In my opinion, the Imperial/Provincial cistophori issued after 27 BCE are often at least the equals of Roman Republican or Imperial denarii in style and artistic merit. For a summary, see the entry for "Cistophorus" in John Melville Jones’s Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (London 1990), at pp. 55-56: The Imperial cistophorii can be very expensive, but I finally saw one that I could afford, in a condition that's nowhere near perfect, but good enough to make me very pleased with it! Augustus, AR Cistophoric tetradrachm [ = three denarii], 27-26 BCE, Province of Asia [NW Asia Minor], Mysia, Pergamum[?] Mint. Obv. Bare head right, IMP•CAESAR downwards behind, lituus before / Rev. Capricorn* swimming right with head turned back to left, cornucopiae on its back, AVGVSTVS below; all within a laurel wreath tied in bow at bottom. RIC I Augustus 488 (2nd ed. 1984) [see http://numismatics.org/ocre/id/ric.1(2).aug.488]; RSC I Augustus 16a (3rd ed. 1978) (ill. p. 132); RPC I Online 2208 [see https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/1/2208]; Sear RCV I 1585; Sutherland Group IIIβ, nos 87–98a [see Sutherland, C.H.V., The Cistophori of Augustus (London, 1970)]; BMCRE I Augustus 698; BMCRR II (East) 287. 26 mm., 11.7 g. Purchased Feb. 2022 from Wessex Coins, UK. *Why did Augustus adopt Capricorn as his astrological sign, despite the fact that his birthday was purportedly 23 Sep. 63 BCE? For one theory, see Amelia Carolina Sparavigna (Dipartimento di Scienza Applicata e Tecnologia, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy), Octavian Augustus at Apollonia and the statement of his astrological sign, 2019. ffhal-02267867f, https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02267867 (also available at https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02267867/document#:~:text=As a consequence, Octavian Augustus,was building with his empire) at p. 1: ABSTRACT. The article discusses a possible link between the astrological sign of the Capricorn, that Octavian Augustus chose as his symbol, and the constellation in which the sun was at the beginning of the calendar of Julius Caesar, that is the First January of 45 BC. Augustus may have chosen this constellation as the symbol of the birth of a new age, which Caesar, his adoptive father, had established with the reform of the calendar. The astrological sign was assigned to Octavian when he was in Apollonia, in the same year of the reform, 45 BC. The “magnus gubernator” of the world was born. Under the sign of Capricorn, Octavian Augustus ruled the empire. See also David Wray, “Astrology in Ancient Rome: Poetry, Prophecy and Power” (2001) (available at https://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/1/777777122543/): “If Augustus' military struggle was over after the defeat of Mark Antony, he would never be finished with his ideological campaign to insert a monarchical principle into the still intact political structure of the Roman republic. One of the ways Augustus had been carrying on this ideological campaign was through the symbolism of images on coins and public monuments. Another way he had asserted his claim to sole power had been, remarkably enough, by publishing his own natal horoscope. We don't know precisely what form this publication took (I suspect it was probably an actual astrological chart), and we don't know the exact date of publication, but it seems to have been long before Augustus came to sole power. Our source is Suetonius' second century biography of Augustus, and Suetonius narrates these events as taking place just after Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 BCE: ‘In his retirement at Apollonia (a Greek colony in Illyria), Augustus went with his friend Agrippa to visit Theogenes the astrologer in his gallery on the roof. Agrippa, who first consulted the fates, had great and almost incredible things predicted of him. Augustus therefore did not wish to make known his nativity, and persisted for some time in the refusal, from a mixture of shame and fear, lest his own fate should be predicted as inferior to that of Agrippa. When Augustus had been persuaded, however, after much importunity, to declare his nativity, Theogenes started up from his seat and paid him adoration. Not long afterwards, Augustus was so confident of the greatness of his destiny that he published his horoscope, and struck a silver coin bearing the image of Capricorn, the sign under which he was born.’ There are a number of very interesting things about this story. The first and most obvious thing to say is that Augustus' visit to the astrologer Theogenes could be a complete fiction. Suetonius' biography includes portents and prophecies of every kind, starting with Augustus' birth in 63 BCE, and all of them pointing to Augustus' destiny as master of the world. Ancient literature is full of such prophecies, and in almost every case the prophecy (in the story) has to come true; that's simply the narrative logic by which stories of this kind work. Think of Sophocles' Oedipus, for example. Every emperor's biography seems to have featured some omen or prediction of future greatness, so on one level there's no reason to attach any truth value to this story about Augustus and a Greek astrologer. On the other hand, there is nothing impossible or unlikely about an astrologer making a prediction of future greatness and power to Augustus as early as 44 BCE. Astrology was a part of Greek learning and culture, with a high prestige value. And more importantly, individual natal horoscopes tended to be associated in the Hellenistic world with individual power, and specifically with claims to kingship. Publishing your horoscope, in other words, could be read as a way of making a bid for royal power without having to say openly that you were making such a bid. The first "published" horoscope we possess dates from 62 BCE. It is preserved in the form of a relief carved into a rock on the top of Nimrudh Dagh in the Tarsus mountains, and it represents the coronation horoscope of King Antiochus I of Commagene. Whatever form the so-called publication of his horoscope took, we can be completely certain that Augustus wanted the world to know what sign he was born under. Let me refer you to the three images you've seen in this article. The first one is a coin, one of several Augustan coins featuring Capricorn. You can see the name "Augustus," and the sea-goat holding the globe of the world. Augustus is Capricorn, in other words, and as the cosmocrator (master of the universe), he's got the whole world in his hands. While Augustus' rhetoric in words was putting forward an image of himself as "first among equals," the astrological imagery of this coin is putting forward an unmistakable bid for autocracy and even kingship. The next image is the most famous cameo portrait of Augustus, the so-called ‘Gemma Augustea.’ The woman placing the crown on Augustus' head almost certainly represents the oikoumene, a Greek word meaning "the inhabited world" (we know this Capricorn from similar representations on coins where the image bears a caption). Just behind Augustus' head is a round lozenge containing a small image of Capricorn the sea-goat. We have a fair number of other Capricorn artifacts that probably belonged to private individuals, and these have been found throughout the empire. My third image, another cameo, is an example. The young man swimming the waves is both riding on Capricorn and probably also to be identified with Capricorn. His features, shown in profile, are recognizably those of the young Augustus. Why Capricorn? We don't really know. Augustus' sun sign was Libra. Capricorn was probably either his rising sign or, more likely, his Moon sign. Modern popular astrology, of the newspaper kind, is of course purely sun sign astrology, but the ancients tended to attach more importance to the Moon sign and rising sign. What particular qualities of the sea-goat made this sign especially appropriate for Augustus? Again, we don't know for sure. Possibly because Capricorn, then as now, was associated with stern moral authority. Possibly because Capricorn is the sign in which the sun passes through the winter solstice and is, in a sense, reborn--like the Roman republic, in Augustus' propaganda. Possibly because Capricorn, then as now, was associated with the planet Saturn. According to Roman mythology, Saturn had come to live in Italy when his son Jupiter had kicked him out of heaven, and the age in which Saturn ruled as king over Italy was a ‘golden age’ of paradise on earth. Augustus' reign was portrayed, in the poetry of Virgil and Horace as well as in Augustus' propaganda, as a return to that Saturnian golden age. Perhaps each of these reasons was a factor in Augustus' adoption of Capricorn as his emblem.” Here are two other coins of Octavian/Augustus that I recently purchased. As with the cistophorus, and as is often necessary with his coins, I compromised on my usual expectations regarding condition in order to be able to afford both instead of only one -- meaning, for these two, that they cost me in the range of $500 apiece rather than over $1,000. The first is the exact same type that @Gam3rBlake purchased and posted not too long ago, although mine isn't nearly as nice, especially on the reverse. Still, I like the obverse a great deal, especially because it's anepigraphic -- something I had also wanted for a long time. The Triumvirs, Octavian, AR Denarius, Autumn 30-Summer 29 BC, Italian (Rome?) Mint. Obv. Bare head right, anepigraphic / Rev. Naval and military trophy, composed of helmet, cuirass, shield to right, and crossed spears to left, set on prow of galley right, crossed rudder and anchor at base, IMP – CAESAR across fields. CRI 419 (ill. p. 256) [D. Sear, The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49-27 BC (1998)]; RIC I Augustus 265a; RSC I [Babelon] Augustus 119 (ill. p. 139); Sear RCV I 1556 (Octavian) (ill. p. 300); BMCRR II (East) 4352 (= BMCRE I Augustus 625). 20 mm., 3.73 g. Purchased from Kölner Münzkabinett, Feb. 2022.* *David Sear states at CRI p. 256 that given the image’s lack of specificity, “it may be taken as a general reference to the various naval victories achieved by Octavian (or rather by Marcus Agrippa), most notably at Naulochus [off Sicily] in 36 BC [over Sextus Pompey,] and at Actium in 31.” Finally, an Imperial denarius issued by Augustus about two decades later. Again, I found the obverse sufficiently appealing for me to buy the coin even though one can't see the bull's face or one of his horns on the reverse: Augustus AR Denarius, 11-10 BCE, Lugdunum (Lyons) Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, banker's mark[?] below ear, AUGVSTVS downwards behind, DIVI • F upwards in front / Rev. Bull butting right, right forefoot raised, lashing tail over back, IMP • XII in exergue. RIC I Augustus 187a (2d ed. 1984), RSC I Augustus 155 (3rd ed. 1978), BMCRE I Augustus 472 at p. 81 & Pl. 11 No. 19 (see https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/C_1866-1201-4186). 19 mm., 3.69 g. Purchased from Kölner Münzkabinett, Jan. 2022. (If anyone thinks that's not a banker's mark beneath Augustus's ear, please let me know. I'm tempted to speculate about what the shape represents, but will refrain from doing so, given that any attempt I made would just be a guess.) Please post your recent and/or favorite coins of Octavian/Augustus, whether they're classified as Republican, Imperatorial, Imperial, or Provincial (or any combination of the foregoing), and/or your silver cistophori issued by anyone or any city, whether before or after 27 BCE.