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Gold stater goes on auction block

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An ancient British gold stater will be sold at auction Nov. 10 by the firm Chris Rudd in England. It was found just four years ago.

In February 2010 a metal detectorist found an extremely rare ancient British gold coin near Caister, Lincolnshire. Called a “Tring Wheel” – the first known specimen was discovered at Tring, Hertfordshire – the coin is a gold quarter stater minted in the mid first century B.C.E., around the time Julius Caesar raided Britain twice.

Tring Wheel gold quarter stater, 14mm, 1.3g, ABC 2228, will be sold Nov. 10.

Tring Wheel gold quarter stater, 14mm, 1.3g, ABC 2228, will be sold Nov. 10.

The obverse shows a stylized head of the sun-god Apollo (can you see the hidden face with huge eyebrows?). The reverse displays a three-tailed sun-horse with a spoked sun-wheel above and a sunburst below. Only nine other examples of the Tring Wheel have been recorded, including one in the National Museum of Wales; the British Museum does not have one in its collection.

Dr John Sills, co-author of Ancient British Coins (Chris Rudd 2010), says: “The Tring Wheel type is a North Thames version of British Qc, one of a short series of Qc variant copies struck somewhere between the Trinovantes and the Catuvellauni in the Essex/Herts region. The Tring Wheel type is extremely rare and an early issue, probably around 55-45 B.C. The rarity and coherence of the group in general suggest it may have been struck by a small unknown tribe rather than by the Trinovantes or Catuvellauni.”

The Tring Wheel will be sold Nov. 10 at auction in Aylsham, Norfolk, by Elizabeth Cottam of Chris Rudd, the ancient British coin specialist.

“I’m thrilled to be selling this great rarity,” Cottram said. “In over 20 years of trading we’ve never had a Tring Wheel before.”

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This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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