An incredibly rare Roman coin commemorating the assassination of Julius Caesar could be worth millions of dollars.
The golden coin has resurfaced after being hidden away in a private collection – and is just one of three in the world.
On the front of the coin is the face of Brutus, who famously killed Caesar at the Theatre of Pompey in Rome in 44BC. And the back depicts two daggers flanking a pileup – a type of cap given to free Roman slaves.
It’s believed that this was to signify Rome was free from Caesar, who was seen by some to be a cruel and power-hungry dictator.
This type of coin is known as ‘Ides of March’, which is how the Romans marked March 15. Caesar was killed on the Ides of March, and this coin was created to commemorate the event just two years later.
“It was made in 42BC, two years after the famous assassination,” said Mark Salzberg, of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, which verified the coin.
“The front has a portrait of Marcus Junius Brutus, one of Caesar’s assassins. “And the other side dramatically has two daggers and the words EID MAR, a Latin abbreviation for Ides of March.”
There are around 100 Ides of March coins made from silver around the world. But just three examples of a golden Ides of March coin are known.
This particular coin is in mint condition, and was held in a private European collection. It’s due to be auctioned by Roma Numismatics on October 29, and could fetch millions.
“The conservative pre-auction estimate is £500,000,” said Salzburg. “But considering the coin’s rarity, artistry and fabled place in history, I would not be surprised if it sold for several million.”
Caesar is one of Rome’s most famous rulers, known for his military expertise, skilled economics and political reforms. But many Roman senators saw Caesar as power-mad, some of whom eventually plotted to kill him.
He was assassinated on March 15 during a senate meeting at the Theatre of Pompey. A group of senators stabbed Caesar 23 times, claiming the act as “tyrannicide” – killing a tyrant.
It’s believed that as many as 60 senators were involved in the conspiracy, and were led by Marcus Brutus, Gaius Cassius and Decimus Brutus.
Soon after, the Roman Republic gave way to the Roman Empire – as Caesar himself was never considered an emperor by historical standards.
After his death, Caesar was cremated and the Temple of Caesar was erected on the same site. Parts of the structure still stand today.)