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Vespasian RIC-700
AR Denarius, 2.68g (Plated?)
Rome Mint, 74 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: OB CIVES SERVATOS around oak wreath
RIC 700 (R2). BMC p. 7 Ü. RSC 275. BNC -.
Ex Private Collection.

A very rare variant of the oak wreath type struck for Vespasian in 74. The much more common variants of this type have SPQR within the oak wreath. Alternately, here we have the legend OB CIVES SERVATOS around the wreath: OB CIVES above; SERVATOS below. This variant is so rare Mattingly citing Cohen in BMCRE stated in a footnote that this type needed verification. Curiously, in the RIC concordance with the first edition, this type is listed as old RIC 17 'Unverified: plated hybrid?' (again citing Cohen) without a new corresponding RIC number even though it is in the catalogue as RIC 700 with no such disclaimers. My example possibly has evidence of being plated; however, the flaking and cracking on the surface could just be due to preservation issues, the style is consistent with official denarii, and it is a double die match with the similarly worn RIC plate coin which shows no signs of plating. Additionally, Curtis Clay has an example from different dies that is solid silver.

The corona civica was originally a military honour bestowed upon a Roman who had saved a fellow citizen's life in battle. It was one of the greatest public honours. In the imperial era the honour developed from a coveted military decoration into an imperial emblem granted by the Senate to the emperor. The wreath was made of oak leaves and is sometimes called a corona quercea after the common name for the oak. The Wreath was awarded to Vespasian by the Senate for rescuing the Roman people from civil war and bringing about peace.

NB: The coin was originally posted here in 2015:
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Album name:David Atherton / Imperial Coinage of Vespasian
File Size:122 KB
Date added:Oct 23, 2019
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orfew  [Oct 24, 2019 at 01:58 AM]
A great rarity