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Celtic Caratacus Goes to the Dogs

Caratacus gold stater sold by Chris Rudd for £88,000, a world record price.

Caratacus gold stater sold by Chris Rudd for £88,000, a world record price.

On November, 15, 2020, in Norwich a unique gold stater of Caratacus was sold by Elizabeth Cottam of Chris Rudd Ltd for a record-shattering £88,000 (hammer price £71,000, estimate £30,000). “This is the highest price ever paid for any Celtic coin anywhere in the world,” says Liz, “and considering the historic importance of Caratacus – Britain’s first famous freedom fighter and first national hero, and considering the uniqueness of the coin – the one and only gold coin of Caratacus ever found – I believe it’s the biggest bargain we’ve ever sold. In my opinion Celtic coins are still widely undervalued. If the Caratacus stater had been a Roman coin of similar rarity and similar importance it would unquestionably have realised well over £1 million, like that aureus of Brutus that recently went for £2.7 million.” Without disclosing the identity of the buyer, Liz reports that the winning bid came from a British entrepreneur who has had many successes, not only in business, but also on the race-track, mostly with his dogs (he has over forty) and more recently with his horses. 

“I knew the Caratacus stater was a good bet,” he told Chris Rudd. “As an experienced collector I immediately recognised its historical significance and its remarkable rarity when I first read about it in The Times. And, as a race-horse owner, I knew that a horse called Caractacus had won the Derby in 1862. So, I’m doubly delighted that this unique golden oldie has joined my stable of Celtic coins. It’s a truly beautiful coin and I’m deeply impressed with the Celtic warrior who is riding into battle without a saddle and without any clothes on, apart from his helmet. That must have taken some nerve and a lot of skill. If a great British king can be named after a dog, like Cunobelinus was, I guess a dog can be named after a great British prince. So, I’m going to call my next male greyhound Caratacus.”