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Vespasian 69-70 CE

Vespasianus, 69-79. Denarius Minted 69/70, Tarraco (Tarragona).

3.41 g.

Obv: Bust Laureate right, IMP CAESAR VESPASIANUS AVG

Rev; Pax Seated with branch and Caduceus., COS ITER TR POT

RIC II/1, 1312 (R3)

Dr. Busso Peus Nachf. E-Auctions 6 Lot 259. January 13, 2018.

On first glance this coin looks like a typical Pax seated reverse. This type of reverse is perhaps the most common of reverses for denarii of Vespasian. However, one needs to look more carefully at the portrait side. This portrait of Vespasian seems quite different than portraits on the Rome mint Pax seated denarius. It is true that on this issue, there ca be very dramatic difference in portrait styles for the Rome mint, but this one is so distinctive that RIC II Part one tentatively ascribes this issue to a Spanish mint like Tarraco. It is important to note that this attribution is tentative. The authors of RIC II were not sure that this coin was minted in Tarraco.

Checking other examples of coins minted in Tarraco, there is a similar look to this coin. The authors of RIC II have designated this coin as RIC 1312 rather than the much more common RIC 29. They have also described its rarity as R3. R3 means that only one example was known at the time of publication. However, I have found at least 3 other examples in collections I am aware of. One expert has commented on my coin that it appears to be an obverse die match to the RIC plate coin. This would seem to strengthen the attribution of this coin to RIC 1312.

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