Record price for a gold coin of a man who made a million

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by Chris Rudd

May 16, 2013 – Numismatist Derek Fortrose Allen (1910-75) estimated that Cunobelin, king of the Catuvellauni and Trinovantes, may have struck as many as a million gold staters during his thirty-year reign, c.AD 8-41. One of these gold staters, known as the Biga Type, was recently sold for £15,100, the highest price ever paid for a coin of Cunobelin.

Cunobelin Biga gold stater (ABC 2771 var.), c.AD 8-20. Much of its imagery shows a Roman influence. Auctioned by Chris Rudd, 18 March 2013, for £15,100.

The Biga Type was the first gold stater that Cunobelin issued and was unlike all his others, which showed a large ear of corn on the obverse. Cunobelin apparently struck this gold stater to celebrate his conquest of the Trinovantes – old rivals of the Catuvellauni – and his capture of their capital, Camulodunon (modern Colchester, Essex). Here is an interpretation of the Biga Type design.

Elizabeth Cottam warned recently of modern Cunobelin counterfeits.

Some of these million coins are now attributed to Caratacus, though, instead of Cunobelin as you may learn from this article.

Chris Rudd’s website is here.