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Allectus Aureus Realizes $701,648

On June 6 the London auction house of Dix Noonan Webb sold a rare Allectus aureus for $701,648 [£552,000].

This price is highest paid for any coin sold by Dix Noonan Webb, beating out the gold aureus of Augustus Caesar in September 2014 that realized $625,000 [£480,000]. It also is the highest price paid for any coin of Allectus and at any auction for any Roman coin minted in Britain.

The rare gold aureus of Allectus, Emperor of Britain CE 293-296, that sold for $701,648 in DNW’s June sale, a record price for any Roman coin struck in Britain. (Images courtesy and © Dix Noonan Webb)

The 4.31 g gold coin dates from CE 293-296, struck at London for Imperator Caesar Allectus Augustus, Emperor of Britain (S-683; Calicó 4790; RIC 4). The obverse shows a draped and laureate bust of the emperor along with the legend IMP CALLE CTVS P F AVG. The reverse has Sol between two captives with his right hand raised and his left hand holding a globe. The legend reads ORIENS AVG with M L in exergue.

Just 24 aurei of Allectus are known that were struck from 19 different obverse dies. The coin on offer is a die match for that in the British Museum. It was found in March this year by a detectorist in a newly ploughed field adjacent to a Roman road near Dover.

It was in superb condition, described in the sale catalog as “about as struck with original color and reflective fields” with only a “few tiny marks on bust and minor scrapes on edge.”

It went to the block with an estimate of £70,000-100,000 where its arrival produced intense competition in the room, online, and on the telephone. It was purchased by a private collector’s bid over the phone.

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