A very rare denarius of Vespasian

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Orfew, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    While my last thread featured a coin that could reasonably called relatively common, this one is an entirely different case. Yes, this coin was misattributed as well.

    While there are some common coins for Ephesus, there are a great number more rarities in that series. I guess one could claim that common coins are rare for Ephesus LOL. This coin is one of the rarities. When I saw this coin pop up on Vcoins I had to do a double take. When I read the obverse legend I could not believe my eyes. The seller had attributed this coin as RIC 1428. Now, 1428 (of which I already had an example) has COS III in the obverse legend. This one has COS IIII. The fourth 'I' is hard to see but it is there. This is a very easy mistake to make. In fact I have made a very similar mistake with an Ephesian denarius in the last week or 2. To be fair there is another identifying mark on this coin which has been worn off-a star. Which means this is a very rare Group 7 Ephesian denarius. There are only 3 groups of these denarii that feature a Star. Group 7 features a star and has COS IIII, Group 8 has a start is COS V and therefore could not be my coin, and Group 9 that features a Star and an Annulet or ring and is also COS V for Vespasian. So if it has COS IIII and a Star the only choice among the existent groups is Group 7. If this sounds like an easy process it wasn't. My copy of RIC told me that the COS III reading only existed for coins 1423-1434.
    it could not be 1423-1426 because there is no CONCORDIA type among those. ( of course it is possible that a CONCORDIA type was previously unrecorded. Unlikely, but stranger things have happened with these Ephesian denarii). So that left 1427-1434.There is a CONCORDIA type here and it is ...you guessed it 1428 (the attribution given by the seller). I did not see the ligate EPHE in the exergue on the reverse. I thought that perhaps it had been worn off. I put it in my cart. Not long after I got a message from @David Atherton that a very rare V1453 had shown up on Vcoins. Well, that was the confirmation I needed. I immediately bought the coin.
    Thank to David for contacting me about this coin.

    A last word about the rarity of Group 7 denarii. This one is actually more common than the other 2 in the group. Those 2 are both R3 (one example known).

    Please post your rarities or your coins of Vespasian.

    V1453-removebg-preview copy.jpg

    Vespasian AR Denarius Late 73 CE Ephesus (Group 7)
    (18mm 3.3g)
    Obv: Laureate head right; IMP CAESAR VESPAS AVG COS IIII TR P P P
    Rev: Ceres seated left, on ornate backed chair, with corn-ears and poppy in left hand, cornucopiae in right; Star in exergue (worn off on this example) CONCORDIA AVG
    RIC 1453 (R2) BMC--, RSC—
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
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  3. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    Nice catch, or better: Orfew strikes again! :)

    I wont bother you by posting one of my three coins of Vespasian, again... I don't have that many types to keep it varied.

    Minor detail (or not!): your description mentions COS III, and not COS IIII :)
    +VGO.DVCKS and Orfew like this.
  4. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Nope, there are misspellings, Before and After which, there are typos. Keyboards (starting with the digital kind) have a way of being an uninvited barrier between what you could write in ink, and what goes out there on the internets. (Sic!) And in most cases, never mind this one, spellcheck is a useless redundancy. (...How many algorhythms do you know that are more literate than you are?)
    Orfew likes this.
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting coin, @Orfew, and it's always a thrill to find an unappreciated rarity at a good price.

    I have a similar unappreciated rarity to share, too, and it even has a Concordia seated reverse type! But it hasn't yet arrived in the mail. I hope to post it for Faustina Friday.
    +VGO.DVCKS and Orfew like this.
  7. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Nice Denarius, @Orfew ... congrats on the tough find!
    Orfew likes this.
  8. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    The coin arrived and it is yet another lovely coin. Here is an updated photo. Enlarge the photo. You will see the trace of the second 'I' after COS on the obverse. This is followed by 2 more 'I's.
    Limes, Bing, octavius and 4 others like this.
  9. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    While not rare at all, it is a recent acquisition. I fell for the portrait.


    Vespasian AD 69-79. Æ Sestertius (34mm, 27.98 g.)
    Rome mint, struck AD 71.
    Obv. Laureate head right.
    Rev. Mars advancing right, holding spear and trophy.
    RIC II 247.
    Choice good VF,
    Dark green patina, reddish-brown patches.
    Boldly truck on an impressive well centered broad flan.
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