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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > David Atherton > Imperial Coinage of Vespasian

20, 4.37g
Ephesus (?) mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVGVST; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PON MAX TR P P P COS VIII CENS; S C low in field; Caduceus, winged, between crossed cornucopiae
RIC 1508 (R2). BMC -. BNC -. RPC -.
Acquired from eBay, July 2020.

A year or so after a mysterious mint in Asia Minor (dubbed the 'o' mint) struck a rare series of denarii an even rarer issue of bronze appeared in the same region. The two issues are linked by similar circulation patterns and somewhat similar styles. The bronzes are imprecisely dated to the 77-78 time period but were likely struck for only a brief period, judging by their extreme rarity. Three denominations were produced in orichalcum apparently using a provincial weight system. The unique legends are in Latin and the reverse types copy those struck in Rome, but many have obvious 'Eastern' themes. The crossed cornucopiae seen on this coin likely echos a similar 'Eastern' themed reverse struck in Rome and on other eastern civic issues.

Admittedly, the link to the infamous 'o' mint is tenuous at best, but it is the most sound theory proposed so far (M. Grant, 'Asses of Orichalcum', Centennial Publication of the American Numismatic Study, pp. 285-302).

Dark black and green patina and nicely centred.
File information
Album name:
File Size:
78 KB
Date added:
Aug 04, 2020
716 x 348 pixels
33 times
orfew  [Aug 05, 2020 at 01:49 AM]
Great rarity
Jay GT4  [Aug 05, 2020 at 01:49 AM]
Great pick up David
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