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Coin Found in a Field Sells for $695,000

It was discovered by a metal detectorist.

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A rare Roman gold coin dating from AD 293-296 sold for about $695,000 at an auction held by Dix Noonan Webb, the London-based international coin, medal, banknote and jewelry specialists.

The coin, found in a newly plowed field in Kent, England, had been estimated to fetch between $88,000 and $125,000.

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It was bought by private collector bidding on the telephone.

The coin, known as an aureus — a gold coin of ancient Rome — is relatively small: only 4.31 grams and slightly larger than a current penny. Dating from the reign of Allectus, it was found by a 30-year-old metal detectorist and his brother near Dover in March this year, adjacent to a Roman road.

The detectorist, who has followed the pursuit for seven years, wishes to remain anonymous but commented after the sale: “I cannot believe it, we are ecstatic! We expected it to sell for a little over estimate, but not five times the estimate! We are sharing the money with the farmer, who is also thrilled!”

Christopher Webb, director and head of DNW’s coin department, said: “I am delighted with the phenomenal price achieved in today’s sale. This is the most expensive coin that we have ever sold at Dix Noonan Webb – as well as being one of the world’s most expensive Roman coins, it is the most money ever paid for a coin of Allectus and it is now the most valuable Roman coin minted in Britain to have been sold at auction. It was a unique opportunity to acquire a stunning coin and the only other one known struck from the same pair of dies is in the British Museum.”

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He continued: “There are only 24 aurei of Allectus known worldwide. Gold coins were initially produced to pay an accession donation in AD 293 but continued to be issued throughout his reign and were probably demonetized after his death in AD 296, as no coins of Carausius or Allectus are found in later hoards.”

Allectus is described as the minister of finance, praetorian prefect, ally and co-conspirator under the usurper Carausius. This new independence of Britain was based on a strong naval force of at least two fleets controlling the English Channel and the North Sea.

As a result of the loss of Boulogne in Gaul on 1 March AD 293 to the emperor Constantius Chlorus, it is believed that Carausius was then murdered by Allectus. Little is known from historical records about Allectus; his name in Latin translates as chosen or elected, but his well-produced coinage indicates a smooth transition and the issue of a new denomination, decorated with a series of war galleys as the reverse design which was seen as innovative.

In early AD 296 Constantius, together with the praetorian prefect Julius Asclepiodotus, sailed in two separate fleets, one from Boulogne, the other from the mouth of the Seine, which slipped past the Allectan ships waiting by the Isle of Wight (Vectis) in a sea fog. Allectus was defeated and killed in a land battle, probably in Hampshire, by Asclepiodotus, and Constantius arrived in London to reclaim Britain.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Scarlett Johansson Shows Off Distinctive Engagement Ring

She’s engaged to Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live fame.

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Scarlett Johansson

Actress Scarlett Johansson unveiled her eye-catching new engagement ring recently at Comic-Con in San Diego, CA.

British Vogue described it as “a jaw-dropping yellow pear-shaped stone on a black band.”

There’s no word on how much the ring might have cost.

The name of the designer also hasn’t been revealed, but Vogue noted that the sparkler looks remarkably like one featured late last month on the Instagram feed of New York-based Taffin (see below). That brand was founded by French designer James de Givenchy.

The ring appeared with the description “11 cts light brown diamond, type 2A.”

Johansson, 34, was at Comic-Con in support of her upcoming movie Black Widow. She is engaged to Saturday Night Live star and writer Colin Jost.

 

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11 cts light brown diamond, type 2A.

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This Strange Jewelry Thwarts Facial-Recognition Technology

It managed to confound Facebook’s algorithms.

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It can be a bit unsettling when Facebook recognizes the people in your photos and makes tag suggestions.

It’s as if no one can escape the social media platform’s knowing eye.

But Ewa Nowak, co-founder of the industrial design firm NOMA, might have a way to fly under the radar, Fast Company reports.

A concept she describes as “face jewelry” includes “two brass circles that hang down from the cheekbones and an additional long piece of brass that stretches up the forehead,” according to Fast Company. You wear it from your ears like eyeglasses.

The jewelry managed to  confound Facebook’s algorithms when Nowak uploaded photos to a gallery on the site.

For now, Nowak views the design as art rather than a product. In fact, the work, which recently earned the Mazda Design Award at the Łódź Design Festival, can be thought of as a statement.

Nowak, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland, submitted the face jewelry for an exhibition at the national museum in China. Although a couple of her other projects made the cut, this one did not.

“After two weeks, a reply came that they can’t accept it for political reasons,” she told Fast Company. “It was a very firm refusal.”

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135 US Jewelry Retailers Closed in the Second Quarter

The pace of closures has slowed recently.

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The Jewelers Board of Trade reported that 135 U.S. jewelry retailers closed their doors in the second quarter of 2019.

That number represented a decrease from 195 closings in the second quarter of 2018.

The total included 105 retailers in the category of “ceased operations” as well as 24 “consolidations (sale/merger)” and six bankruptcies.

The total number of U.S. jewelry businesses that closed, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was 185. That was a decrease from 234 in the second quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, JBT reported that 56 new retailers opened their doors in the U.S., down from 63 in the second quarter of 2018.

The total number of new jewelry businesses, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was 68. That was down from 71 new businesses in the year-ago quarter.

JBT listed a total of 18,893 jewelry retailers in the U.S. as of the second quarter of 2019, down from 19,357 in the same quarter a year ago.

The group listed 24,966 jewelry businesses in all, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. That was down from 25,607 in the second quarter of 2018.

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