Denarius of Julia Domna

Roger Paul said he doesn’t unearth many Roman denarii so the example pictured here was a welcome find. However, when he checked it out it looked to be debased and the weight (2.05 grams) was too low for a denarius.

On the obverse is a legend reading JVLIA AVGVSTA, so this is a coin of Julia Domna. Seated on the reverse is Pudicitia, with one hand on her chest and the other holding a sceptre; the legend on this side reads PVDICITIA.

In volume II of David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values this denarius is listed as number 6603. The type was struck at Rome during AD 211.

The weight of denarii does vary and I’ve seen specimens of this period offered for sale by reputable dealers that were slightly less than 2 grams in weight. Therefore, Roger’s find could be perfectly genuine. That it looks to be debased could be due to the soil condition it has been in for not far short of two thousand years.

Valuation

The obverse has a nice bust of Julia Domna but the latter part of the legend is weak; the reverse, too, is weak in places. It isn’t a scarce type but is a decent looking coin, which in its present condition should be worth around £30.

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