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Denarius of Septimius Severus

This coin was unearthed by a detectorist who preferred to remain anonymous. It’s a Roman denarius and not many come in better condition than this one.

John’s find is a coin of Septimius Severus, whose dates are AD 193 to 211. He was an outstanding soldier and a well-liked emperor and eventually died at York on 4 February 211.

On the obverse of this denarius is the laureate head of Severus and a legend reading L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX. On the reverse Severus is depicted sacrificing over an altar and the legend on this side reads VOTIS DECENNALIBVS. Both of the dies used to strike this coin are of the best quality.

In volume II of David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values this coin is listed as number 6395. The type was struck at Laodicea in AD 198. Sear mentions that it must record the undertaking of vows for ten years at the close of the first half decade of the reign.


In some reference works the type is described as being only scarce, in others it is said to be rare. In my experience it is certainly rare. The surfaces are a bit discoloured but the coin is otherwise in about EF condition. If I was cataloguing it for sale at auction I would set the pre-sale estimate at £250 – £300.

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