ELAGABALUS, A.D. 218-222. AV Aureus (7.03 gms), Antioch Mint, A.D. 218-219. NGC Ch MS★, Strike: 5/5 Surface: 4/5. cf. RIC-196a; Calico-3033a (this coin cited & illustrated; R5). Obverse: IMP C M AVR ANTONINS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; Reverse: SANC DEO SOLI / ELAGABAL, quadriga right, bearing sacred stone of Emesa upon which is perched an eagle; four parasols around. Exceedingly stunning and dazzling are seemingly not strong enough adjectives to convey the incredible eye appeal put forth on this majestically struck flan hailing untouched from antiquity. Both sides are tantalizingly executed, with razor-sharp devices and radiant fields from which luster mesmerizingly leaps off from the flan. The young emperors portrait is rendered in high relief, with a delightful eastern styling, and the reverse presents all of the pageantry involved in the then-growing cult of Elagabal, an Arab-Roman sun god after which Elagabalus drew his ruling name. An <strong>EXCEPTIONALLY RARE</strong> type that is unlisted in RIC, with just two others--<em>both from this die marriage</em>--being known. One, an obviously less impressive example (graded NGC AU★, Strike: 5/5 Surface: 4/5) realized a hammer of over $77,000 in May 2013, while the third specimen, somewhat handled and unfortunately housed in an ancient bezel, sold in Triton III (11/1999). For the connoisseur that yearns for the best which the Roman world has to offer, the present near-Gem is undoubtedly at the precipice. From the Dr. Michael Rogers Collection, Part II.<p>Ex: Triton V (1/2002) Lot # 2027.