Roman coins - Family coinage

Family coinage- a Caracalla- Septimius Severus& Iulia Domna sold for 30,000 US$.

One of the most rare category of Roman coins is represented by the so called “family coins” minted by the emperor to commemorate his close relatives, his father, mother or sometimes brother or sister.

These coins are very rare today, as in ancient times, because of the low mintage and the fact that they were produced only in a small number and usually offered to the high ranks of the empire as a gift.

One of the family that had an interesting series of family coins is the Family of Septimius Severus. He and his wife, Iulia Domna had two sons, Caracalla and Geta.

Severus hoped that both his sons will inherit the empire and made them both emperors during his time. But Geta and Caracalla hated each other and soon after the death of Severus, Geta was murdered by his brother.

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The family coinage back then were destined to show the harmony in the imperial family, as in this one, recently sold by Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG in Auction 155, held on the 24th of July this year.

The coins is an aureus, is made of gold and has a weight of 7,41 g. It was minted in year 201, as suggested by the inscription, and can be attributed to the mint of Rome.

On the obverse, it depicts the bust of Caracalla and his official name, ANTONINUS PIUS-AUG(ustus) PONT(ifex) T(ribunicia) P(otestatis) III. This coin was minted only 3 years after the young Caracalla or Marcus Aurelius Antoninus on the official documents was named Augustus.

The portrait is very beautiful and depicts the young emperor, only 15 years old at the moment, looking right.

On the reverse, the legend is CONCORDIA AETERNAE that means “forever in harmony” and the bust of the parents of Caracalla, Septimius Severus and Iulia Domna. Septimius is wearing a radiate crown, that imitates the sun and Iulia Domna has a diadem on her head and has on her shoulders a crescent of the moon.

Both are looking to the right, as same as Caracalla on the other side.

This coin was estimated at around 15,000 euro but was sold to around 22,000, approximately 30,000 US$.

Stefan Vasilita

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