Ezen Collection Of Elite Sovereigns Offered at Heritage’s CSNS World & Ancient Coins Event

Octavian with Julius Caesar, gold aureus also among May 8-10 auction’s highlights

by Heritage Auctions | Published on April 12, 2024

DALLAS, Texas (April 12, 2024) — One of the finest collections of high-end Sovereigns to come to market in the last decade will shimmer in the spotlight when the collection of Ayden Ezen is sold in Heritage’s CSNS World & Ancient Coins Platinum Session and Signature® Auction May 8-10. 

What began as a hobby with the purchase of an 1836 Sovereign some four decades ago grew into an elite collection that would provide 250 lots for the auction’s single-owner stand-alone session.

“Once started, his collection grew — in quantity and in quality,” says Cris Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage Auctions. “He began to go after all of the Sovereigns he could, starting with the first Soverign, an 1817 George III. After that, it became about upgrading to higher-graded examples, until it evolved into what it is now: an extraordinary assemblage with numerous coins that will be welcome additions to their new collections.”

Ezen said that the most exciting purchase for his collection was a Victoria gold ‘827/#22’ Sovereign 1863 XF40 PCGS for which he paid £150. 

“This coin must have passed through hundreds of hands since its inception without its rarity being realized by its countless handlers and users, also having passed unnoticed through several auctions,” Ezen says. “I can’t describe how excited I was when I discovered this very elusive, rare coin!”

Another top attraction from the Ezen collection is a stunning Victoria gold “Shield” Sovereign 1838 MS64+ PCGS that once was part of The Bentley Collection. The intricacy and overall eye appeal help make this an exemplary grade for this early issue.

An Edward VII gold Matte Proof 5 Pounds 1902 PR63 PCGS is a Choice specimen of the only 5 Pound type issued during Edward VII’s reign. This gorgeous example is free of marks, which only adds to the beauty of the Matte finish on this coin, which is the last well-populated grade in the PCGS census.

Other top lots in the Ezen collection include, but are not limited to:

Ancient coins

One of the unquestioned highlights in the auction is an Octavian, as Consul (ca. 43 BC), with Julius Caesar, as Dictator Perpetuo and Pontifex Maximus. AV aureus (18mm, 8.16 gm, 5h). NGC Choice XF 3/5 - 4/5, which features one of the very few near-contemporary portraits of Julius Caesar in gold. Many collectors of the Roman series strive to obtain a portrait set of the first 12 Caesars in gold aurei — an effort sometimes impeded by the difficulty of obtaining the first portrait. Portraits in silver and bronze can be found, but actual portraits of Caesar in gold are exceedingly rare, with likely fewer than 50 of all known types extant. The example offered in this auction is the type struck closest to Caesar’s lifetime, and was issued by his grand-nephew and adoptive heir Octavian; it likely was struck at a military mint in southern Gaul upon his assumption of the Consulship in July 43 BC.

SICILY. Syracuse. Dionysius I (405-370 BC). AR decadrachm (33mm, 43.40 gm, 11h). NGC AU★ 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style captures the serenity of Arethusa, wreathed with barley and wearing a triple pendant earring and beaded necklace on the obverse, as well as the action on the reverse of a charioteer driving quadriga galloping left, in flowing chiton, the reins in his left hand, kentron in right, and Nike flying right in field above to crown him.

An exceptional CIMMERIAN BOSPORUS. Panticapaeum. Ca. 340-320 BC. AV stater (22mm, 9.10 gm, 10h). NGC MS 4/5 - 3/5, Fine Style, brushed, die shift, edge marksfeatures the head of bearded Satyr (or Pan) facing to the left on the obverse, with a griffin standing on grain and holding a spear in its mouth, right forepaw raised on the reverse. While categorized as a mythological creature today, the griffin depicted on the reverse was very real to the Greeks of the Thracian hinterland, where it was thought to live. Griffins were said to be highly covetous of gold, a trait carried over into medieval conceptions of the dragon.

World coins

One of the most eagerly pursued world coins will be available when a rare Victoria gold Proof “Una and the Lion” 5 Pounds 1839 PR62 Ultra Cameo NGC crosses the auction block. Struck just two years into Queen Victoria’s reign by renowned 19th-century Royal Mint Chief Engraver William Wyon, it is elusive but enormously popular in the collecting community.

The Una and the Lion 5 Pounds is one of 14 lots in the auction from the Faerie Queen Collection, a trove that also includes:

Another British treasure is the Victoria gold Proof 5 Pounds 1887 PR65+ Deep Cameo PCGS, KM769, S-3864, W&R-285. This stunning coin is in remarkable shape, with Victoria’s Jubilee features appearing nearly as they must have when it was struck more than 130 years ago. The demand for this exceptional coin is a result of its elite certification and the increasing popularity of high-quality examples of the British Proof 5 Pounds.

From the KJR Collection comes an impressive Choice Proof Cameo NGC 100 Francs, a gorgeous striking of one of the most collectible series in French numismatics and one that retains continued demand when witnessed in comparable advanced states of preservation. This beauty, featuring the immediately identifiable obverse “winged genius,” survives from a minuscule mintage of just 100 pieces. 

The KJR Collection also produced a Republic gold 100 Francs 1894-A MS64 Prooflike NGC that is included in the auction.

The obverse of a Riga - Swedish Occupation. Charles XI gold 2 Ducat 1667-IM MS62 NGC, KM-63 bears the initials “I” and “M” for Joachim Meinecke, mint master in Riga from 1661-97. Charles XI ascended to the Swedish throne in February 1660 at the age of 4 after his father’s death, and therefore is pictured on the obverse of this coin as a child just entering his teens. The example offered in this auction is the finest certified at NGC.

Mint State Charles II gold 8 Escudos 1687/3-BR MS64 NGC is an absolute rarity of the Segovian series, represented in this auction by this, the “Top Pop” specimen in a population of just 10 certified by the major grading companies. During the 16th century, the Segovia mint modernized its traditional hammer-struck method of coining, importing minting technology, including rolling machines, from Austria. The result was a marked improvement in the quality of Segovian issues, measured in part by improved roundness and uniformity of strike.


The auction includes eight lots of cryptocurrency, including:

Images and information about all lots in the auction can be found at HA.com/3115.

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Source: Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions image Heritage Auctions is the largest collectibles auctioneer and third largest auction house in the world, as well as the largest auction house founded in the U.S. We are also the undisputed Internet leader in our field, with more than 1 million online bidder-members registered on HA.com.

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