Unique Items: The Largest Silver Coin Known of the Roman Empire
Ira & Larry Goldberg will be hosting their Pre-Long Beach Auction #53 on May 24-26th at the Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills CA 90212. The auction consists of a great selection of US coins along with World Coins and Ancients.
In browsing the on-line catalogue we came across this Unique item, The Largest Known Silver Coin of the Roman Emprire. Below is the full description from the Goldberg catalogue:
Valentinian I, AD 364-375. Silver Multiple of 24 Miliaresia (48 Siliquae) 104.3 g. 66 mm., minted at Antioch, AD 369. Diademed, cuirassed and draped bust right of Valentinian. Reverse: Legend in four lines within laurel wreath; below, “AN” (mintmark for Antioch). Unpublished, and apparently unique; cf. Kent, RIC X, p. 139 discussing the Priscus Attalus medallion of quarter-pound weight. Some light porosity and displaying stray marks. Minimal wear results in the net grade of Extremely Fine. .
This, the largest silver coin known of the Roman Empire, is a silver multiple weighing one-third of a Roman pound of silver. Remarkably thick in comparison to contemporary silver coins, it was struck at a time when silver, as a metal, was scarce. The normal silver unit of account was the siliqua; 24 siliquae equaled a gold solidus. The siliqua, the silver miliarense and the gold solidus were introduced during the monetary reforms of Constantine the Great. During Constantine’s reign, gold was valued at about 14 times the worth of an equal weight of silver. Modern numismatists use the terms “siliqua” and “miliarense”as denomination names; however, they have no basis in fact as having been used in ancient times to refer to a specific coin.
This gargantuan gift was no doubt presented to a high-ranking Roman officer or dignitary. One theory that has been advanced is the possibility that Count Theodosius himself, peacemaker of Britain at the time, was the recipient of the medallion. A likely occasion for this honor was Valentinian’s quinquennial celebration, held on 25 February AD 369.
Estimated Value $300,000 – 400,000.
Provenance: With supporting certificates of authenticity from David R. Sear and Frank L. Kovacs.
Live internet bidding available on www.goldbergcoins.com and icollector.com
310-551-2646 | 800-978-2646 | Fax 310-551-2626
Auction Lot Viewing:
Open lot viewing May 18-26 9a-5pm.
Call for appt. outside of these dates.
Catalogue 800 978 2646
$15 US | $40 Int.
View the catalogue free online: www.goldbergcoins.com
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About the Author
Ira and Larry Goldberg have been in the coins and collectibles business for over 35 years and are leaders in their field. Their grandfather founded the prominent Superior Stamp and Coin Company in Beverly Hills in 1931, and Goldberg Coins & Collectibles of Beverly Hills, California, has been setting records and upholding the family tradition of excellence and expertise since 1969. http://www.goldbergcoins.com
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