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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.

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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