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A Domitian denarius with an interesting reverse

Domitian; 81-96 AD, Rome, 88 AD, Denarius, 3.18g.


Rev: CENS - P P P across field, Minerva standing l. holding spear and placing l. hand on hip.

RIC-569 (R), pl. 127 (same rev. die).

Ex Curtis L. Clay Collection. Rare with short reverse legend placed horizontally across field..

Ex Harlan Berk Bid or Buy sale #224 Lot # 187

I htink this coin has a great obverse portrait, but it is the reverse that I find more interesting. Note that the legend is across the filed rather than aroung the circumference of the coin. That makes this coin rare as well as interesting. Also, if we go back to the obverse, we'notice a rare obverse legend. Most Domitian denarii have GERM in the legend. A few very rare denarii have GERMAN in the legend. (I have one of these already posted as RIC 573.) This con uses GERMANIC in the obverse legend. The use of this legend is also very rare.

The coin is also interesting because it is another that I was able to add from the Curtis Clay collection. Coins like this with the unusual obverse legend and the same unusual reverse type, do come up for auction but they are not inexpensive. One reason for this is because the vast majority of the reverses on Domitian's denarii are dominated by 4 types of Minerva. Some think Domitian's denarii are boring as a result. On the contrary, I find them fascinating for the many small variations evident on these coins.



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