407%.

The coin, from modern day Lyon, features a double portrait of Carinus and Numerian - brothers who ruled the Roman empire for a short period between AD 282 and 285.

Carinus Numerian gold aureus
Carinus and Numerian ruled the Roman empire between AD 282 and 285

The brothers were the sons of Carus, an emperor who died under mysterious circumstances.

As is often the case with Roman rulers of this era, the brothers also met with sticky ends; Numerian was apparently murdered in Anatolia while Carinus was assassinated during a battle in Serbia.

The coin is exceptionally rare, and is described by the auction house as being of extremely fine appearance.

A gold aureus of Geta, previously owned by Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), made $117,000.

aureus Geta gold Baldwin's
The coin was minted in AD 210-211 - shortly before Geta's murder

Struck in AD 210-211, the coin depicts the brothers Caracalla and Geta seated at the imperial congiarium - a celebration where gifts were presented to citizens.

Caracalla murdered his brother in AD 211, soon after the death of their father, although he was himself assassinated in AD 217 after ruling for a relatively impressive six year period.

Seth Freeman, auction director at Baldwin's, commented: "Bidders battled each other in a packed room to try and secure the rare Roman gold coins being offered, with a number of the coins realising several times their pre-sale estimate. The results achieved proved that high quality Roman gold coins are very much in demand."

We have a range of rare coins available.

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