SILVER DENARIUS OF L. RUSTIUS, 76 BC.

SILVER DENARIUS OF L. RUSTIUS, 76 BC.

250.00

Obverse: Helmeted head of Minerva facing right, (XVI monogram) below chin, S C behind.

Reverse: Ram standing right, L RVSTI in ex.

RRC: 389/1. Sear: 320. CRR: 782. RSC: Rustia 1. [Rome, 76 BC].

Diameter: 19 mm. Weight: 3.9 g.

A beautiful and enigmatic silver denarius struck in 76 BC by the otherwise unknown moneyer Lucius Rustius. The reverse depicting a finely rendered ram. The obverse has been interpreted as either Minerva or Mars. Crawford identified the helmeted head as Minerva: ‘The constellation Aries was the astrological “house of Minerva” and a ram was doubtless chosen as reverse type to complement the head of Minerva on the obverse’. Grueber, however, believed the obverse head was Mars, explaining that the ram symbolised the month of March. This is a stunning example of a classic Republican coin, deeply struck with subtle old cabinet toning.

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