The Gold Quinarius of Gaius Caligula: Joe Geranio
Caligula. 37-41 AD. Gold quinarius, 3.83g. (h). Lugdunum, 37-8 AD. Obv: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS Head bare right. Rx: P M TR - POT Victory seated right on globe, holding wreath with both hands. Unpublished gold quinarius of Caligula's second issue of 37-8 AD, with portrait still bare but dated TR POT only, not TR POT COS like the first issue. From the same obverse die as a quinarius from that earlier issue, Giard, Lyon, 158/2a, pl. XXXVIII. This is a presentable example of Caligula's very rare gold quinarii, with an expressive portrait.
Lugdunum issued rare gold quinarii with type Victory seated right on globe, holding wreath, for Augustus and Tiberius almost annually from 11 BC until the end of Tiberius' reign, and continued the same series for Caligula. The issues and specimens now known for Caligula are as follows: Issue 1, 37 AD, TR POT COS, King 1, three specimens (BM 6, Forli ex Piancastelli, one in trade, King c=d). Issue 2, 37-38 AD, TR POT, head still bare. Our unique coin, previously unpublished, from the same obverse die as the third specimen of Issue 1. Issue 3, 38-39 AD, TR POT ITER, King 2, four specimens (BM 21, Munich, Florence, one in trade). Issue 4, 40-41 AD, TR POT IIII, King 3, three specimens (BM 31, Paris 40, one in trade). Totals: four issues, eleven specimens, seven in museums. Our specimen and three others, exactly one of each issue, are still in private hands. It would not be surprising, however, if a gold quinarius of Caligula dated TR POT III turned up someday, perhaps also one dated TR POT with laureate portrait.
For more on this rare coin see:
Bendall, Simon. A 'new' gold quinarius of Caligula. (1985)
Geranio, Joe. Portraits of Caligula : the seated figure? ANS Library or Vol. XX, No. 1 (1997)
Portraits of Caligula: The Seated Figure? - Joe B. Geranio- Vol. XX, No. 1 (1997) SAN Journal, Society for Ancient Numismatics
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