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Gold aureus sells for $131,040 at DNW sale

Publius Licinius Cornelius Saloninus Valerianus topped the bill at Dix Noonan Webb’s early December coin sale in London.

The aureus that sold for $131,040 dates from 258. It depicts a bare-headed Saloninus as Caesar on the obverse. He had been appointed Caesar or first in line of the succession in 258 by his father, probably at the instigation of his grandfather, Valerian I, the senior Emperor at the time. In 260 Saloninus was murdered by rebellious troop in Cologne at age 18. Image courtesy DNW.

The aureus that sold for $131,040 dates from 258. It depicts a bare-headed Saloninus as Caesar on the obverse. He had been appointed Caesar or first in line of the succession in 258 by his father, probably at the instigation of his grandfather, Valerian I, the senior Emperor at the time. In 260 Saloninus was murdered by rebellious troop in Cologne at age 18. Image courtesy DNW.

It was a gold aureus struck during the brief period when Saloninus was Caesar that proved the star of the show. In the catalog the aureus was described as, “extremely rare, undoubtedly one of the finest specimens known.” Perhaps this helped prompt the bidding to begin at the pre-sale high estimate of £40,000 [$62,400]. Eventually the coin was secured by an internet buyer for a hammer price of £70,000 [$109,200]. With buyers’ commission included the total was £84,000 [$131,040].

The 1887 Great Britain proof set, featuring Queen Victoria.

The 1887 Great Britain proof set, featuring Queen Victoria.

Among other top-selling lots were several Victorian British proof sets that realized prices well in excess of estimate. An 1887 set comprising a crown, double florin, halfcrown, florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence fetched nearly 10 times its making £11,040 [$17,222]. The two-day sale realized a total of £600,384 [$936,599]. Full catalog details and prices realized may be found at www.dnw.co.uk.

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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