T. CARISIVS IIIVIR Denarius
Rome, 46 BC
Avers: Head of aphrodit Sybille.
Revers: Sphinx sitting right, above T CARISIVS, below III VIR
Sear 446, Crawford 464/1
Die estimation by Crawford: Obvers 117, Revers 130
Counterstamps on Republican coins are rare. This piece was over 100 years in circulation before it is getting countermarked by Vespasian. Also Graffiti on obvers.
"A denarius of Vespasian (Classical Numismatic Group 45 [18 March 1998], lot 1965), dated to the emperor's fourth consulship (72-73 AD) and countermarked MP VES, suggests a starting date of 74 AD for this countermark's use. This countermark appears mostly on late Republican and Imperatorial denarii, although denarii of Augustus and denarii of the Flavians struck at Ephesus are also recorded. The MP VES countermarks circulated specifically within the province of Asia Minor. Martini noted that the output of silver coinage in relation to the civic bronze for this region was much smaller during the Julio-Claudian period. This suggests the denarii were countermarked to validate locally circulating silver coinage at an acceptable weight while the regional mints opened by Vespasian were gearing up production, a theory which the countermarking of cistophori with the contemporary MP VES AVG countermarks seems to support. The similarly countermarked Flavian denarii struck at Ephesus can be accounted for then as examples accidentally countermarked by unobservant mint workers during the transition." (Source: CNG)