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Research Coins: Feature Auction


New Binio Type

Sale: CNG 75, Lot: 1125. Estimate $15000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 
Sold For $18000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Probus. AD 276-282. AV Heavy Aureus or Binio (6.91 g, 6h). Serdica mint. 5th emission, AD 280. IMP C PROBVS INVICTVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / MARTI P-A-CIFERO, Mars standing left, holding branch, spear, and shield. Cf. RIC V 825 = Calicó 4165 = Naville II (12 June 1922), lot 1631 (same obv. die, different rev. type); cf. Pink VI/1, p. 46; cf. Lanz 97, 934 for another binio from the same issue. EF, slight die shift and a few light scratches on obverse. Very rare issue, unpublished with this reverse type.

Ex Hess Leu 36 (17 April 1968), lot 533 (described as Stempelglanz [Mint State]).

This exceptionally heavy gold coin was struck at the rate of 47 per Roman pound, making it a nearly perfect 1.5-aureus of the 70-per-pound standard that seems to have been Probus’ benchmark. Considering its high weight and reverse type, this coin no doubt had a ceremonial function, perhaps as a donative to the army. A number of these heavy aurei were struck in the central mints circa AD 277-280, and probably were issued in conjunction with Probus’ successful military campaigns against the Longiones and Alamanni.