Friday, 30 March 2018

Stater of Kyrene

An ancient gold stater from the City of Kyrene, North Africa. Minted under one of Alexander the Great's closest friends and allies, Ophellas while acting as governor under Ptolemy I. Struck 322 - 313 BC. $ 8,000

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Zoë and Theodora (1042) - Byzantine rarity

Coins of the joint female reign are among the greatest rarities of Byzantine coins. $223,250Two elderly daughters of Constantine VIII ruled the Empire jointly for seven and a half weeks. The two women could not have been more different: Often-married Zoë was an power-hungry voluptuary who took innumerable lovers, while Theodora was an austere, scholarly spinster who detested court life. They could not stand one another.

Photos capture Egypt's ancient underworld

Photographer Sandro Vannini is the man who, for the past two decades, has captured the fine details. Vannini began photographing Egypt's ancient underworld in the late 90s.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Cool Coins at Heritage

Seleucid Kingdom. Antiochus XI (94-93 BC), with Philip I Philadelphus. AR tetradrachm. NGC AU 5/5 - 4/5. Uncertain mint 127 in Cilicia, likely Tarsus, ca. late 94 - early 93 BC. Est $12,000 to $ 16,000
Augustus (27 BC-AD 14). AV aureus. NGC Choice XF 5/5 - 4/5. Spain, Colonia Patricia. Very rare and among the finest surviving specimens. $ 25,000 to $ 35,000
Galba (AD 68-69). AV aureus. NGC Choice XF 5/5 - 2/5, brushed. Gaul, Narbo. November AD 68 - January, AD 69. Estimate: $20,000 - $25,000.
North West Company brass Unholed Token 1820 MS61 NGC, Br-925, FT-9A. Brass, unholed and plain edge. Est $50,000 - $60,000

Charles I gold Triple Unite 1642 XF Details (Repaired) NGC, Oxford mint. Est $30,000 - $50,000.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Trafalgar Square lion doubles on sale with rare family of mammoths

A pair of giant bronze lions in the style of those which guard Trafalgar Square could sell for up to £100,000 at auction. The statues, modelled on the originals designed by artist Sir Edwin Landseer which surround Nelson's Column, are due to go under the hammer in Billingshurst, West Sussex. They are almost identical in size to their counterparts but were made in the late 20th century. The four bronze lions at Trafalgar Square were made in 1858.
Also up for sale is a complete family of prehistoric mammoth skeletons. The collection of four Ice Age skeletons includes a one-year-old infant, only the second known complete baby mammoth skeleton in the world. It's unknown how the family died but their remnants were found together during building works near Tomsk, Siberia, in 2002. They probably died at the end of the Pleistocene period, around 12,000 to 16,000 years ago. £250,000

Child sacrifices by the ancient Chimú civilization unearthed in Peru

Archaeologists in Peru have unearthed the remains of at least 12 children believed to have been sacrificed by the ancient Chimú. The team also uncovered a hoard of more than 100 artifacts in the Trujillo region, where 47 tombs have been found. The sacrifice of humans was relatively common in pre-Columbian societies. These new discoveries clarify ancient Chimú practices.
Originating around 900 C.E., the Chimú civilization came to rule much of the coast of Peru before it was eventually defeated by the Incas in the 15th century. The Chimú are known for their exquisite textiles, ceramics and metalwork. The capital city Chan Chan was once home to sophisticated agricultural and water management systems.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Ancient jewellery - Christies

A pair of Etruscan gold ear studs. C. 530-500 BC. $30,000.
Standout pieces from the Antiquities sale at Christie’s New York in 2016.
A Greek gold olive wreath. Late classical period to early hellenistic. $295,000

A Celtic gold torque. C. late 4th century BC. $125,000.

Eight Sarmatian Gold Phalerae circa 1st century B.C. $ 12,000. A phalera was a gold, silver, or bronze sculpted disk worn on the breastplate during parades by Roman soldiers who had been awarded it as a kind of medal.

3 Celtic gold finger rings. Late 4th century. $75,000

Viking gilt silver pendant. 10th century. $14,000

SS Central America: 'Ship of Gold' coins shine

Record-setting attendance, long line-ups and palpable excitement marked the Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectible Show as one of the most successful ever.

California Gold Marketing Group headlined the Long Beach Expo with their “Ship of Gold” exhibit. The centerpiece of the exhibit was 'Goldhenge,' a stack of $12 million in gold bars.

Attendance in 2018 was 43% higher than it was for the same show in 2017.   
PCGS, the Official Grading Service of the “Ship of Gold” recovery, prepared 15 PCGS-graded gold coins for display, including a few examples which PCGS has now confirmed are the finest examples known to exist.
See ----->

Saturday, 17 March 2018

The Search for El Dorado – Lost City of Gold

For hundreds of years, treasure hunters have searched for El Dorado, the lost city of gold. In spite of numerous expeditions all over Latin America, the city of gold remains legend, with no evidence to substantiate its existence.

The origins of El Dorado come from tales of the Muisca tribe. Following two migrations – one in 1270 BC and one between 800 and 500 BC, the Muisca occupied the Cundinamarca and Boyacá areas of Colombia. The Muisca practiced a ritual for every newly appointed king.

Bird-man adornment from the Cauca tribe (AD 900-1600), believed to give the wearer the skill of the creature

Muisca raft, representation of the initiation of the new Zipa in the lake of Guatavita. It was found in a cave in Pasca, Colombia in 1856. Circa 1200 to 1500 BC.
During one of these rituals, the new king would be brought to Lake Guatavita, where he would be stripped naked, and covered in gold dust. He would then be placed upon a highly decorated raft, along with his attendants and piles of gold. The raft would be sent out to the center of the lake, where the king would wash the gold dust from his body, as his attendants would throw the gold into the lake.

This ritual was a sacrifice to the Muisca Gods. To the Muisca, “El Dorado” was not a city, but the king at the center of this ritual, also called “the Gilded One.”
Laguna de Guatavita is located in the municipality of Sesquilé, in the Cundinamarca Department of Colombia, 35 miles north-east of Bogotá.

Conquistadores Lázaro Fonte and Hernán Perez de Quesada attempted to drain the lake in 1545 using a "bucket chain" of labourers.
After 3 months, the water level had been reduced by 3 metres, and only a small amount of gold was recovered.

In 1580 Antonio de Sepúlveda had a notch cut deep into the rim of the lake, which managed to reduce the water level by 20 metres, before collapsing and killing many of the labourers. Various golden ornaments, jewellery and armour were found. Sepúlveda died a poor man, and is buried at the church in the small town of Guatavita.
In 1898 the lake was successfully drained by means of a tunnel that emerged in the centre. The water was eventually drained to a depth of about 4 feet of mud and slime. When the mud had dried in the sun, it set like concrete. A haul of only £500 was found, and subsequently auctioned at Sothebys of London.

The Colombian government declared the lake a protected area in 1965.
Bogota’s Museum of Gold looks at the reality behind the stories that excited the European imagination from the 16th century onwards.

As the legends shifted and transformed, so has the location of El Dorado. Searches span all areas of Latin America. Expeditions to find El Dorado have been conducted far and wide and continue to this day.