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Rare Gold Coins from Roman Empire Smash Auction Records

September 14, 2012735 view(s)

Well known Heritage Auctions has reported a record smashing sale of gold coins including one coin from the Roman Empire circa 218 A.D.

This particular coin was very rare because it featured Emperor Macrinus, an emperor of Rome who served for only a little more than a year before being executed. The gold Aureus was valued at $40,000 and ended up selling for more than $200,000 by the time the gavel fell.

By the time the auction was over, total sales reportedly exceeded $1.5 million, making it a star event for the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo where it was held earlier this month.

The Macrinus Aureus: The Star of the Show

As far as gold coins go, the historical value of the Macrinus coin is undisputed because the emperor, who reigned from Syria, is known for having had the previous emperor Caracalla killed so that he could fill the power vacuum. Those who invest in gold choose coins specifically like this one, due to its rareness and the fact that it is in such extremely fine condition.

The Rarity Factor

When one decides to buy coins that are as rare as the Macrinus Aureus, it is very important to do so in a setting where coin experts will have vetted the age and condition of the coin first.

Collectors realize that this is a piece of history and that a good deal of the coin's high price comes from the fact that it has been analyzed and carefully scrutinized to make sure it is authentic.

The Silver Shekel that Sold for $65k

In addition to the gold Macrinus Aureus, another coin was offered that dated back to the Jewish War which raged between 66 and 70 A.D. The silver shekel was known to be from a crucial year during the war when silver became incredibly scarce, therefore few coins were produced.

From this Year 4 minting, only 40 shekels are known to remain, even though previous years have many more remaining shekels in the hands of collectors or museums. This particular coin had been valued at $30,000 but it ended up selling for well over $65,000.

This makes the point that both gold and silver coins can see marked rises in value that have more to do with their historic appeal to collectors than the precious metal they contain.

Other Jewish coins were offered at the auction, each of them earning prices that were far into the tens of thousands of dollars. For those who love the historical elements and visual design of ancient coins like these, seeing them offered to the public at such incredible prices must certainly have strengthened their resolve to continue their own collections.

After all, each of these coins which today are worth so much more than their face value were once freshly minted and perhaps even in regular circulation before being set aside by a collector for posterity's sake. This is just one more reason to consider starting a gold or silver coin collection of today's hottest investor grade coins.

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