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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 1028. Estimate $10000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004. 
Sold For $7500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PROBUS. 276-282 AD. AV "Heavy" Aureus (6.95 gm). Siscia mint. Struck 277 AD. IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / SECVRI-TAS SAECVLI, Securitas seated left, holding sceptre in right hand, head resting on left hand; SIS. RIC V 593; Pink VI/1, pg. 49; Hunter 186; Calicó 4195; Cohen 631. Choice EF, some dark peripheral toning. [See color enlargement on plate 18] ($10,000)

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. The reverse type of this coin, SECVRITAS SAECVLI (like another type of Probus from the same year inscribed RESTITVT SAECVLI), calls for the return of a golden age, an idea Probus promoted in conjunction with his arrival in Rome in 277 AD and his celebration of decennial vows. Considering its high weight and special reverse type, this coin no doubt had a ceremonial function, perhaps as a donative to the army.