NGC-certified EID MAR Leads Stunning Group of Ancient and World Coins in Heritage Sale

Posted on 4/10/2023

The coin struck by Brutus to celebrate his role in assassinating Julius Caesar is expected to realize about half a million dollars.

One of the most famous and valuable ancient coins, an EID MAR denarius struck by the warlord Brutus, is among more than 800 rare ancient and world coins certified by Numismatic Guaranty Company® (NGC®) offered in an upcoming Heritage Auctions sale. Bidding is already underway for the CSNS World Coins Platinum Session and Signature Auction, slated for May 3-5, 2023.

The top coin in the auction is a Roman Imperatorial Brutus (d. 42 B.C.) Silver Denarius EID MAR graded NGC Ancients XF, 5/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface with Fine Style (lot 30051). Its iconic design, showing a liberty cap flanked by daggers, celebrates the murder of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March (March 15), 44 B.C., a deed that shaped the history of the Western world. This coin has an estimate of $450,000 to $550,000.

Click images to enlarge.

Caesar’s murder brought a tragic end to a political career that had eclipsed all those of his contemporaries, many of whom feared the tyranny that might ensnare Rome if Caesar continued to rule. Though Caesar had countless enemies, his most formidable turned out to be Brutus and Cassius, young senators who led the conspiracy against him. Though both men afterward struck coins of their own, only Brutus portrayed himself and created a design that celebrates the murder.

The EID MAR denarius is widely considered to be the most historically important of all ancient coins, and in a 2008 vote was selected by top numismatists as Number 1 of the "100 Greatest Ancient Coins."

"The EID MAR denarius is perhaps the most important coin type of the ancient world,” said NGC Ancients Director David Vagi. “It celebrates one of the great events in Roman history and was familiar enough to have been described more than 250 years later by the ancient historian Dio Cassius.”

Another highlight of the auction is a Sicily, Syracuse c.405-400 BC (Kimon) Silver Decadrachm graded NGC Ancients Ch XF★, 4/5 Strike and 5/5 Surface with Fine Style (lot 30001). It has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.

Click images to enlarge.

Syracuse began issuing silver decadrachms in about 405 B.C., perhaps to pay Greek mercenaries fighting against Carthage in Sicily. Kimon's decadrachm features a realistic head of Arethusa surrounded by dolphins and a four-horse chariot crowned by the goddess Nike. These coins are considered a pinnacle of Greek numismatic art and were influential to future generations of die engravers.

Other NGC-certified coins in this auction include:

  • a Croesus, Lydia 561-546 B.C. Gold Stater graded NGC Ancients MS★, 5/5 Strike and 5/5 Surface (lot 30026) with an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000
  • a Roman Empire Constans, A.D. 337-350 Gold Medallion graded NGC Ancients AU, 5/5 Strike and 1/5 Surface (lot 30074) with an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000
  • an Ionia c.650-600 BC Electrum Stater graded NGC Ch AU, 5/5 Strike and 5/5 Surface (lot 30023) with an estimate of $65,000 to $100,000
  • a Great Britain 1847 Gothic Type - Pure Silver N/U Plain Edge Crown graded NGC PF 64 Cameo (lot 30134) with an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000
  • a Lydia after c.561 BC (Croesus or later) Gold Stater graded NGC Ancients Ch MS, 5/5 Strike and 5/5 Surface (lot 30028) with an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000
  • a Japan M3(1870) 20 Yen graded NGC MS 63 (lot 30161) with an estimate of $45,000 to $50,000
  • a Mysia, Cyzicus c.450-350 B.C. Electrum Stater graded NGC Ancients AU★, 5/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface (lot 30021) with an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000
  • a Chile 1758SO J 8 Reales graded NGC UNC Details (lot 30089) with an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000
  • a Roman Empire Caligula, A.D. 37-41 Gold Aureus graded NGC Ancients VF, 5/5 Strike and 2/5 Surface (lot 30054) with an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000
  • a Norway 1673 2 Ducats graded NGC AU 55 (lot 30173) with an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000
  • a Germany 1647 EK Munster 2 Taler graded MS 62+ (lot 30117) with an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000
  • a France 1905A Gold 100 Francs graded NGC MS 66 (lot 30110) with an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000

Estimates are provided by the auction house. The $ symbol represents US Dollars.

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