Helmeted bust of Valentinian III facing right, holding spear and shield, DN VALENTINIANVS PE (second "N" retrograde) / Two Emperors (Theodosius II and Valentinian III) standing facing, holding spears and a cross, CONCOR-DIA AGV (sic), CONS in exergue. Mint of Cherson in Sarmatia, minted in the name of Valentinian III by Theodosius II. 20.5mm, 4.64 grams. Cherson or Constantinople mint. RIC 461.
A coin of highest rarity, with only a handful of known examples. RIC divided Valentinian's AE2's into two groups, but at least part of the classification (the relationship between the blundered inscriptions and the hands of the Emperors on the cross on reverse) is incorrect - the hand of taller Valentinian (on the left) is always above that of Valentinian (this was a slight violation of the protocol, but was probably caused by die-cutter copying the coin of Theodosius instead of a die). This situation is always reversed on coins of Theodosius. We changed the division into three groups: Type I: heavier coins (4.2 to 5.8 g), correct inscriptions, Valentinian is not bearded. Type II: Slightly lighter coins (4.1 to 5.1 g), slightly blundered inscriptions, Valentinian is not bearded Type III: Lighter coins (4.3 g), blundered inscriptions, Valentinian is bearded On some specimens, presumably the latest ones, Valentinian III appears bearded - this might be a clue to the date the coins were issued, since the beard in the 5th century was quite an unusual feature and was usually associated with a sign of mourning. It is possible the the coins were minted before and during 450 AD, the mourning being, of course, for the death of Theodosius II.