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​😯​An Unexpected "Bucket-list" coin!


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Like many collectors, I have a loose mental list of specific coin types I would like to obtain sometime - kind of a lifetime coin wish-list. Each coin on the list represents a very significant purchase - e.g., a lifetime Julius Caesar portrait denarius, maybe an aureus sometime - expensive enough to require many months, maybe years of saving.

One coin type on this list is the famous "Judaea Capta" type minted under the Flavians. The history in these coins is absolutely fascinating to me - the imagery as powerful today as it was back then. Fortunately, they are not rare. Unfortunately, the demand is very high!

I did own a Judaea Capta denarius a little while ago - the classic coin, struck under Vespasian, with his portrait on the obverse, and mourning Judaea seated under arms and armor with "IVDAEA" in exergue on the reverse. But the coin was in not in the best shape, and I ended up selling it.

The problem for me was that I didn't want just any IVDAEA CAPTA coin; I had some specific preferences:

1. I wanted an Imperial, not a Provincial coin. Although I would love a Caesarea Maritime mint issue, and the local provincial coins have their own unique appeal, I prefer the artistry of the Imperial mints.

2. I wanted a bronze coin, either sestertius or as - I prefer those reverse designs, larger and more detailed, with the full "IVDAEA CAPTA" over those of the typical denarii such as I previously owned.

3. I wanted one with an obverse portrait of Titus, as he was the general in command there in Judaea and was largely responsible for conducting and concluding the war.

Unfortunately, there is a price for being picky, and in this case it was many hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And after purchasing a very nice (and for me, expensive!) denarius of Augustus several months ago - see this topic - I wasn't planning on making any significant purchases for quite some time.

HOWEVER...when I saw this coin come up for sale at a bookmarked dealer's, I most certainly could not refuse! Yes, it is worn; but - it offers a quite decent portrait of Titus and full obverse inscriptions, and the most important elements of the reverse design are still clearly discernible - the palm tree, the mourning captive, and, importantly, the inscription - IVDAEA CAPTA - is very nearly complete. There is even a hint of the pile of arms behind the tree. Additionally, the coin's surfaces are smooth, and it features an appealing patina.

The clincher, of course, was that the price was more than fair in my opinion, and I did not hesitate. Realistically, it's probably about the best such coin I could reasonably afford, and despite the wear I am delighted to be able to add it to my collection!

And here is the coin -

titus_judaea_capta.jpg.855475e072f53f0532f763292fdbd70a.jpg

 

And...though it's an old purchase and certainly not on the same level as the above, I offer an example from the other side in that bitter conflict:

 

jewish_war_prutah.jpg.2f25df53ef54bcdf25b256a3629725a8.jpg

 

Thanks for looking! And please, post your own "IVDAEA CAPTA" coins, coins related to the Jewish War, your own "bucket-list" coins, or anything else you think is relevant! 

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Nice pickup! It's always gratifying to find a great deal on a coin you've desperately wanted.

I just bought a coin near the top of my list yesterday for far less than I had expected, but that will need to be a separate post...

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Great addition, it's a very interesting type! And adding a bucket list coin to the collection brings a lot of joy. 

Coin-cidentally (😉) I received a bucket list coin yesterday, and with the same theme: IVDAEA CAPTA! I am very excited to have finally added the type to my collection. It's now in a bath of DW just to be sure, and I'll post it in due time in its own topic, which it deserves. 

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