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430, Lot: 344. Estimate $150.
Sold for $340. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Nero. AD 54-68. AR Denarius (18.5mm, 3.16 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 64-65. Laureate head right / Nero, radiate, standing left, holding patera and scepter; empress standing left behind him, as Concordia, holding patera and double cornucopiae. RIC I 45; RSC 43. VF, toned, some faint scratches.

From the Anthony DiDonato Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 169 (25 July 2007), lot 213.

RIC notes the empress could be either Poppaea Sabina (AD 62-65) or Statilia Messalina (AD 66-68), and that the type shares an obverse die with the Vesta type (RIC 61-62; AD 65-66). However, this present coin shares an obverse die linked with the Roma type of AD 64-65 (RIC 55 – cf. CNG 45 [18 March 1998], lot 1905). If the dates of the Roma and Vesta types are correct as given, then this coin has to precede Nero’s marriage with Messalina. Showing the empress Poppaea as Concordia emphasizes the contrast with Nero’s first wife Octavia, exiled on suspicion of joining a conspiracy against the emperor. The beardless portrait also argues for an earlier date. The successive die linking suggests that RIC’s organization of Neronian denarii of the period 64-66 needs some revision.