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Denarius of Claudius and Agrippina

Bill Wiggins is the finder of this early Imperial period denarius. There was a similar coin on the website a couple of weeks since, which is surprising as the coin is a rather rare type.

On the obverse the laureate head of Claudius is surrounded by a legend that reads TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG GERM P M TRIB POT P P. On the reverse is the draped bust of Agrippina, who is accompanied by a legend reading AGRIPPINAE AVGVSTAE.  In volume I of David Sear’ Roman Coins and Their Values this denarius is listed as number 1886. The type was struck at Lugdunum in AD 51.

The first example that appeared on the website had a greyish flan but was otherwise in exceptional condition. This denarius isn’t as good. As I’m always reminding detectorists, it cannot be stressed too strongly that the main factor in relation to the value of any coin is its state of preservation; whilst there is a ready market for specimens in good condition, the same coins in the lower grades can struggle to attract a buyer, even when catalogue and previous sale prices are heavily discounted.


The obverse on Bill’s coin would grade about VF but there is some encrustation on the top edge. The bust on the reverse would grade slightly better than Fine but there are fine scratches on the surface, a triangular countermark on Agrippina’s neck and a large patch of discolouration at the bottom. The countermark is probably the mark of an ancient banker.

Over the last couple of years two VF specimens have sold at auction for £1,200. Bill’s specimen is not such a high grade and has some defects, so it would not achieve such a high figure. If I was cataloguing it for sale at auction then I would set the presale estimate at £500. However, I could not be certain that it would attract a buyer as present day collectors are far more interested in condition than rarity.

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