• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Looking to get into anicents

8 posts in this topic

  • Administrator

Have you thought about how you'll collect?


Historical periods within one country? A collection of all the coins from all of the existing minting authorities during one particular period? Designs you like? Any particular metal? Famous rulers on coins?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't collect ancients, just because it is such a huge area, and I am unfamiliar with all of it. However, if you are going to do more than just get a smattering to say that you have some ancient stuff, make sure you have a good idea of where you are going. That is to say, make sure you have a plan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I've found the Sayles books to be fairly easy to read and if you enjoy history, there is a lot of it in the book.

  • Ancient Coin Collecting
  • Ancient Coin Collecting II: Numismatic Art of the Greek World
  • Ancient Coin Collecting III: The Roman World-Politics and Propaganda
  • Ancient Coin Collecting IV: Roman Provincial Coins (Ancient Coin Collecting)
  • Ancient Coin Collecting V: The Romanion/Byzantine Culture
  • Ancient Coin Collecting VI: Non-Classical Cultures
  • Classical Deception: Counterfeits, Forgeries and Reproductions of Ancient Coins


Considering the number of fakes on the market, I'd strongly suggest you purchase coins from reputable dealers. I'm not sure the price range you're looking for, but strongly remember that there are a lot of fakes on the market - even lower value coins.



Shop around. The same coin can frequently be found for vastly different prices at different dealers.



I'd suggest flipping thru the Sayles books and seeing if anything jumps out at you. There are a ton of themes and many can be collected quite inexpensively.



Everything you know about the US grading scale, throw it out. :) EF can frequently equal mint state. Superb EF almost always is mint state. VF can be EF or AU. They like to throw in qualifiers like "good VF" or "about EF". FDC / Fleur de Coin usually is a stunning coin. This grade is frequently reserved for gold coins as copper and silver rarely come this nice. Someone should write an article for World Coin Values on this subject. hm



Personally, I find coins struck from worn dies rather unappealing. I try not to buy coins with flan cracks, encrustation, pitting, or harsh cleaning. I tend to like EF or better coins. Many of these coins are so cheap in worn condition that even in nice high grade they can be found for small sums of money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Find an area that interests you and specialize in it. Some suggestions to look into are the Greek city states, the 12 Caesars of Rome, Byzantine coins, "holy land" coins from the times of Jesus. Silver Greek coins of the city states are by far the most beautiful, but they are more expensive. Ancients are one of the few areas where you can own very rare, or even unique published coins for a decent price. I have quite a few published plate coins in my collection. You can also collect by theme. The Romans, around 300 AD had a series of "campgate" issues, military themes depicting soldiers with defeated captives being dragged through the streets, war galleys etc. Then the Greeks had issues depicting Poseidon, Zeus, Janus etc. But I would suggest sticking to certain area/issue. I have to humbly disagree with Greg about fakes. There have been some extremely high end, expensive gold/silver issues that have been forged, but ancients are so common, there isn't much of a problem with fakes in my opinion. Tooling can be a bit of a problem, but even then it isn't that wide spread and the collecting community does a pretty good job policing it self. Sites to check out...






CNG is the premier ancients dealer. Just having a coin with CNG provenance adds to its value. vcoins is VERY good at self-policing. You can buy there with peace of mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites