AMBIANI AV gold stater – extremely interesting variant – cf solar eclipse of 28 may -63BC – Rare Uniface stater – reverse with SS and dotted „half sun“

Ancient Coins - AMBIANI AV gold stater – extremely interesting variant – cf solar eclipse of 28 may -63BC – Rare Uniface stater – reverse with SS and dotted „half sun“
zoom view

Reign

AMBIANI – Gallo Belgica – Ambiani tribe

Denomination

AV Stater – gold stater

Date Struck

63 BC

Mint

Amiens (FR) region

Obverse

Blanc – uniface Gallic War stater type

Reverse

Gallic horse right – SS between legs – dotted „half sun“ in front

Weight

5.60g

Diameter

16 mm

Reference

 

Grade

VF- F

Comments

The recent discovery of a “half-Sun” on an Ambiani Gallic War stater could be referring to a remarkable solar eclipse. After some research it became clear that the only solar eclipse that would have been remarked at that time is the one from May 28 of the year 63 BC which took place at noon. Imagine the impression this made on the Gallic people who had never seen and would never see this phenomenon again in their lives. The solar eclipse of 63BC May 28 was also observed by the region where the Morini lived and we find this remarkable event featured on their coinage as well, probably shortly after the event.

Since the Gallic War staters with the two “S” decorations are a rare type and only very few of these coins feature a “half sun” it became clear that this type of coins is excessively rare and only a few specimen have remained. We only recorded six examples with the half sun.

The solar eclipse of 63 BC May 28 was also observed by the region where the Morini lived and we find this remarkable event featured on their coinage of the same year as well. The quarter stater of the type Delestrée & Tache DT 256 shows the identical “half sun”.

Both the Morini and the Ambiani experienced the solar eclipse of 63 BC and featured this event on their coinage probably shortly after the event.

As the “half-sun” appears exclusively on the Gallic War staters with the double S-symbols, it seems these coins (type DT 242) are anterior to the other uniface staters.

All the DT 242 type coins seem to come from the Ambiani area and where mostly found there too. Only a handful made it to Britain and this may be an indication this type of coins was anterior to the period of 58-50BC when mercenaries from Britain came to assist the Gallic tribes and returned to Britain afterwards with the Gallic War staters of the other types which were mostly DT 236-237-238-239 and DT 240.

Careful study of the design of these coins also shows a difference between the rather rough design of the features on the DT 242 coin with the double S and the rest of the uniface staters like DT 236 and DT 238 who are more refined and seem to be a subsequent evolution of this design.

The type with the double S was very rare until some ten years ago when some 200 coins of this type were discovered in a field near the French town of Aumale and have been sold piece by piece since, leaving us without a true catalogue of this find.

The Gallic War staters with the double S certainly could be the subject of further research.

Price SKU: Phto100
595.00
  • US$ 677.65
  • £ 527.11
  • AUD 944.50
  • CHF 670.51
  • CAD 898.51

Rates for: 01/16/19

Ships from: Belgium