NGC-certified Gold Caesar Coin and ‘Una and the Lion’ Each Realize $288,000 in Heritage Sale

Posted on 5/14/2024

More than 200 NGC-certified lots from around the world realized at least five figures in the May auction.

Two of the most coveted gold rarities in the history of numismatics each realized more than a quarter million dollars as more than 1,000 world and ancient coins certified by Numismatic Guaranty Company® (NGC®) were offered in a recent Heritage Auctions sale. The CSNS World Coins Platinum Session and Signature Auction 3115 was held on May 8-12, 2024.

The top NGC-certified ancient coin in the sale was an Octavian & Divus Julius Caesar c.43 BC Gold Aureus graded NGC Ancients Ch XF, 3/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface (lot 31042), which realized $288,000. Of the coveted gold aureus coins featuring the Twelve Caesars, the Julius Caesar portrait is one of the most difficult to obtain. Bronze and silver examples of the Julius Caesar coins are more widely available, but the gold versions are much harder to add to one's collection. Struck the closest to Caesar’s lifetime, this particular type was issued by his grand-nephew and adoptive heir Octavian, who would go on to become Emperor Augustus.

Click images to enlarge.

Meanwhile, the top world coin in the sale was a Great Britain 1839 Una and the Lion 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 62 Ultra Cameo (lot 31217), which also realized $288,000. This iconic rarity is arguably one of the most attractive and sought after coins in all of British numismatics. Royal Mint chief engraver William Wyon created the Una and the Lion depiction to pay tribute to a young Queen Victoria, who succeeded her father in 1837. The bust of the young queen is shown on the front, while the famous scene of Victoria as Una guiding a lion is depicted on the reverse, which drew inspiration from Edmund Spenser’s poem "The Faerie Queene."

Click images to enlarge.

Other NGC-certified coins in this auction included:

  • a Sicily, Syracuse c.405-370 BC Silver Decadrachm graded NGC Ancients AU★, 5/5 Strike and 5/5 Surface with Fine Style (lot 31005), which realized $132,000
  • a Claudius, AD 41-54 Gold Aureus graded NGC Ancients MS, 4/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface (lot 31054), which realized $126,000
  • a France 1889A Gold 100 Francs graded NGC PF 63 Cameo and pedigreed to the Doctor F. Collection (lot 31177), which realized $108,000
  • a Spain (Segovia) 1687/3 Gold 8 Escudos graded NGC MS 64 (lot 31293), which realized $96,000
  • a Russia (April) 1751 Gold Ducat - Saint Andrew Reverse graded NGC AU 55 (lot 31284), which realized $96,000
  • a Great Britain 1847 Crown - Gothic Type Plain Edge graded NGC PF 64 Cameo (lot 31209), which realized $90,000
  • a Roman Empire, Pertinax, AD 193 Gold Aureus graded NGC Ancients Ch MS, 5/5 Strike and 5/5 Surface (lot 31090), which realized $90,000
  • a France 1894A Gold 100 Francs graded NGC MS 64 PL (lot 31178), which realized $84,000
  • a Bosporus, Panticapaeum c.340-320 BC Gold Stater graded NGC Ancients MS, 4/5 Strike and 3/5 Surface with Fine Style (lot 31020), which realized $78,000
  • an England (1591-95) Gold Pound graded NGC MS 61 (lot 31195), which realized $78,000

Prices realized include buyer's premium. The $ symbol represents US Dollars.

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