Aureus of Pertinax

Aureus of Pertinax

Aureus of Pertinax

Period: Roman Empire

Country: Rome

Ruler: Pertinax

Denomination: Aureus

Mint: Rome

Weight: 7,20 g

Auction house: Gerhard Hirsch

Date: 10 May 2017

Starting price: 20.000 euros

Historical context

Commodus was killed on the 31st of December 192. The following morning Pertinax was proclaimed Roman Emperor. Pertinax was a self-made and well-educated man whose father was a former slave. Some historians consider Pertinax an unimpeachable moralist, while some others think that he was an opportunist who was involved in Commodus assassination. Be that as it may, it is clear that Pertinax was an Emperor with very good will. He attempted several reforms, including one related to coins: increasing the silver purity of denarius from 74% to 87%. However, he was not successful at pleasing the Praetorian Guard and they killed him only 86 days after he was proclaimed Emperor.

Market

It is clear that an aureus so well preserved will be highly-demanded all around the world. However, it is not so easy to defined a price when the coin is so rare. We can take two hammer prices of aureus in a similar quality as references: $35.000 for this one in 2013 and 38.000 euros for this other one in 2016 (specimens in higher quality can even be hammered for $140.000). Hence, I would consider that a normal hammer price would be around $40.000 for the specimen in the auction.

Description from the seller

RÖMISCHE MÜNZEN, RÖMISCHES KAISERREICH PERTINAX. 193-, Aureus. IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG Belorbeerter Kopf r. Rs: LAETITIA TEMPOR COS II Laetitia steht l. mit Kranz und Zepter.
C. 19. R.I.C. 4a. Calico 2383 (Rs. stgl.). 7.20g, Hohes Relief. Schön zentriert. RRG O L D vz Seit ca. 30 Jahren in deutscher Sammlung. Pertinax war unter den Antoninen ein hoher Beamter und Offizier, zuletzt im Amt des Praefectus urbi einer der wichtigsten Männer in Rom. Nach der Ermordung des Commodus wurde er von Heer und Senat zum Kaiser bestimmt, aber bereits nach knapp 3 Monaten bei einer Meuterei der Prätorianergarde ermordet.

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