I knew when I started building my 12 Caesars collection that I would eventually want a pre-reform denarius of Nero. The problem is that these are quite scarce in any condition. Also, there is much competition for them the they do appear for sale. Denarii like this one were minted before Nero decided to debase the silver coinage. Pre-reform denarii like this one are at near 100% fineness. This dropped considerably after the debasement. The earlier denarii are also heavier than the post reform coinage.One reason Nero debased the coins was to make up for a shortfall in available cash because of the massive spending he committed to building projects.
This is not a perfect coin, but I like several things about it. First, I like the younger more slender portrait. Contrast this with the "Fat tyrant" portrait of the other Nero denarius I posted a couple of days ago. I also like that the legends are intact. True, they are worn, but they are still readable.
Nero. A.D. 61. AR denarius
(18.40 mm, 3.37 g, 7 h).
Lugdunum (Lyon) mint.
Obv: NERO CAESAR AVG IMP, bare head right
Rev: PONTIF MAX TR P VIII COS IIII P P, EX S C across field, Roma standing right, holding and inscribing shield supported on knee, foot on helmet; dagger and bow at feet to right.
RIC 34 (R3); RSC 231. aVF, toned. Rare. From the D. Thomas Collection;
Ex Hohn Leipziger Munzhandlung. Auction 85 June 2-4 2016 Lot 1832