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Unique & Unpublished Nerva Aureus

CNG 102, Lot: 924. Estimate $50000.
Sold for $75000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Nerva. AD 96-98. AV Aureus (19mm, 7.59 g, 5h). Rome mint. Struck AD 98. IMP NERVA CAES AVG GERM P M TR P II, laureate head right / IMP II COS IIII P P, Aequitas standing facing, head left, holding scales in right hand and cradling cornucopia in left arm. Cf. RIC II 44 for type (denarius), otherwise unpublished. EF, lustrous. Unique.

A heretofore unknown and unpublished aureus for Nerva with the reverse legend of IMP II COS IIII P P. This Aequitas type is known for a denarius (RIC II 44), but only as an aureus with the AEQVITAS AVGVST reverse inscription. For this particular issue, there are six denarii types with only three corresponding aurei types (Fortuna, priestly implements, and clasped hands with legionary aquila on prow), so it stands to reason that the three previously unlisted aurei types (Aequitas–this coin, Libertas, and clasped hands) may eventually come to light.

Additional Information

Since our original catalog description, the following information has come to light: This Nerva aureus with the combination of IMP II COS IIII P P and Aequitas standing is known from a specimen in the Naples museum collection, and was published by Fiorelli in 1870 (Catalogo Del Museo Nazionale Di Napoli, p. 133, no. 7311, no illustrations in the catalogue). The Naples coin is also cited in Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. III, p. 10, 64 note (“Aureus of these types, Naples”). Another cititation of the Naples coin was by Alfred Merlin in his work, Les Revers Monétaires de L’Empereur Nerva (Paris, 1906), p. 33, no. 5.