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Vespasian AR Denarius

Vespasian 69-70 CE AR Denarius Uncertain Spanish mint.

(18 mm 3.10 g,)

Obv: Head laureate left; IMP CAESAR VESPASIANUS AVG

Rev: Victory stg left on globe holding palm; VICTORIA IMP VESPASIANI

RIC 1340 (R); BMC 362; RSC 630

Ex: Zeus Numismatics Budget Auction 9 June 20 2020, Lot 655

Now here an unusual denarius of Vespasian. The portrait is very strange when compared to other early portraits of Vespasian. There are a couple of possibilities with this coin. First, RIC calls the mint "uncertain Spanish mint". Some think that the mint was Taracco. After all, Vespasian's predecessor Vitellius had coins struck there with a similar reverse. Though there is a difference in portrait styles I also think the mint was probably Tarraco.

There are only 2 denarii types with this reverse for Vespasian. Mine (RIC 1340) is one and the other is 1341. The curious thing is that 1341 is the rarer coin even though it has the right facing portrait. In many cases on his denarii the left facing portraits are much rarer.

I very much like the unusual portrait and I love the reverse. Those were enough reasons to chase and capture this coin. I wish the Victory on globe reverse type was used for more Flavian denarii. I find it very artistic and attractive. I suspect part of why I find it so is the exceptional engraving on both sides of this coin.

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