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A Super Rare Domitian Aegis Portrait Denarius

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I was very thrilled to have recently acquired this possibly second known Domitian denarius from 95/96 AD sporting an aegis portrait!


AR Denarius, 3.44g
Rome mint, 95-96 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XV; Bust of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r., with aegis
Rev: IMP XXII COS XVII CENS P P P; Minerva stg. l., with thunderbolt and spear, shield at her l. side (M3)
RIC 789A (R3). BMC -. RSC -. BNC -.
Ex JLB Coins, eBay, 7 February 2024. Formerly in NGC holder # 4184475-010, Ch VF.

A second known example of the M3 Minerva type from the 95-96 denarius issue with aegis portrait. Domitian's aegis portraits on denarii were more commonly struck in 84 and 85, sparingly so afterwards. The Rome mint was experimenting with new reverse designs and portrait types for the denarius issues during the last year of the reign. Perhaps the reintroduction of the aegis may have been part of this new programme? Of course we shall never know - Domitian's assassination in September 96 cut short any experimentation with his coinage. This rare variant only came to light recently and has been added to the RIC II.1 Addenda as RIC 789A.

In hand.


Thank you for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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Always fun to see your Flavian rarities, @David Atherton, congrats on this latest one.  The video really shows the coin well - great condition and super rare!  Here's a common coin of 28 year old Domitian from the end of Vespasian's reign, in the year of the eruption of Vesuvius.  Vesuvius erupted in October, the month of Domitian's birthday.


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