When I first received my copy of BMCRE II in 2003 I noticed a rare, early military coinage struck for Vespasian at an unknown mint. It intrigued me. The types and style were unlike anything else in Vespasian's numismatic canon. One type in particular, Vespasian on horseback, seamlessly combined the elements of both propaganda and the military. I desperately wanted one. Patiently I waited. 15 years later my chance came when a specimen was recently offered at auction. No expense was spared! It became mine and arrived over the weekend. Vespasian AR Denarius, 3.60g Uncertain mint, 69-71 AD RIC 1368 (R2). BMC 419. RSC 221. Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r. Rev: IMPER below; Vespasian riding l., r. hand raised Ex künker 304, 19 March 2018, lot 1085. In late October of 69 the Second Battle of Cremona was fought between the legions of Vitellius and Vespasian. It resulted in the utter defeat of the Vitellian side and their slow retreat towards Rome. Not long afterwards the Spanish legions went openly for Vespasian, which up until that point had only been neutrally friendly toward him. Coins were quickly struck for Vespasian in the newly won province. Most of these are attributed to Tarraco and an unknown Spanish mint. Intriguingly, a small military issue was contemporaneously struck at an uncertain mint somewhere in the western empire - Mattingly thought perhaps Aquileia. The issue contains some stylistic affinities with the Spanish series, but more importantly, recent metal analysis by K. Butcher and M. Ponting show the silver content is almost identical to that of the Spanish coins. It is very likely these early military denarii were also struck in Spain in late 69 soon after the province went over to Vespasian. Here we have an extremely rare denarius from that uncertain military issue showing Vespasian in military dress riding left in the act of addressing his troops. Clearly, this is a propaganda type that was produced to help consolidate the legions in a newly won province. The type occurs no where else and is unique to the series. The high relief portrait bears no resemblance to Vespasian, which is further evidence of the coin's early mintage. It will be extremely hard to top this coin in my year end 'best of' list!