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An Unpublished Vespasian

David Atherton

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Well, I've been on a roll this year stumbling across coin types or varieties that previously have not been published. My latest is a new variety of an extremely rare Vespasian Ephesian bronze. A truly remarkable coin!




Æ19, 4.09g
Ephesus (?) mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVGVST; Head of Vespasian, laureate, l.
Rev: PON MAX TR P P P COS VIII CENS; S C low in field; Caduceus, winged, between crossed cornucopiae
RIC 1508A (R3). BMC -. BNC -. RPC -.
Acquired from Numidas, April 2023.

Late in Vespasian's reign a rare series of orichalcum bronze coins were struck in Asia Minor at an unknown mint. Although imperial in appearance, the style, weight system, and metal used all point to a mint other than Rome. Due to their extreme rarity today, they could not have been struck for any great length of time (the date cannot be narrowed down any further than Vespasian's COS VIII, 77-78 AD). The types consist of ones variously copied from either Rome or local provincial issues. A stylistic similarity with the earlier 'o' mint denarii possibly struck at Ephesus has been noted by both RIC and RPC. Here we have an unpublished and unique left facing portrait variety of the crossed cornucopiae with caduceus type. RIC II.1 co-author Ian Carradice was alerted to this new discovery and has assigned it as 1508A in the Addenda Corrigenda.

Looks better in hand.



As always, thank you for looking/watching!

Edited by David Atherton
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Congrats, David.

For all: Every volume of KOINON: The International Journal of Classical Numismatic Studies includes a “Catalogue of New Varieties.” General editor Nick Molinari always welcomes submissions for the next volume. It’s a nice way to get such coins published in a serious journal. 

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