The Cruelest Roman Emperor

Roman Emperor Caligula is remembered as being the cruelest roman emperor. No one can say exactly why he was so cruel. Some speculate, that it was because he fell ill of syphilis 6 month into his reign. Whatever the reason, he never recovered mentally and became a ruthless leader.

Caligula’s cruelty lasted during his four-year reign from 37-41 AD. In fact, he became so ruthless that no one was safe, including his family. Some even refer to Caligula as the mad emperor. In short, his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversion was nothing short of the actions of an insane tyrant. For instance, he made his horse a member of the senate and slept with or killed every member of his own family.

There are others who believe Caligula’s excessive cruelty is exaggerated by myth. They also think that Caligula only threatened to make his horse consul. Moreover, they think it was only said because of Caligula’s very low opinion of the Senate. Nevertheless, Caligula was so despised as a ruler that he was eventually executed by his own royal guard. As a result, the Cruelest Roman Emperor title seems appropriate.

Caligula Silver Denarius

This silver denarius of Roman Emperor Caligula is one of the key coins in the Twelve Caesars silver series. Furthermore, it is the finest example we have handled in many years. However, we did own ONE coin certified finer, a Mint State coin we placed several years ago.

Caligula’s image on the front of the coin is an eerie testament to his legacy of being the Cruelest Roman Emperor. The reverse of the coin depicts his predecessor, Augustus, in lifelike form. This coin is wonderfully preserved with mark-free surfaces on both sides. In conclusion, it is a wonderful coin in all regards. (Check out the video below!)

Roman Emperor Trajan Decius

Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus Decius, commonly referred to as Trajan Decius, ruled Ancient Rome from 249 to 251 AD. Roman Emperor Trajan Decius wanted to restore Rome to its former glory and ancient traditions. Therefore, he decreed the Decius’ edict. This was a proclamation for Empire-wide loyalty. The Decius’ edict meant that all Roman citizens needed to make a sacrifice to Rome’s gods or face torture, execution and seizure of assets. 

Moreover, Christian belief would not allow for them to worship any other god. As a result, Emperor Trajan Decius cracked down harshly on those he believed were undermining the ancient traditions of Rome. Consequently, they were persecuted and tortured. Even Pope Fabian was killed! By the end of Decius’ second year as Emperor, he resorted back to earlier tradition of tolerance.

The Downfall of Emperor Decius

A barbarian invasion forced Roman Emperor Trajan Decius to shift his attention away from domestic affairs. Decius needed a decisive battle win to score points with the Roman citizens. He riled his troops together and headed for Rome’s border. A battle ensued, and at first Decius seemed to have his win. He caused the Goths to flee into the marshes of Abrittus. However, it was a ruse that led him and his troops straight into an ambush. Roman Emperor Trajan Decius, and about half of his army, perished in the debacle. Instead of glorious victory, it was the first time a Roman emperor fell to a foreign enemy.

The catastrophic defeat at Abrittus accelerated the Roman Empire’s slide into anarchy. Christians claimed it was God’s revenge on their Roman persecutors.

Below – Gold Aureus coin issued during Decius’ reign. Find beautiful Roman coins like this one and many more at Austin Rare Coins. All coins offered by Austin Rare Coins are certified and graded by NGC Ancients.

The command to have Jesus Christ crucified

Pontius Pilate was Governor of Judea from 26-36 AD under the Roman emperor Tiberius. He is one of the most infamous men in history because he gave the command to have Jesus Christ crucified.

The New Testament describes Pontius Pilate as a wavering judge. It says that Pilate initially exonerated Jesus before bending to the will of the crowd, and condemning him to death. But non-Biblical sources paint a much darker picture of the Governor of Judea. His reign was corrupt and full of bribery. Although this was typical behavior for a Roman Ruler, Pilate was more ruthless than others as he also willfully defied the Jewish people’s traditions.

Pontius Pilate Bronze Prutah

Gov Judaea Pontis Pilate | Prutah Coin

The bronze coins (or ‘prutah’) was issued by Pontius Pilate between 26 – 36 AD. These coins are of especial interest to Christians and Jews. This is because of Pilate’s connection with Jesus Christ and his involvement in Jewish history. These coins were traded during the lifetime of Jesus. In fact, they were often used and traded every day!

This bronze prutah was minted between 29 and 31 AD. A prutah coin was of very low value and was mainly used in the poor province of Judea. For example, at the time of Jesus it took 24 prutah just to buy a loaf of bread. They were produced by the Mint of Jerusalem. The flans (on which ancient coins were struck) were cast in strips and then carelessly hand struck with even cruder dies. Similarly, little attention was paid to the quality of the prutah. Most are far off-center, flatly struck, or nearly unidentifiable.

On the Obverse you’ll see a lituus, which was the wand of an augur. The wand was used to interpret natural phenomenon such as lightning flashes, the flight of birds, etc. On the Reverse there is a simpulum, more commonly known as a ladle. These ladles were used to make libations during sacrifices and was a common symbol of the Roman priesthood. These symbols offended Jewish religious sensibilities. Being placed on coinage that they would have to handle on a daily basis was just adding insult to injury.

Prutah still has dirt from the Holy Land

The command to have Jesus Christ crucified was as historical as it was horrific. The coins that we have were found in and around Jerusalem and have not been cleaned for a reason. Each coin is uniquely toned. As a matter of fact, each Prutah still has dirt from the Holy Land adhering to its surfaces. They can be cleaned to exhibit more detail. However, we chose to leave them in their original “as found” state for the sake of history.

NGC, the top grading authority in the marketplace, has graded each of our Ancient Coin Picks. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, we are more than happy to assist you with your ancient coin needs!

Rare Ancient Roman Coins To Own

Rare Ancient Roman Coins to own date back over 2,000 years. They have become very popular. Many investors and collector are anxious to collect and own them today. Holding something that was around so long ago is a feeling like no other. A base of collectors from all over the world have evolved. They enjoy putting together collections of ancient coins that they find very special, enjoyable, and potentially highly profitable.

Of course, not all Ancient Coins are as rare as others. Truly rare Ancient Roman Coins are far and few between. Ever Increasing demand puts pressure on the extremely limited supplies. Those in excellent condition, that only have a smaller number known to exist, are ones to own. The most desirable are worth the most money.

One of the most famous ancient coins is the Ides of March Denarius. It has a rich history of Brutus’s assassination of Julius Caesar. Only 80 specimens are known to exist in the world today. Simply put, there are far more collectors wanting to own one than there are coins in existence. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find a multiple six figure price tag for such a coin.

Reasons to Own Rare Ancient Coins

  1. Ancient coins are portable, private stores of wealth.
  2. They have very limited supplies and a growing demand from investors and collectors.
  3. Ancient coins are non-reportable and non-confiscatable.
  4. Ancient coins unearthed overseas are being seized by Dept. of Antiquities, limiting future supplies in the marketplace.

If you’re interested about learning more about Ancient Roman Coinage you should request a free copy of our 8 page Ancient Coin Report. Call 1-800-928-6468 and talk to an Ancient Coin Advisor at Austin Rare Coins & Bullion. They’re more than happy to assist you in finding the exact Ancient Roman Coins that you are looking for.

Alexander The Great Silver Drachm

Alexander The Great Silver Drachm in Holder

This Alexander The Great Silver Drachm is a beauty! Few names resonate in history like that of  General Alexander the Great of Macedon.  Even today 2,350 years after his death Coinage issued under Alexander are highly desirable and are sought after by all sorts of collectors.

A Silver Drachm Like this…Will Sell Quickly!

We are pleased to offer this remarkably high end silver drachm graded by NGC Ancients. Because it has been certified in choice mint state condition, it is highly desirable. It also has received the fine style designation, which implies it to be of the highest artistic quality. Furthermore, this particular coin is known to be a lifetime issue. This means it was struck while Alexander was still alive. Coins that were issued after his death are referred to as a posthumous issue. 

Front & Back of this Coin:

Alexander The Great Silver Drachm

Overall the look of this Silver Drachm is remarkable and it is hard to believe that it was struck nearly 2400 years ago. This coin’s silver is bright white, flashy, and the strike is absolutely solid. You will find the obverse depicts Hercules facing right in lifelike fashion wearing a lion skin helmet.

Alexander The Great Silver Drachm - Reverse

The reverse shows Zeus seated upon a throne holding a scepter in his left hand but an eagle is perched on his right hand. You can clearly make out the muscularity features of Zeus and the centering on the back of the coin is absolutely perfect.

Is this Coin is For Sale?

We have only one of these Alexander The Great Silver Drachms available, and expect it to sell quickly given the low price point and all of the features described above. Ancient coins are a remarkable area of the numismatic marketplace. Coins issued under famous generals or noteworthy leaders are highly desirable today—particularly those in such a remarkably high state of preservation. 

Have questions about this coin? Then be sure to call our ancient coin advisor to learn more. This type of coin is a rare find, so it would definitely be a great addition for ancient coin collectors and investors alike!

Alexander The Great Silver Drachm - Both Sides

Why buy a Coson Gold Stater?

This Beautiful Ancient Coin

If some asks “why buy a Coson Gold Stater” you can answer, because you’re looking for remarkable ancient coins. One that is gold and has tremendous value in the ancient coin market place. You can also tell them to just take a look at this beautiful ancient coin. Then show them the Coson Gold Staters in Mint State 4×4 Condition.

Some Coin Highlightsv

  • These coins have a quarter of an ounce of pure gold and were struck around 2,000 years ago.
  • They are certified by NGC, a branch of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation devoted to ancient coins.
  • They are in mint state condition and for under $2,000.

What is on these coins?

The obverse of this coin depicts 3 soldiers in procession and is very impressive. On the reverse you’ll find an intricate design of an Eagle holding an Olive wreath, so both sides are incredible.

Is this the only one?

These coins are newly acquired and we have 3 available. If you are interested and you have any questions just give us a call. You can also go directly to the website page to purchase one of these.

Some great views of this coin:

Collectors always love to own what other people can’t have.

Quality, rarity, and price are the most important factors to consider before you purchase any beautiful Ancient Coin. Other factors are also important like eye appeal, artistic merit, historical significance, and precise state of preservation, so buyer beware.

The Ancient Coin Market has been hot in the last few years and moving into what we believe is a bull market cycle. At any point in time, certain beautiful Ancient Coins may be performing very well while other areas may be quiet. That’s why it’s important to talk to an Ancient Coin Advisor at Austin Rare Coins.

Some collectors will prefer to focus on the hottest areas of the market while investors may be “value seekers” looking for the best quality coins. So when someone asks you, why buy a Coson Gold Stater? You can say because Austin Rare Coins has some great offers on them. Whatever beautiful Ancient Coin you desire… it should be the best deal and bang for the buck.

For all the facts on the history of the Ancient Rare Coin market, order our free Ancient Coins Buyer’s Guide today!

What is a Gold Aureus?

A gold coin of ancient Rome

What is a Gold Aureus? The Julius Caesar Gold Aureus was a gold coin of ancient Rome originally valued at 25 pure Silver Denarii. From the 1st century BC to the beginning of the 4th century AD the aureus was commonly struck. It later was replaced by the Solidus. This gold Aureus was struck Caesar during the Roman Republican period under Julius Caesar by Praetor A. Hirtius.

The aureus was heavier than the same size denarius because gold is more dense than silver. Before Julius Caesar became emperor of Rome the gold aureus wasn’t very common. It was Caesar’s extravagant spending and trying to gain favor with the social elitist that led to the aureas becoming more popular.

Caesar becomes the first emperor

Instead of gaining favor, Caesar’s populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites. In fact, after Caesar centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic he made sure that he would be proclaimed “dictator for life.” Not the best way to please the social elite and this of course led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.

It also led to Caesar’s demise in 44 BC on the 15th of March, the Ides of March. This day which was was famously dramatized in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. The 15th of March corresponds with the 74th day In the Roman calendar. The day that was notable as a religious observances day for Romans to settle all debts. Ironically, it became notoriously known as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar. It was a major turning point in Roman history.

History in your hands

As you can see holding a Julius Caesar Gold Aureus is like holding a piece of history. On this Gold Aureus the head of Vesta is shown on the obverse. The priestly equipment adorns the reverse. This is a simply remarkable Julius Caesar Gold Aureus in Choice Very Fine Condition. It has also been awarded very high marks of 5 for Strike and 4 for Surfaces from NGC. This coin is hard to find in any condition!

The first Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar, is still known around the world over 2,000 years after his demise. Collecting and owning a gold stater that has seen circulation in the past makes you wonder just whose hands actually have touched it. Who knows, maybe even Julius Caesar himself. Something to ponder when you look at such a beautiful and historical remembrance of Ancient Rome. Now when someone asks, what is a Gold Aureus? You know at least one fine example with a great story!

How much is a Roman Aureus worth?

Ancient coins are beautiful, miniature works of art, and true antiquities. In order to understand how much is a Roman aureus worth, you have to understand that ancient coins are amazingly rare. There is a very limited supply and a growing demand from investors and collectors.

You don’t need a fortune to acquire a truly rare and beautiful ancient coin. There are many different types. But, In order to really understand a Roman Aureus’ worth you have to know how rare it is. You also have to know what the condition it is in. And, you have to know how many people want to own it.

The 3 basic principles the affect cost of ancient coins

The rarity of a coin is basically determined by these three different principles: 1) How many of a particular coin survived and are still in existence. 2) Whether the coin is in perfect condition or not so perfect. The higher the perfection the more rare and desirable the coin will be as a general rule. 3) Last but not least, how many people want to own one. It is the driving force that can make something extremely valuable.

A Roman Gold Aureus issued under Roman Emperor Augustus, as seen in the video below, is worth a lot. An example like this costs around $20,000 if it is genuine and certified by NGC. NGC is the only true Ancient Coin Authentication and Grading Service. NGC developed a specialized grading system for ancient coins. They grade a coin’s state of wear and give a detailed explanation of the coin’s appearance.

Augustus Gold Aureus are rare because they are hard to find. In fact, we have never seen or held one in any condition. They are also rare because of their spectacular quality and how centered they are by a measured strike.

Augustus Gold Aureus

Obverse: CAESAR AVGVSTVS between two laurel trees.
Reverse: CIVIS SERVATOS in three lines within an oak wreath.

What Ancient Roman coins were made of silver?

What Ancient Roman coins were made of silver is a question we frequently get. This NGC Certified Roman coin minted by Emperor Otho for instance, is a great example, and it is a beautiful coin. Finding a Silver Denarius in Choice Extremely Fine Condition with 3.54 grams of silver is not an easy task.

On the front of this Otho Silver Denarius you’ll find the likeness of Emperor OTHO CAESAR with his head facing right. On the reverse, seen advancing left, you’ll find the likeness of VICTORIA. She is the Roman Goddess of Victory.

Marcus Otho Caesar Augustus was born Marcus Salvius Otho in the year 28 AD. He was Roman emperor, but only for three months, and in addition his life ended tragically. Two weeks shy of his thirty-seventh birthday Otho took his own life. In conclusion, by stabbing himself with a dagger Otho’s reign ranks as one of the briefest in the history of the Roman Empire.

This coin is an excellent example of one of the least known Roman Emperors. Examples of coins from Emperor Otho are rare because of two reasons. Firstly because he only was emperor for 3 months and secondly because most found were badly damaged. We are lucky to have this Choice Extremely Fine grade and able to share it with you.

Otho denarii are quite scarce and extremely difficult to find. For this reason only around 300 of these coins have been certified, and none in Mint State.

Several Ancient Roman coins were made of silver including the popular Silver Denarius silver coin, however the base silver coin was the Sestertius. In conclusion, there were many types of Roman silver coins. They spanned the 482 years as a Roman Republic, 503 years as the Roman Empire, and 1131 years as the Byzantine Empire.

Are Roman coins worth anything?

When it comes to ancient Roman coins investors always ask, are Roman coins worth anything? Well today, that depends on quality, rarity, and other important factors. For example, eye appeal, artistic merit, historical significance, and precise state of preservation. These are things to consider before you buy any Ancient coin.

A gold aureus was worth 833⅓ denarii in 301. By 324, the same aureus was worth 4,350 denarii. Ancient coins appreciate in time. Mainly, due to the demand of a finite quantity that can be found.

As noted on our Ancient Gold Coins Website:

  1. Ancient coins are beautiful, miniature works of art. In other words, true antiquities.
  2. Overall, ancient coins are amazingly rare.
  3. Ancient coins are portable, private stores of wealth.
  4. Owning ancient coins is a wise decision. Because, they are very limited in supply with a growing demand from investors and collectors.
  5. It is also important to note that Ancient coins are non-reportable and non-confiscatable.
  6. In addition, you don’t need a fortune to acquire truly rare and beautiful ancient coins.

Ancient Tiberius Gold Aureus

However, some very rare coins can cost 5, 6, and sometimes even 7 figures. With this particular coin, are Roman coins worth anything? is a loaded question. This Ancient Tiberius Gold Aureus, Certified by NGC in Choice Extremely Fine 5×4 condition is worth over $11,000. There are certain historical reasons that this coin is so rare and so desired.

Tiberius ruled the Roman Empire from 14-37 AD. His reign was during the life and death of Jesus Christ. Coins bearing his likeness are very desirable. Particularly, when in such a fine state of preservation. This unique coin is well centered and struck with originality and lots of eye appeal. Great coin for the money and a classic rarity from ancient Rome.

If this coin or other Roman Empire coins strike you interest, talk to one of our Ancient Coins Dealers. They can offer great advice and sound knowledge in the Ancient Rare Coins Market.