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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 6, Lot: 129. Estimate CHF1600. 
Closing Date: Monday, 7 May 2012. 
Sold For CHF2200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Julius Caesar. Denarius (Silver, 3.94 g 2), mint moving with Caesar, 49-48. CAESAR Elephant trampling serpent to right. Rev. Priestly implements: culullus, aspergillum, ax with wolf’s head at the top and apex. Babelon (Julia) 9. Crawford 443/. Sear 9. Sydenham 1006. Beautifully centered and very attractively toned. Good extremely fine.

The ‘elephant’ coinage of Caesar, struck beginning around the time he crossed the Rubicon in January 49, was used to pay Caesar’s forces during the Civil war with Pompey. According to Crawford’s calculations it was produced using at least 750 obverse dies, thus implying that at least 7-8 million denarii were struck! These coins have been popular with collectors since the Renaissance and a great number are known; however, truly superb examples, as this one, are remarkably scarce.