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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Rare Philip II Caesar Aureus

CNG 111, Lot: 784. Estimate $20000.
Sold for $30000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Philip II. As Caesar, AD 244-247. AV Aureus (21mm, 4.76 g, 12h). Rome mint. 2nd emission of Philip I, AD 245. M IVL PHILIPPVS CAES, bareheaded and draped bust right / PRINCIPI IVVENT, Philip standing right, holding spear in right hand, globe in left. RIC IV 216a; Bland, Gold 22 (dies 9/7); Calicó 3276; Biaggi 1390; Jameson –; Mazzini –; Hunterian 4 (same dies). EF, underlying luster, a few light marks mainly confined to reverse. Rare.

From the Brexit Collection.

Born in AD 237, Marcus Julius Severus Philippus was seven years old when his eponymous father, the emperor Philip I, had him proclaimed Caesar early in AD 244. Philip I thus hoped to form something the Roman Empire had lacked since the Severan era: a stable dynasty. This aureus was struck shortly thereafter, showing the young Caesar as “Prince of Youth” on the reverse. Due to the increasing shortage of precious metals during the reign, aurei of both Philips are quite rare. Such shortages forced the regime to be parsimonious in its handouts to soldiers, meaning their loyalties were always highly suspect. This ultimately led to the downfall of the dynasty less than five years after its inception.