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Domitian AR Denarius 81 CE

Domitian AR Denarius (81 CE) (Group 4)

(18.03mm 3.08g) Obv: Laureate head left; IMP CAES DIVI VESP F DOMITIAN AVG PM Rev: Tripod with fillets, Dolphin above; TR P COS VII DES VIII PP RIC 75 (R2) BMC Note p. 302 RSC 568d Purchased from Monetarium on MA-Shops December 6th 2019


Now this is a coin one does not see. At the time of this post there are about 7-8 known. The reason for the ratify is the left facing portrait. While left facing portraits are definitely common on the bronze issues they are very rare on denarii. I have never heard a satisfactory explanation for this. Needless to say, if you want one of left facing portraits you would need to grab it as soon as you see it. Those who collect the coins of Domitian are very aware of how rare these are and will mount quite a competition in attempting to land one.


The portrait on this coin is quite bizarre. I have not seen any other denarii types with this strange likeness. Thing is you better like this portrait if you want one of these because all of the examples I have seen are a die match to this coin.


This coin has a lot to offer. This includes the strange portrait, the full legends on both sides and some honest wear. If you would like to have a coin such as this you would need to grab it as soon as you see it.The left facing portraits on Domitian denarii are so rare that there is much competition for them when they do appear. It is worth it to search the inventory of out the way or unusual sources. For example, sometimes antiques dealers have a small selection of ancient coins.

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