This article discusses a stolen Roman bronze coin recovered by police in Spain.
Spanish police have seized a "unique" ancient Roman coin that was stolen in a 600,000 euro ($786,000) haul in Madrid last year, they said Wednesday.
The brown bronze disc bearing the portrait of Augustus -- the Roman emperor who conquered parts of Spain -- was the most important of the 867 such coins seized.
"The collection is very important as much for its economic value as its historic, artistic and cultural importance," said Antonio Tenorio, chief inspector of the expert cultural heritage brigade that recovered the coins.
Police arrested a gold dealer in Madrid in connection with the case. Along with jewellery, the coins were stolen by burglars who broke into the home of a private collector in Madrid last April.
Tenorio said the Augustus coin was minted to commemorate victories against the northern Iberian Cantabrian and Asturian tribes.
"It is quite heavy and is one of the biggest ones ever seized. It seems to be a unique piece," Tenorio said. "There is not another one like it known in the world."
A police statement said the collector acquired the coin in 2002 at an auction house in New York for 30,000 euros.
I'm not familiar with this piece, so I asked Kerry Wetterstrom, editor of The Celator.
Just based on the obverse photo, I can’t identify the coin without doing a lot more research, and even then, I might need the reverse photo for a positive identification. Roman provincial bronzes from Spain are not my area of expertise. The article says that the owner paid 30,000 Euros for the coin in a 2002 NYC auction. If this statement is accurate, then it is probably very rare. And since the market has exploded for high-end ancient coins since 2002, it is very possible that is worth substantially more than 30,000 Euros today.
Can anyone else help identify this coin and the auction it came from?
To read the complete article, see:
Spain police seize 'unique' stolen Roman coin minted in the first centuries BC and AD
Wayne Homren, Editor
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