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Domitian AR Denarius 85 CE (Sixth issue) RIC 393

Domitian AR Denarius 88 CE (Sixth issue)

(3.49g)

Obv: Laureate head right; IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM PM TR P IIII

Rev: Minerva standing left with spear; IMP XI COS XI CENS PP P

RIC 393; BMC 87; RSC 189

Ex: Calgary coin

Ex: Savuto collection


This coin is the first from the sixth issue of 85 CE that I have seen available in the last several years. Rarity aside, this coin is very special because of the amazing portrait. It is generally accepted that the best portraits on Domitian’s denarii were struck between 84-88 CE. This one is certainly no exception. I would have to check but I do not remember seeing another portrait on these denarii by this engraver. I do have examples of Domitian denarii that were executed by the same engraver.


I will pick up the denarii from 85 CE whenever I can. However, before you go looking for one I would caution that a friend was looking for one for 1.5 years before he was able to purchase one. First, they are rare coins. Secondly, the quality of the portraits ranges from very good to amazing. Also, collectors of Domitian’s denarii are always looking for coins from this year of issue. Therefore, when these coins appear there is sometimes quite a bit of competition for them. Even those who do not specialize in Domitian may want one because of the excellent portraits.


This is my first Domitian denarius from the sixth issue. I hope to add the others someday, but it might take a while to find another. Thanks go to my friend Jay for agreeing to part with this coin so I could make it a part of my collection.