Nero, as Caesar, 50-54. Aureus (Gold, 20 mm, 7.81 g, 4 h), Rome, 51-54. NERO CLAVD CAES DRVSVS GERM PRINC IVVENT Bare-headed and draped bust of Nero to left. Rev. SACERD COOPT IN OMN CONL•SVPRA NVM EX•S C• Simpulum above tripod and lituus above patera. BMC 84. Calicó 441. Cohen 311 corr. (obverse legend ommits CAES in error). Jameson, Vol. II, 48a (this coin). RIC 76. A superb, lustrous piece with an excellent pedigree. Minor scuff on the obverse and with light scratches and very minor doubling on the reverse, otherwise, virtually as struck.
From an old Swiss collection, formed in the early to mid 20th century, ex Münzen & Medaillen XV, 1-2 July 1955, 722 ('Monnaies romaines en or d'une collection portugaise') and from the collections of R. Jameson and G. Ponton d'Amécourt, Rollin & Feuardent, 25-30 April 1887, 104.
The priestly emblems on the reverse of this coin refer to Nero's admission to the four priestly colleges, i.e. the pontifices (symbolized by the simpulum), the augures (lituus), the quindecimviri sacris faciundis (tripod) and the septemviri epulones (patera). These honors bestowed upon the young prince on 5 March 51 were an important milestone in Agrippina's efforts of positioning her son as the future heir to Claudius' throne.