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Denarius of Hadrian

This coin is number four from the group of seven denarii that came in from Robin Dones. It is a fairly early coin from the reign of Hadrian, who was emperor from AD 117 to 138 and is well known in Great Britain because of the wall he had built in northern England to keep out raiders.

On the obverse the laureate bust of Hadrian has drapery on one shoulder and the surrounding legend reads IMP CAESAR TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG. The seated figure of Salus on the reverse holds out a patera to a snake rising up from an altar; the legend on this side reads P M TR P COS III. David Sear, in volume II of Roman Coins and Their Values, lists the type as number 3525 and dates it to AD 120.

A slightly later but very similar type (Sear number 3539) has SAL AVG in the exergue below the seated figure of Salus. The earlier type seems to be scarcer than the later one.


The surfaces look to be a bit rough but the obverse would grade VF; the reverse isn’t as sharp and would grade about VF. In its present condition this denarius shouldn’t be worth any less than £90 to a keen collector.

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