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Vespasian AR Denarius 69-70 CE

Vespasian 69-70 CE AR Denarius Ephesus

(17mm 3.15g)

Obv: Laureate head right; IMP CAES VESPAS AVG

Rev: AVG and symbol in Oak wreath

RIC 1399; BMC 434; RSC 37

Purchased from Musa Numismatics June 24, 2020

Yes I know the reverse has a gouge across the top and yes I still wanted it. Though not exceptionally rare, these coins of Ephesus have quite a following with collectors and so there is usually great demand for any Ephesian type for the Flavians. I hope the reason I bought this coin is clear from the photo. The obverse portrait is in my opinion a stunning portrayal of Vespasian. Yes the Ephesian denarii have a style all of their own when compared to the Rome mint denarii, but even so this one is exceptional. So much character reflected in the portrait.

I received a nice surprise when I got the coin. For the 30.00 price tag I did not expect to know the provenance of the coin but there was a dealer's tag included. The tag was from a sale conducted by Stephen M Huston. Mr Huston co-wrote a book on the coinage of Constantine and was a well known numismatist. He worked for Victor England before the latter started what we all know now as CNG. I was extremely pleased to see the extra provenance for this coin. For me, knowing who had the coin before adds to the story of the coin. The stories behind the coins fascinate me and keep my interest in numismatics going.

The other nice feature of the coin is the reverse with AVG inside a wreath. Coins with this reverse are not easy to find and when you do find one there are plenty of other collectors who would like it. This is my second denarius of Vespasian with this reverse type. my other example is much rarer than this one and is RIC 1414. It is published earlier in this blog.

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