TITUS Æ Sestertius, 22.71g Rome mint, 79 AD Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESP AVG P M TR P COS VII; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r. Rev: VESTA in exergue; S C in field; Vesta std. l., with palladium and sceptre RIC 66 (R2). BMC -. BNC 146. Acquired from Marti Numismatics, September 2021. The coins from Titus's first bronze issue as emperor are so rare that many are known from only one or two examples. This Vesta type struck for the sestertius is no exception. In the new RIC II catalogue the only specimen known to the authors is footnoted with the following caveat: 'Paris 146 has evidence of re-engraving to the date, so the entry requires confirmation.' Since RIC's publication two others have shown up in trade that indeed clearly verify the reading of COS VII, thus confirming the existence of the type for the first bronze issue. The first new specimen turned up in Bertolami 29 in 2017 and the second is the present coin, both are unsurprisingly reverse die matches with the Paris specimen. Vesta frequently appears on the bronze coinage with her message of religious piety and security. Her main attribute here is the palladium - a wooden cult image of Pallas Athena which oversees the safety and well being of Rome. Ironically, not long after this coin was struck Mount Vesuvius erupted, a fire broke out in Rome, and a plague befell the city. Perhaps Titus's moneyer's should have struck more of the type? Feel free to share your Vesta coins, or indeed any that verified the existence of a rare type!