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Denarius of Domitian

Pictured here is a Roman denarius of Domitian, who was emperor from 81 to 96 AD. Mike Ruczynski sent in the images but it was John, his brother, who found the coin. I was told that John had travelled nine miles on his bicycle in order to have a few hours detecting. That’s what I call dedication, for when John packed it in for the day he would have to cycle another nine miles to get home.

On both sides the lettering isn’t altogether clear but I will give the most likely reading. This denarius has on the obverse the laureate head of Domitian facing right and a legend that reads IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VI. On the reverse is the standing figure of Minerva, who holds a shield and a spear, advances to the right and is accompanied by an IMP XVII COS XVI CENS P P P legend. There is an owl near the feet of Minerva.

Several different varieties of this denarius are on record. This one is not in volume I of David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values.


John’s find would grade about VF but, as already mentioned, the legends are not fully legible and I cannot guarantee that my readings are correct. In terms of value, it’s a decent looking coin but the lack of a reference to a definite variety is a minus point, so my best price range would be £70 to £90.

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