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Vespasian AR Denarius 79 CE

Vespasian AR Denarius 79 CE

Obv: Head Laureate left; IMP CAESAR VESPASIANUS AVG

Rev: Statue of radiate male figure with spear and parazonium on rostral column; TR POT X Cos VIIII

Ric 1066; BMC 253; RSC 560

In the case of this coin, both the left and right facing types are considered rare. This type was also struck for Titus. The right facing types for Titus are common while the left facing counterparts are rare. The exception is RIC 10 which is a right facing type but is rare.

I really like the reverse type with the radiate male figure on a a column adorned with rostra. I know the condition is not the best, but these are not that easy to find. When they are found they tend to be a popular type because of the reverse. Also, of course, some collectors like to focus on left facing denarii. In general these tend to be more rare for the Flavians than the right facing varieties. While it is possible to find a number of left facing examples on the market for Titus and Vespasian, those for Domitian are exceptionally rare. I have never heard a satisfactory explanation for this.

This coin above also has an attractive portrait. One thing I like about the Vespasian portraits is that many of them are instantly recognizable as portraits of Vespasian. To say that the portraits are distinctive is I think an understatement.

I would love to find a companion piece for this one. I am on the lookout for the left backing Titus version of the above type.

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