Worn but in the style I wish for

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Parthicus Maximus, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

    The past month I spent a lot of time looking for Domitian coins on the internet. I am looking for coins in good style. I was actually hoping to get an 85. But since they rarely appear on the market, I decided not to wait for that moment.

    While searching I came across this one from 87 AD. I was hesitant at first because of the wear, but I still accept it because the style is very good. Coins from this period are not rare, but I am very happy with it.


    Domitian 81-96
    AR Denarius
    Struck 87 AD (first issue)
    Laureate head of Domitian facing right.
    Minerva standing left, holding spear in right hand. (M4)
    Ric 511 (C)
    Ex Kölner Münzkabinett

    Domitian's 87 coins have only two issues. Domitian only renewed his tribune title on September 14. He didn't was consul. My coin comes from the first issue that was minted between January 1 and September 13.

    Please show coins you bought because of the style even though they are worn out.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
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  3. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    You did very well picking a coin from 87, many of which are just as stylish as those struck in 85. Congrats!
    Orfew and Parthicus Maximus like this.
  4. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

    Thanks David. I think Domitian coins from 87 are a bit forgotten because they don't have rare legends. However I wonder if they are much more common as 86 coins. Assuming 86 had many more issues
    David Atherton likes this.
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice coin. There are so many Minerva types for Domitian that I imagine she was his tutelary deity?
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  6. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

    That's right, Suetonius even says that he showed her superstitious worship.

    He dreamed that Minerva, whom he worshipped with superstitious veneration,
    came forth from her shrine and declared that she could no longer protect him, since she had been disarmed by Jupiter

    Suetonius Emperors of Rome (15,3)

    This quote is about the omens of Domitian's death.
  7. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Lots of eye appeal, I can see why you picked it.
    Parthicus Maximus likes this.
  8. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    I am just noticing the change in avatar too, is this a shift to "Domitianus Maximus"?

    I would debate the description of your coin as "worn-out" - it looks nice to me. This one was called gF by David Sear and although I am not sure what an expert might see as good style in these coins, it is one that I consider "Worn but in the style I wish for":
    Istros Drachm.jpg
    Thrace, Black Sea Coast, Istrus, AR Stater, circa 350 BC
    Size: 5.31g, 17.8mm, 12h or 6h
    Obv:Two young male heads facing, side by siude, the one on left inverted
    Rev: Sea-eagle standing left on back of dolphin left which it attacks with its beak, IΣTPIH above, I below the eagle's tail, AΓ ligatured below dolphin
    Ref: apparently unpublished variety, AMNG pp 159-164, Sear 1169
  9. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

    That's right. I have decided to focus on his coins. I chose these coins mainly because in my opinion they represent the best of the Roman coinage. And also because I find Domitian's government particularly interesting.
    Good to hear I'm not the only one who appreciates it!
    I meant to say that the coin is not perfect, but that I really liked the style. Maybe I should have used some other words.
    I have absolutely no knowledge of that type of ancient coins, but that is a very nice coin!
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  10. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    This Julia Domna portrait die is one I favor over the others I have seen but I have not found one in high grade. My standards do not call this worn out but I still would like a VF.
  11. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That's a nice-looking coin, @Parthicus Maximus , with an artistic portrait, indeed!

    These sestertii have been well-circulated, as is the case with most bronze issues of the Antonine period, but the portraits are exquisite in style:

    Antoninus Pius ANNONA AVG S C Sestertius.jpg Antoninus Pius Annona Sestertius Sulzer listing.JPG

    Faustina Sr AVGVSTA Vesta standing sestertius.jpg
    Faustina Sr AVGVSTA Vesta standing sestertius Sulzer listing.JPG
  12. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Excellent addition...

    Very well worn but I really do like the style of my Trajan sestertius.

  13. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    Roughly about the same frequency ratings, with a slight edge to 87. You can find some very fine style portraits in 88 too, but after that the quality gets more and more haphazard.
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  14. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

    Yes, I notice that when I look at Domitian coins. Is it actually known why the style deteriorated so much after 88?
  15. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I agree that the reverse looks rather worn (although the legend can still be easily read), but the obverse looks great to me! I thought I had relatively high standards, but I guess yours must be higher than mine, because I wouldn't be hesitant at all to buy a coin in this condition.
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  16. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member

    I doubted mainly because there are better examples of this type for sale. But I bought it because it had the best style.
    That's what I mainly tried to say.

    Anyway doubt is in my nature. I always have to think carefully before buying a coin, unfortunately that is not always useful :)
  17. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    The volume of production greatly increased and it may have been more difficult to maintain high standards.
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  18. Parthicus Maximus

    Parthicus Maximus Well-Known Member


    Domitian was one of the consuls in 87 AD, contrary to what I claimed before.
    He held the position of consul with Lucius Volusius Saturninus.

    Monday afternoon I had little time (no references at hand), which is why I made this stupid mistake. I forgot for a moment that the consuls function took effect on January 1 and not on September 14.

    So to be clear once again. Domitian became Cos XIII on January 1, 87 AD
    DonnaML likes this.
  19. Marsman

    Marsman Well-Known Member

    90 AD coin, so not the best style portrait, I guess. But I love the elegant and charming style of Minerva :)

    Domitian, denarius.
    RIC 692, RSC 259.
    Rome mint, 90 AD.
    20 mm 3.24 g.
    Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIIII, laureate head right.
    Rev: IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P, Minerva standing left with left hand on hip, holding spear in right hand.
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