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 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.