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A Handsome Dupondius

David Atherton

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Admittedly, nothing earth shattering here, just an average Vespasian dupondius with decent style and fabric. I couldn't resist it!





Æ Dupondius, 12.53g
Rome mint, 73 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M T P COS IIII CENS; Head of Vespasian, radiate, l.
Rev: FELICITAS PVBLICA; S C in field; Felicitas stg. l., with caduceus and cornucopiae
RIC 581 (C). BMC 661. BNC 652.
Acquired from CGB.fr, June 2022.

In 73 Vespasian and Titus Caesar held a joint censorship which was duly recorded on the coinage (CENS). The Felicitas on the reverse symbolises the prosperity and abundance Vespasian has brought to the empire after a period of turmoil. It is easily one of the commonest reverse types struck for the dupondius issues during Vespasian's reign.

Please post your handsome, run-of-the-mill coins.

Thanks for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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Very nice David...

Here's a run of the mill Gratian the realistic looking portrait called to me.


Gratian. 375-383 AD. AE Centenionalis (1.59 gm, 20mm). Antioch mint. Struck 378-383 AD.
Obv.: DN GRATIANVS PF AVG, pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right.
Rev.: VIRTVS ROMANORVM, Roma seated facing, head left, holding globe and spear, Θ in left field, Φ in right field. ANTΔ. LRBC 2674; RIC IX Antioch 50b. Slightly double struck, gVF.

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Another common but handsome coin:



Faustina Minor
AR-Denar, Rome, AD 147-150
Obv.: FAVSTINAE AVG PII AVG FIL, Draped bust of Faustina II to right with band of pearls, her hair bound with pearls
Rev.: VENVS, Venus standing left, holding apple in her right hand and rudder set on dolphin, which coils around it
Ag, 3.52g
Ref.: RIC 517a, CRE 233 [C]


In my collection almost all coins have the same rarity: One  example. 😉

Edited by shanxi
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I like it, @David Atherton! An essential part of a specialist collection! Ah, the MB, the middle bronze, second brass, Æ II, "as or dupondius" is the Rodney Dangerfield of Roman numismatics.


They have neither the luster of gold or silver, nor the diameter and heft of a sestertius.

But these quarter-sized coins performed the bulk of commercial transactions in Rome. No collection is complete without them. Here's a handsome but run-of-the-mill MB in my collection.

Faustina I, AD 138-140.
Roman Æ as or dupondius, 13.79 g, 28 mm, 12 h.
Rome, AD 150.
Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: AETERNITAS S C, Aeternitas standing facing, head left, holding phoenix (nimbate right) on globe in right hand and with left hand drawing out fold of skirt.
Refs: RIC 1157; BMCRE 1544-47; Cohen 13; Strack 1261; RCV 4638.

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Nothing special about my new Trajan as, it arrived a few hours ago.

An impulse purchase, I started an auction with it, cheap, with some issues and nothing our of the ordinary, but I like it!



My Trajan dupondius is also unspectacular, but why should have I refused it for 10 EUR? image.png.08c88140cc169ab7b4b3c4dd2345b23a.png


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Similar to the OP and same as @CPK's example, here is my Felicitas dupondius of Vespasian:

302060433_Vespasian-DupondiusFELICITASNov272018(2).JPG.d0fbdb5645c9d725fa5c89b0c6a2c713.JPGVespasian   Æ Dupondius (74 A.D.) Rome Mint  IMP CAES VESP AVG P M T P COS V CENS, radiate head left / FELICITAS PVBLICA S-C, Felicitas standing facing, head left, holding caduceus and cornucopiae. RIC 716; Cohen 152. (10.30 grams / 26 mm) eBay Nov. 27, 2018    

This thread gives me an excuse to post this Flavian dupondius, a purchase from last month - not sure how handsome it is over all, but the portrait is pretty well-rendered I think:

173084984_Domitian-DupondiusMinervaMay2022(0dk).jpg.f27131298c6ade47d7858ffac347c42a.jpgDomitian    Æ Dupondius (82 A.D.) Rome Mint  IMP CAES DIVI VESP F DOMIT[IAN AVG P M], radiate head right / [TR P COS VIIDE]S VIIII P P, S C, Minerva standing left, holding thunderbolt and spear, shield at side. RIC 108; BMCRE 279. (14.24 grams / 26 x 25 mm) eBay May 2022



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But it is only a Sestertius of Philip I

Philip I Ae Sestertius 245-247 AD Obv Bust right laureate draped and cuirassed seen from back Rv Annona standing facing head left holding grain ears and cornucopia. To left modius RIC 168a 19.24 grms 27 mm Photo by W. Hansenphilipsnrs4.jpg.58aa9afef2fd3676f55069e2a231d013.jpg  I probably would not have paid too much attention to this  coin had I not seen it "in the flesh" at an auction. After all it is just a Philip I sestertius with a fairly standard reverse. However having seen it and thinking that the coin had a great strike and a beautiful patina I bid on the coin in an attempt to purchase it. I failed someone wanted it more than me, I was very disappointed but there was hope as the coin reappeared shortly after on a dealer website. They wanted a lot more than I was willing to pay and so after about an eight month hiatus I decided to negotiate. I did mention that I was the underbidder so I got the coin for about what I was willing to pay at the auction. 

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I thought this "run of the mill" when I bought it but very pleasing in my mind.


Titus Caesar, 69-79 Dupondius circa 77-78, AR 29.5mm., 12.32g. Radiate head r. Rev. Felicitas standing l., holding caduceus and cornucopiae. Bastien, Lyon 106. RIC Vespasian 1253.


From the E.E. Clain-Stefanelli Collection

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