Chicago Has ‘Showoff’ Rights Thanks to Rare Coins Commemorating Caesar’s Assassination – NBC Chicago
Three of the world’s rarest coins are now in the city of Chicago, and the dealer who contributed describes how historic the occasion is.
Rare coin dealer Aaron Berk has acquired a pair of coins dating back to 44 BC. after the assassination of the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar.
The coins do not show Caesar but a portrait of Brutus, who was one of the senators who stabbed Caesar. His face occupies one side of the coin, while two daggers adorn the other side.
The gold coin, which recently sold to a private buyer for more than $2 million, is one of only three of the world’s remaining coins.
“It was probably worn in ancient times, and it was probably a supporter of Brutus who actually issued the coin,” Berk said. “The coin was minted after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. issued.”
The coin also has a small hole in the top through which a chain was likely put so the coin could be worn as a necklace.
Berk also pointed out the apparent irony of the coin’s image of Brutus, with Caesar being criticized for having immortalized himself in a similar manner.
“What’s really interesting about this coin is that one of the reasons why Julius Caesar was assassinated is that he was trying to turn himself into a dictator and he put his image on coins, which was a big no-go at the time, and here so Brutus, who was one of the assassins, turns around and puts his own portrait on the coin,” he said.
While there are only three gold coins with the image on them, it is believed that there are around 80 such coins that were minted in silver, and Berk also happens to have two of these in his collection, meaning three incredibly rare coins in which the same city may be located for the first time in history.
“The fact that we have two silver coins and one gold coin in Chicago at the same time is probably the first time in the history of numismatics,” he said. “That’s boasting.”
The gold coin is kept in a private collection, according to Berk.