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Denarius of Domitian

Steve Smith said his wife (Jill) had unearthed this coin during a club dig. It was given a quick soak in water but is otherwise in its ‘as found’ condition.

The coin is a denarius of Domitian, who was the second son of Vespasian. When Vespasian died in AD 79 his elder son, Titus, became emperor. Titus died in AD 81and was succeeded by Domitian, who was emperor until his death in AD 96.

On the obverse is the laureate head of Domitian facing right and a legend reading IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIIII. On the reverse the standing figure of Minerva holds a spear and the legend on this side reads IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P. The type was struck at Rome during AD 90. In volume I of David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values the denarius listed as number 2734 is almost the same but on that coin Minerva is advancing to the right instead of standing still.


The obverse of Jill’s find would grade VF but the reverse isn’t quite as good. On both sides the surface is good, leaving the appearance of this coin looking as if it had never been in the ground. All in all it has good eye appeal and to a keen collector it should be worth around £120.

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