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Sestertius of Trajan

This is the second Roman coin to come in this week from Rob Warwick. The first was a denarius but this is a much larger and is a sestertius.

The coin was struck for Trajan, whose dates are AD 98 to 117. On the obverse the legend is partly weak but if the whole of it was visible then it would read IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR COS V P P.

On the reverse the figure of Spes faces left (flanked by S C) whilst holding a flower and lifting her skirt. Only CIPI can be seen at the end of the legend and this would be preceded by S P Q R OPTIMO PRIN.

In volume I of David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values this type of sestertius is listed as number 3200. It was struck at Rome during AD 107.


On the obverse the laureate bust of Trajan is in quite exceptional condition. It stands out well and has minimal signs of circulation.

Unfortunately, the reverse isn’t as good. The figure of Spes is reasonably sharp but the surface on this side is rough and pitted and most of the legend has been lost. Had the reverse been as good as the obverse I’d have said much more but as it stands my highest price range would be £80-100.

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