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Denarius of Domitian

Edward J Burns told me that this coin was found on Sunday 25 September. It’s a Roman denarius, which until last Sunday would have been in the ground for not far short of two thousand years.

It’s a coin of Domitian, whose dates are AD 81 to 96. On the obverse is a laureate head of the emperor and a legend that reads IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P (there is an indeterminate mark after the P). On the reverse the standing figure of Minerva holds a shield and a spear and the legend on this side reads IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P.

In volume I of David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values this denarius is nearest to number 2734 but the end of the obverse legend is different. In places the lettering on both sides is not altogether clear, so it is difficult to be absolutely certain of the exact type.

There are scratches on both sides, more on the obverse than on the reverse, and the figure of Minerva is a bit weak. In terms of circulation wear it would grade about VF but its overall appearance is marred by the scratches.


It’s not a particularly scarce coin but neither is it as common as many of the other denarii found by detectorists. In its present state of preservation my price range would be £50 to £70.

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