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Domitian AR Denarius 81 CE Group 3 RIC 31

Domitian AR Denarius 81 CE (Group 3)

(3.22g)

Obv: Head laureate right; IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PONT

Rev: Draped seat, Semi-circular frame with crescents; COS VII DES VIII PP

RIC 31; BMC 7; RSC 59

Purchased from Munzencontor Kornblum on MA-Shops

The coin is the Best of Type in Forum Ancient Coins Best of Type Gallery.


This special coin was struck in 81 CE, Domitian's first year as Augustus. The portrait is spectacular. You can see some of the blue toning in the hair and in the letters "DOM". There is more iridescence own the coin but it does not show up in the photo.


This is a very rare coin. I know where there are 4-5 other examples and all of them share the same obverse and reverse dies. This conforms the rarity. The amazing state of the coin also makes it rare. However as lovely as this coin is, this was not the reason I purchased the coin. Take a look at the obverse legend. You will see PONT in the legend. The speculation is that the use of PONT was a temporary measure. t is possible that PONT was used by Domitian until he assumed the title PONTIFEX MAXIMUS. All denarii using PONT in the obverse legend are with very rare or extremely rare.


Speaking of legends take a look at the reverse. I like these coins with the shorter reverse legends. What is interesting is that TR P is missing from the coin. I cannot be that TR P had not been assumed by Domitian, because he would have automatically assumed TR P upon his elevation to the purple. The shorter reverse legend make this a group 3 denarius. There are many rare coins in group 3.


One thing to keep in mind if you go looking for one of these, is that many Domitian denarii are misattributed. Also, if you see one-grab it because I can guarantee that there are at least 4-5 Flavian specialists who are ALWAYS looking for these types. I have several other PONT denarii but this is the first I have added in more than 1.5 years. There was a group 2 PONT denarius that sold at auction a couple of months ago for 1500 plus fees.