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Domitian AR Denarius 81 CE (Group 3) RIC 26

Domitian AR Denarius 81 CE (Group 3)

(18mm 3.29g)

Obv: Laureate head right; IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PM

Rev: Dolphin wrapped around anchor; COS VII DES VIII

RIC 26 (R); BMC page 300 +; RSC 63

Solidus Numismatik

February 23, 2021

This stunning coin is another rare group 3 Denarius for Domitian's first year as Augustus. However rare or not, they catching appearance of this coin a real attention grabber. Yes, the toning you see is on the coin.There is plenty of iridescence on this coin as I hope you can see. Look directly above Domitian's head for an example.


This portrait is incredible in 2 ways. First the talent needed to create such a masterful portrait is extreme. However, the portrait is also important because it is an early one. This portrait is probably versitic because of the depiction of that very Flavian nose. Also the beard is visible. This is important because the beard is often missing on the denarii. Most if not all of the denarii of Domitian would have started out with a beard. Take a look through my previous posts and you will see that there is a great variety of portrait types for Domitian from his first year as Augustus.


The reverse of this coin is also impressive.The dolphin is rendered in fine style. There is a sinuous flow to the depiction of the dolphin that is very aesthetically pleasing. If you like what you see here you could find one for yourself. I would caution you however that these group 3 denarii are quite elusive. When they do appear for sale there is some competition for them from Flavian collectors who are always looking to add pieces like this one to their collections.