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Titus as Caesar AR Denarius 77-78 CE

TITUS, as Caesar AD 69-79 AR Denarius.

Rome mint, AD 77-78

(19.1 mm 3.07g)

RIC 949; BMC 222, RSC 66s

Obv: laureate head right; T CAESAR IMP VESPASIANVS

Rev : Mars standing left holding spear and trophy, large wheat ear behind him; COS VI

I love this portrait of Titus because he looks so much like his father. The wrinkles on the brow are very cool and the nose is o obviously Flavian. While this coin is listed as common in RIC, I have not fond it to be common at all. Is it possible that it is over represented in major museum collections and that this has skewed the rarity rating?

The mars standing reverse is common for Titus and Vespasian and these coins are generally ver abundant in the market. However, there are instances where these coins are not common at all and this coin is an example of that. Take a loo to the right of Mars on the exergual line. You should see a grain ear there. The mars standing reverse with grain ear also exists for Vespasian. Why is there a grain ear on some but not others. Clearly this had to be deliberate but why? RIC clearly separates these coin into separate types as if there was a deliberate decision made to mint these coins with and without grain ear.

So if you are looking for one of these make sure to check for the grain ear. It be be fun I think to collect both types Titus and Vespasian. For Vespasian, both types exist for both right and left facing busts. So far, only the right facing bust has been found for Titus. I wonder if these types also had a left facing bust for Titus.


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