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Domitian AR Denarius 85 CE (Fourth Issue)

Domitian AR Denarius

(20.5 mm 3.22 g)

Obv: Laureate head r, IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM PM TR P IIII

Rev: Minerva stg r on capital of rostral column, with spear and shield; to r owl

IMP VIIII COS XI CENS POT P P

RIC 333; BMC 78(cross symbol), Cohen 180

Purchased from Phillipe Saive Numimatique March 15, 2019

This coin marks debasement in the fineness of Domitian's coinage. The previous 2 issues of 85 CE with the legends CENSORIA POTESTATE and CENS POTES are very rare and mark the end the the near 100% fineness of the silver denarii. This coin, RIC 333, is the first issue that returns the fineness to the post reform Neronian standards.

I wanted this for the legend variation. Most Minerva reverses have CENS P PP in the legend. The fact that this one does not is part of what attracted me to the coin. Of course the other factor was the appearance of the coin. This photo does not do the coin justice. It is struck on a large flan and there is actually very little wear to the coin. The outstanding feature for me is the portrait. Of course this is a rare coin and that also added to the allure. It is hard to tell from the photo but this coin has a lovely grey toning on both the obverse and the reverse.

I am very pleased that I could add this one to my collection.

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