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Domitian AR Denarius 81 CE RIC 24

Domitian AR Denarius 81 CE (Group 3)

Obv: Head laureate right; IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG PM

Rev: Curule chair; above wreath; COS VII DES VIII PP

RIC 24 (R2); BMC P. 299; RSC 58a

NGC Cert # 4683673-007; XF

Not in RIC plates

Stacks Bowers The February 2021 World Collectors Choice Online Auction Lot 71061 February 23, 2021

This lustrous masterpiece of a coin is a very early denarius for Domitian as Augustus. It should not come as a surprise to anyone following this blog that I have a soft spot from denarii from this year. I find the coins from 81 CE fascination pieces of history. Take a look at the reverse. This reverse was also used for Titus. In fact most of the reverse types for Domitian in this year were previously employed by Titus. The reverse here depicts a curule chair with a wreath. Some believe that reverses like this one refer to the chairs of the gods (pulvinar) that were at the opening of the colosseum.

This coin was very difficult to capture in a photo because the surfaces are quite reflective. However, I hope you can see how amazing this portrait of Domitian is. I also like that most of the legend on the obverse is mostly on flan. Now take a look at the legend on the reverse.This legend makes this coin a group 3 denarius for Domitian's first year as Augustus. The coins in group 3 are all rare to extremely rare. So if you see a Domitian denarius whose reverse starts with COS VII it is not a bad idea to grab it. Even if you really do not want it, you can always sell it to a grateful collector of Domitian's coinage. Trust me, those who collect the coins of Domitian are always looking for such gems.


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