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Discovery in Portuguese Gold

B R Propels a Coin to the Top in Portugal

Just had a moment to look through the latest Dix Noonan and Webb auction, scheduled to close at Coinex on September 27th. Most of the sale is comprised of a fine selection of ancient coins, but near the end DNW provides a few unusualEarly Medieval coins as well as a few coins from the Crusader States. One of the major highlights is a gold Solidus stuck by the Suevi in Gallaecia. These imitative types are listed by Alberto Gomes in his Moedas Portuguesas and are considered to be the first gold coins struck in Portugal.

This particular example differs slightly in legends and style from the ones Gomes pictures. It is also a bit different than the one sold through Sotheby's Geneva in November 1986. In fact, as Michael Metcalf states in his analysis of this specific specimen for the DNW auction, the B R flanking the figure on the reverse of this coin most likely stands for Bracara, the capital of the Suevi territory in Gallaecia. That small distinction makes this coin a unique example and possibly the earliest of these imitative gold coins struck in Northern Portugal.

Any modern day coin collector from Braga, Galicia should find this a most fascinating coin. Take a look at the DNW website, even if the estimate of 20,000-25,000 pounds is over your budget limit. It's a great opportunity to look and learn and you may find something within your budget in the many other selections up for bid in this sale.