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Gold coin of Frederick II

1231/1250

British Museum

British Museum

In 1231, Frederick II introduced a new gold coin, the augustalis. The first high value and stable gold coinage in Europe since Roman times, it would be 200 years before anything of its quality or elegance appeared again. Both a powerful propaganda device and a sign of Frederick’s desire to re-found the Roman Empire, the augustalis clearly imitates the gold coinage of the emperor Augustus. On one side Frederick II is shown in a classical-style bust, the other side shows the Roman imperial eagle.

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Details

  • Title: Gold coin of Frederick II
  • Date Created: 1231/1250
  • Location Created: Messina or Palermo, Sicily
  • Medium: gold
  • Copyright: The Trustees of the British Museum
  • British Museum website: C.2810

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