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    Description

    Unique Countermarked Judaea Capta Issue

    OSTROGOTHIC KINGDOM. Ca. AD 488-551. Æ countermarked sestertius of 83 nummi (33mm, 25.20 gm, 6h). NGC VF 5/5 - 3/5. Undertype a Rome-mint Judaea Capta sestertius of Vespasian, circa AD 71 (RIC 159), the obverse incised with Roman numerals LXXXIII (83), indicating a value of 83 nummi. Mottled orichalcum surfaces with yellow, red, brown and green highes, the undertype in roughly Choice VF condition, the incised numbers appearing fairly fresh and somewhat infilled with green patina. This undertype and re-tarrifed amount unrecorded in standard references; for the Ostrogothic and Vandal practice of countermarking early Roman coins, see MEC I pp. 28-31 and 424-9. Unique!

    The Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy produced its own coinage on the old Roman model, with some types recalling a much earlier period. The bronze coinage included early Imperial sestertii, dupondii and asses crudely countermarked with numerals indicating their value in small copper nummi, the basic unit in both the Byzantine and Gothic realms. This countermarked Judaea Capta sestertius is remarkable for both the undertype (which must have been still in some form of circulation five centuries after its striking), and the high value indicated by the numerals -- 83 nummi, more than double the nummi value of the largest purpose-struck Byzantine and Ostragothic coin of the day, the follis. This makes it likely the valuation was based both on weight and metal content, with the yellow orichalcum (brass) of the ancient sestertius being still considered about twice as valuable as the copper used to strike contemporary folles and their fractions. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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