An exquisite Syracuse, Dionysus I coin sold online yesterday evening (January 8) for $64,625.
The sale price represents an increase of 29.5% on the coin's $50,000 pre-sale estimate, further underpinning the idea that coins can provide strong investment opportunities as well as offering us welcome glimpses into bygone eras.
The artful silver coin, which features the wreathed head of Arethusa, a Nereid nymph with origins in Greek mythology, is believed to have been struck circa 400-390 BC.
Arethusa's profile is flanked by four dolphins, underlining her symbolic relationship with water and suggesting something of her significance and popularity among citizens of Greece during the period.
Boasting a clear signature, the Syracuse, Dionysus I was graded "choice extremely fine" by the auction house presiding over the sale.
January is set to be an exciting month for coin collectors as a rare copper example of the 1943 Lincoln cent is also to star at auction (January 11 - 24). The record price for an exceptional copper Lincoln cent currently stands at $1.7m.
Since the American coin market alone is driven by an estimated 50m serious collectors, numismatic rarities seldom fail to put in strong performances at auction. In January 2012, the fabled Prospero collection crossed the auction block, bringing approximately $25m - more than twice its presale estimate.
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