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Vespasian AR Denarius

Vespasian AR Denarius (69-70 CE) Ephesus

(17.24mm 3.05g)

Obv: Laureate head right; IMP CAES VESPAS AVG

Rev: Ceres std left on ornate high-backed chair, with corn ears and poppy and cornucopiae, mintmark in exergue; CONCORDIA AVG

RIC 1400; RSC 65; BMC 429*; RPC 804 (this coin cited as example #4 on RPC online).

Roman Silver Coins from the Michael Kelly Collection

Ex: Spink Numismatic e-Circular 1 - Part I - Ancient Coins featuring the Michael Kelly and Nomos Brasiliana Collections Lot 214. February 13 2020.


This one I bought for the obviously amazing portrait. Truth is, these portraits on the Ephesian denarii are my favourite portraits of Vespasian. Also the Concordia reverse on this one is pretty nice. If you are looking for something like this, this coin does show up from time to time. It is considered common for an Ephesus struck coin of Vespasian. The denarii of Ephesus are in a completely different style than the issues of Rome. I am always looking to add more of these. I find the portraits far more interesting than those of Rome.


If you read the attribution above you will see that this coin comes from 2 famous collections. I like that but I find knowing who had this one before forges a type of connection. We will only possess these coins temporarily as they will definitely outlast us if left to their own devices. I like to think of who might own this one in the future.


Of course, there is another reason to care about where these coins have come from. With increasing regulation on the sale and import of ancient coins, it is becoming very important to have a trail of ownership that is documented and can be demonstrated if necessary.