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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 166. Estimate CHF9500. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF21000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Constantine I. 307/310-337. Solidus (Gold, 4.46 g 5), Antioch, 335-336. CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Constantine to right Rev. VICTORIA CONSTANTINI AVG / VOT/ XXX / SMAN Victory moving left, holding trophy and palm branch. Bastien, Donative, p. 81, g. Cohen 604. Depeyrot 46/1. G. Giacosa, Ritrati di Auguste (Milan, 1974), pl. 61 (this coin). RIC 96. Very rare. An exceptionally fine and lustrous piece of great beauty. Virtually as struck.

From the collections of a Gentleman and of G. Lacam, Dürr/Michel, 8 November 1999, 7 and ex Bank Leu 13, 29 April 1975, 496.

Augustus, Trajan and Constantine I were the three most important and influential emperors of Rome, with Constantine leaving the most lasting legacy. His support of Christianity and his foundation of Constantinople were decisive events in world history. He was born circa 272 in Naissus, modern Nish in Serbia, the son of Constantius and Helena. After his father became Caesar in 293 he served in a variety of positions under Diocletian and Galerius, before returning to his father when he became Augustus in 305. When Constantius died the following year Constantine was acclaimed Augustus by the troops, thus, fracturing Diocletian’s tetrarchic system. This event ushered in a period of Civil Wars and unrest lasting for eighteen years, until the final defeat of Licinius I in 324. One of Constantine I’s lasting reforms was his introduction of the gold solidus, struck at 72 to the Roman pound rather than 60 to the pound aureus that had been the norm during the Tetrarchy and before. This coin lasted, undiminished in purity or weight until the 10th century.