AUGUSTUS SILVER DENARIUS – FAMOUS COMET TYPE – CHOICE XF NGC GRADED ROMAN IMPERIAL COIN OF THE 12 CAESARS (Inv. 17380)
ROMAN EMPIRE. AUGUSTUS, 27 BC-14 AD.
Silver Denarius, 3.56 g, 19 mm. Issue of a mint in Spain (perhaps Colonia Caesaraugusta), ca. 19-18 BC.
Obv. CAES[AR AVGV]STVS, head of Augustus right, wearing the oak crown (corona civica).
Rev. DIVVS IVLIVS, comet with tail upward.
RIC I rev, 37b.
NGC graded CHOICE XF, Strike 5/5, Surface 3/5, “brushed”, with iridescent toning. This historic type depicts the comet that appeared July of 44 BC just at the time when Octavian was remembering Julius Caesar’s assassination with festival games. Octavian immediately interpreted the comet as a divine sign confirming the transformation of Caesar into a god, proclaiming it the “Sidus Iulium” (“Caesar’s star”). The comet was quickly integrated into the iconography of Roman art as a symbol of Caesar’s deification and enabled Octavian to style himself as “divi filius” (“son of a god”).