Domitian Minerva. Rome, AD 88. Silver denarius.
Obv: Laureate head right, IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM PM TR P VIII, beaded border.
Rev:Minerva standing left holding spear, IMP XVI COS XIIII CENS P P P.
RIC 655 (R2)
Good VF, bright silver, bold head.
Purchased from Chris Rudd Numismatics February 2019
Lately I have been spending a few hours a night checking the Flavian coins for sale on different sites. I deliberately check the attributions. Looks like it paid off this time. This coin was misattributed by the seller. I am so happy that I bought RIC II Part 1. It has more than paid for itself in its usefulness.
Domitian definitely had a thing for Minerva. She dominates the reverses of the denarii of Domitian. However, this is not an ordinary Domitian Minerva. What makes this coin special is the dating. The most amazing part to me is that IMP XVI (on the reverse) was only in production for 4 days between Oct 30 and Nov 2 of 88 CE. " A diploma dated 7 November 88 proves that IMP XVII had already been proclaimed by then..". According to RIC Part II the hoard evidence reveals that there were only 2 of these counted. This coin was minted just after the secular games issue.
This coin is very rare. There are no examples in the British Museum, Paris collection, or Berlin. There is one in the Vienna Kunthistorisches museum and there is one in the coin catalogue of the Grenoble library.
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I am very happy to add this one to my collection. Thanks to a friend and fellow Flavian enthusiast for confirming my attribution. It is very useful to have another pair of eyes you can trust when you suspect a misattribution.
Please forgive the poor photo. This coin is very shiny and thus very difficult to photograph.