Orichalcum Sestertius of Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus (AD 69-79)

Among the finest known, a numismatic masterpiece with a bird’s eye view of the Flavian Amphitheater.

On the coin is the Flavian Amphitheater (The Colosseum) of Rome. In the reverse is inscribed IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P P P COS VIII with Titus seated on curule chair, holding branch and scroll; below, on either side of him is a pile of arms. In the field, S – C. 

From a numismatic perspective, the Colosseum is among the hardest to collect of Roman monument representations. It only occurs on coinage three times and each issue is scarce. It first appears on sestertii of Titus, the emperor under whom the Colosseum was completed, and later on coins of Severus Alexander and medallions of Gordian III.

Orichalcum is a metal mentioned in several ancient writings, including the story of Atlantis as recounted in the Critias dialogue, recorded by Plato. According to Critias, orichalcum was considered second only to gold in value, and was found and mined in many parts of Atlantis in ancient times. However, by the time of Critias (5th century BC), it was known by name only. In numismatics, orichalcum is the golden-colored bronze alloy used for the Roman sestertius and dupondius coins.

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