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    Rare Alexandrian Gold

    Justinian I the Great (AD 527-565). AV solidus (21mm, 4.47 gm, 6h). NGC MS 5/5 - 3/5, brushed, wavy flan. Egypt, Alexandria, 1st officina, ca. AD 535-537. D N IVSTINI-ANVS PP AVG, helmeted, cuirassed bust of Justinian I facing, head slightly right, the helmet ornamented with diadem and small cross, spear in right hand over shoulder, shield in left decorated with horseman motif / VICTORI-A AVGGG A, angel standing facing, long cross in right hand, globus cruciger in left; eight pointed star in right field, ALEXA OB, in exergue. Sear -. DOC -. MIB -. See Lanz 148 (4 January 2010), lot 167; Gemini IX (8 January 2012), lot 528; and CNG Triton XX (10 January 2017) for examples of the same type. Extremely rare, one of only six or seven known examples.

    Until about 2010, only bronze coins were known to have been struck for Justinian I at the mint of Alexandria. In that year came the discovery of an hitherto unrecorded issue of gold solidi with the mintmark ALEXA OB (the OB standing for "obrizium" or "pure gold"). Alexandria (and Egypt) had remained under East Roman rule despite the loss of western North Africa to the Vandals in AD 429; however, the mint had ceased operations from the mid-5th century BC until re-opened by Justin I (AD 517-527); from then until the Arab conquests its main product was a series of bronze coins in rather unusual denominations of 3, 6, 12 and 33 nummi. Until the new discovery, gold coins were known to have been struck in Alexandria only for Justin II (AD 565-578) and during the Revolt of the Heraclii (AD 608-610), both types of extreme rarity. This newly discovered issue of Justinian I is of considerable numismatic interest, being of extremely good style, in many ways superior to the product of the Constantinople mint, and bearing a long and explicit identifying mint mark. To date only five other examples of this important discovery piece have been offered at auction, with this example ranking among the finest specimens.

    Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    15th Thursday 5:50 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    15th Thursday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    23 Days 8h 23m 18s
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    This lot is in: 3 - Signature® Floor Session Platinum Night (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 32001-32405) - 6:00 PM Central Time, Thursday, August 15, 2019.
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    Additional Location Info:
    Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
    5555 N. River Road
    Rosemont, IL 60018

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