Roman Empire dated silver denarius, 2.92g, RIC 309, RSC 537, issued June to Dec 174 CE.
Certified by NGC to Ch AU, Strike 4/5, Surface 4/5.
Detailed superb bearded portrait, rare Mercury reverse type!
Obverse: M ANTONINVS AVG AVG TR P XXVIII, laureate head of Emperor right.
Reverse: RELIG AVG IMP VII COS III, Mercury wearing winged helmet, standing front holding patera and caduceus.
Mercury is the god of trade and profit, merchants and travelers, but originally of the trade in corn. He had a temple in Rome near the Circus Maximus on the Aventine Hill which dates back to 495 BCE. His main festival, the Mercuralia, was celebrated on May 15 and on this day the merchants sprinkled their heads and their merchandise with water from his well near the Porta Capena. During the Roman Empire the cult of Mercury was widely spread, especially among the Celtic and Germanic peoples. The Celts have their Gaulish Mercury, and the Germans identified him with their Wodan. The attributes of Mercury are the caduceus (a staff with two intertwined snakes) and a purse (a symbol of his connection with commerce).