DIOCLETIAN GOLD AUREUS – RARE AQUILEIA ISSUE FROM THE AARAS HOARD WITH AN EXCEPTIONAL PEDIGREE AND PUBLICATION HISTORY – CHOICE XF NGC GRADED ROMAN IMPERIAL COIN (Inv. 14385)
ROMAN EMPIRE. DIOCLETIAN, AD 284-305.
Gold Aureus, 5.48 g., 17 mm., minted at Aquileia, ca. AD 294-303.
Obv. DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right.
Rev. VOT / XX / AVGG, legend in wreath, eagle below.
RIC VI 7a; Depeyrot 2/1; Beaurains 37 (this coin); Baldwin-Brett, NC 1933, 62.3 (this coin); Calicó 4585.
Publication history: P. Bastien & C. Metzger, “Le Trésor de Beaurains” (1977), 37 (this coin, illustrated) and originally in Agnes Baldwin Brett, “The Aurei and Solidi of the Arras Hoard” (Numismatic Chronicle 52, 1933), 62.3, P. 302, pl. XXIII, 14 (illustrated).
Sales history: Numismatica Ars Classica 78, 5/26/2014, lot 1120; ‘The property of a foreign collector’, Glendining 5/27-28/1936, lot 224; R. Ratto FPL (April 1933), lot 391; Pompeo Bonazzi Collection, R. Ratto (7 June 1926), lot 2307; found in a field in Pouvoir Dhée, near Beaurains lès Arras, on 21 September 1922.
NGC graded CHOICE XF, Strike 5/5, Surface 3/5, “graffito”, deep golden-violet iridescence. An exceptionally pedigreed coin with nearly a century old history, quite rare with only 3 other specimens in market records of the last 2 decades and one of 3 pieces of this variety found in the Arras hoard. The piece has a distinctive ΛΛΛ graffito above the head, perhaps initials or possibly a highly personal attempt to give Diocletian a radiate crown.