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A very rare variant

Titus as Caesar (69-79) AR denarius, issued 76. Rome,

(3.28g, 19mm) Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESPASIAN; laureate head right Rev: IOVIS CVSTOS; Jupiter standing left, holding scepter and patera, altar at feet left. RIC 863(R2); BMCRE --; RSC --. From the Severus Alexander collection, acquired from Gitbud & Naumann on VCoins in 2013.

AMCC #3 Lot 198 July 25, 2021

This little gem is almost impossible to find if you are looking for one. This coin has a rare obverse legend variation. The more common legend ends in "VESPASIANVS'. This one uses "VESPASIAN" instead. There are other Titus issues that use this shorter legend and most of those are rare as well. This reverse is also used on coins of Vespasian. Those coins are more common than this one. One interesting note about the denarii of Vespasian and Titus is that when there is a type for Vespasian there is often a corresponding type for Titus. In addition, if there is a right-facing type and a left-facing type for Vespasian, sometimes both portrait orientations are also available for Titus. At the moment, this does not seem to be the case for the above type. However, I would not be surprised if a left-facing denarius of this type for Titus is discovered at some point. The type with the 'VESPASIANVS" legend is RIC 974 and is much more common than RIC 683. The interesting question is that if a left-facing type for Titus appears, whether it will be the "VESPASIANVS" legend or the "VESPASIAN" legend.

Technical issues concerning the cataloguing of these types aside, this really is a wonderful coin in hand. The grey toning is lovely , and the portrait is very interesting. I just might try to find all of the IOVIS CVSTOS denarii for Titus and Vespasian because I find them interesting.

Given the rarity of this type I think that I am very fortunate because this coin is actually my second example of the this type. My new acquisition is an upgrade of the type. You can find the other example on this site in an earlier post.