Vespasian Æ Sestertius, 24.02g Rome mint, 71 AD Obv: IMP CAES VESPAS AVG P M TR P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r. Rev: SALVS AVGVSTA; S C in exergue; Salus std. l. with patera and sceptre RIC 245 (C2). BMC 574. BNC 533. Acquired from Golden Rule Enterprises Coins, February 2020. A fairly common sestertius Salus type from the great bronze issue of 71. According to Mattingly in BMCRE II this Salus type may perhaps represents 'the salvation conferred by the imperial system', presumably after the upheavals of the Civil War. Salus here symbolises the health and welfare of the Roman state, not the person of the emperor himself. The die engraves working on Vespasian's early bronze issues were an extremely talented bunch. They were likely the same engravers that had produced many of the suberb dies recently under Nero and Galba. Some of Vespasian's best numismatic portraits come from this early period of the reign. C. H. V. Sutherland in his masterful Roman Coins waxes eloquently over them: 'Vespasian's aes, however, and not merely the sestertii, developed a full magnificence of portraiture. Again the heads were large, even massive, and normally in high relief, giving a strong impression of the purely profile view of sculpture in the round. And, because of the larger scale which this aes permitted, a wealth of detail could be achieved: close-cut hair, finely wrinkled brow, a minutely rendered profile eye, and all the jowls and neck-folds of an old man. The beauty of the work lay in its realism, strong in authority and yet delicate in its execution; and it was the technical delicacy to strength of conception that Vespasian's coinage clearly excelled over that of Galba.' I think this coin exhibits exactly what Sutherland was talking about. Please post your superb portraits! NB: Interestingly, the coin arrived wrapped up in a most peculiar box.