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Vespasian AR Denarius

Vespasian AR Denarius. Uncertain mint. 69-70 CE

(17.5mm 3.3g 7h)

Obv: Head laureate right, globe at neck truncation; IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG

Rev: Titus and Domitian on curule chair; both holding Laurel branches; TITVS ET DOMITIANVS PRIN IV

RIC: 1363A (Not in current RIC) One of 3 known examples

Purchased from CGB.fr on August 21 2020.

Coin depicted on the Wildwinds.com database


For me the first thing that stands out is the very unusual portrait. Right away we know this was n to struck in Rome. It was struck in 69-70 CE and RIC tells us that it was struck in an uncertain western mint. When I first saw the coin I immediately thought of Spain as the possible mint. While it does not look like it was struck in Tarraco, I still think a Spanish mint is probable.


While the portrait is certainly very interesting and real departure from the mint of Rome, I love the reverser. I have put together a small sub collection of the Flavian dynastic issues. You can see representations of both Titis and Domitian sitting on a curule chair.


At first glance this coin looks like RIC 1363, However, this coin is slightly different that that example. If you look carefully you can see the remains of a globe beneath the neck truncation. What that means in terms of cataloguing is that this coin is unlisted in RIC. In fact it is missing from all major references. When I purchase this coin there were only 2 known-mine and one owned by a friend of mine. Since that time one more has emerged.


I love this coin because I love the portrait, the amazing reverse , and the rarity of the piece. This one, as is true of many of my Flavian coins , was misattributed. As I have said in other posts, it is important to check the references when you are on the hunt for one these. Maybe you too will find a true treasure. A friend of mine put it more succinctly. He said to never accept the seller's attribution at face value and always check the references. Thanks to him I have been able to acquire sever