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Domitian AR Denarius 88 CE RIC 597

Domitian, as Augustus (AD 81-96). AR denarius

(19mm, 3.54 gm, 6h). NGC VF 5/5 - 4/5.

Rome, 3rd issue, AD 88.

Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIII, laureate head of Domitian left

Rev: COS XIIII-LVD SAEC / FEC, herald advancing left, wearing feathered cap, wand outward in right hand, round shield in left.

RIC II.1 597. Extremely rare with left facing portrait.

Ex: Harlan Berk Vcoins 2005 cc50283. This coin was sold to Phil Peck in May 2007. Morris collection is the Heritage Auctions name for the Phil Peck collection.

2020 January 26 Ancient Coin Selections from the Morris Collection, Part III World Coins Monthly Online Auction #61151 Lot #97225.

This is a very special coin. First it is a very rare left facing denarius for Domitian. His left facing portraits are not rare in the bronze coinage but are extremely rare in the denarii. I have never heard a convincing argument as to why. Another reason this coin is special is because it is a secular games issue. So this coin is highly sought after for the above reasons.


There is a third reason why this coin is special. Actually in this case make it extra special. This coin is the RIC plate coin. I did not discover this until an hour after I won the coin in an auction. I was flabbergasted and reached out to a couple of experts to confirm. It took a day os so but they both agreed with what I had expected. RIC plate coins are usually from museum collections though they also sample from private collections. Finding a RIC plate coin is a rare occasion indeed. I consider it a privilege to own such a coin.


Since I bought this coin another one has come to market. I believe that there are 5-6 examples known. I also happen to really like the look of this coin. The lovely portrait is an example of the exceptional work of the engravers working between 84-88 CE. There are some fantastic portraits of Domitian on the denarii in these years.

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