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Augustus Denarius 13-14 CE

Octavian as Augustus, 27 BC – 14 AD Denarius

Lugdunum circa 13-14,

18mm., 3.56g.

Obv: Laureate head r.

Rev. Tiberius in triumphal quadriga r., holding laurel branch and eagle-tipped sceptre.

RSC 301. RIC 224.

Ex: Naville Numismatics Live auction 50 Lot 439 June 23, 2019

When I saw this come up for sale at auction i knew I wanted it. I have wanted one of these for a while. Why? It so happens i own a Tiberius denarius with the quadriga reverse. As soon as I realized one existed for Augustus I knew I had to have it. The reverse on the Augustus coin shows Tiberius as Caesar in the quadriga. Denarii featuring Tiberius are very scarce except for the ubiquitous 'Tribute Penny'. The other few types are very hard to track down. There is much competition for them. I do not blame people for this. While I do have a 'Tribute Penny' I almost did not buy one because of all the hype surrounding them. Add to this that they are far more expensive than they should be given their availability in the market.

Anyway, there is another interesting fact about this coin, it was misattributed. The auction house claims that this was RIC 222 rated R for rare. Take a look at the horses on the reverse. On RIC 222 all the horses are looking in the same direction. On this coin 2 of the horses are looking forward and 2 are looking backwards. That fact makes this coin RIC 224 (R 2) and quite rare.

Another feature I like is the really nice portrait on the obverse. There is some variation in Augustus portraits on his denarii and this one is a nicer looking example in my opinion.

If you want one of these do not forget to check which way the horses are facing. You should also be aware that the quadriga denarii of Tiberius also have variations in the direction the horses are facing.

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