- December 28, 2018
SARASOTA — An ancient coin certified by area firm NGC Ancients has sold for nearly $4.2 million, the highest price ever paid for an ancient coin at auction, according to a press release.
The EID MAR coin’s design has two daggers and a liberty cap on its reverse and celebrates the assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March in 44 B.C. "EID MAR" abbreviates the Ides of March. By striking his own coins soon afterward, Brutus did not shirk his leading role in the murder, but presents it as a patriotic act in defense of Rome, the statement says.
The statement also says, "As one of just three known gold examples of the most important coin of the ancient world, the EID MAR aureus continues to make history 2,000 years after it was struck. The extraordinary price realized attests not only to the importance and value of the EID MAR aureus, but also the strength and vibrancy of the collectibles markets."
The EID MAR aureus was sold Oct. 29 by Roma Numismatics Limited, a United Kingdom-based specialist. Spirited bidding drove the price to £3,240,000 or about $4.188 million in U.S. dollars, including buyer’s premium, far beyond its conservative pre-auction estimate of about $650,000.
“With its fabled history and outstanding condition, we expected this EID MAR to far exceed its auction estimate and sell for more than a million dollars — and did it ever!” says Mark Salzberg, NGC chairman and grading finalizer, in a press release. “NGC is honored to be part of this coin's amazing story and the setting of a world record price.”
While there are about 100 known EID MARs in silver, only two gold pieces were known until Roma Numismatics Limited submitted this third example to NGC Ancients, which confirmed its authenticity after an evaluation.
NGC Ancients has now certified two of the five most valuable ancient coins ever to sell at auction, according to the statement. The other, a Hadrian Brass Sestertius, sold in 2008 for $1.9 million.
Sarasota-based NGC Ancients is a division of NGC, a third-party grading service for coins, tokens and medals. NGC is part of Certified Collectibles Group, which includes seven collectibles services companies: Numismatic Guaranty Corp., Numismatic Conservation Services, Paper Money Guaranty, Certified Guaranty Co., Classic Collectible Services, Authenticated Stamp Guaranty and Collectibles Authentication Guaranty. The companies provide services that add value and liquidity to a wide variety of collectibles, including coins, banknotes, comic books, magazines, concert posters, stamps and estate items.
CCG companies have certified nearly 60 million collectibles. CCG has offices in Sarasota, London, Munich, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Certified Collectibles Group reported more than $100 million in revenue in 2018.