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New Ancient Coin Collector

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New Member
United States
13 Posts
 Posted 12/11/2014  10:47 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add MW_O to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello,
I'm new to ancient coins. What got me interested was someone's profile picture of a silver greek drachma. Those struck me as particuly interesting. I have a small budget, so do you guys have ideas on what to start out my collection with?

Thanks,
MW
Pillar of the Community
3772 Posts
 Posted 12/11/2014  10:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Medieval to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


It is best that you look around to find your special coin, ie the one to start your ancient collection. There are probably as many different opinions as there are collectors on what would be the ideal start. So I will refrain from specifying anything particular.

You mention that you have a small budget. So you have two key options:
1. start with a low budget coin, there are quite a few Roman coins which fall into that range
2. save up for some time and get one of those Greek Drachmai you like

(Always watch out for fakes though.)
Pillar of the Community
United States
4732 Posts
 Posted 12/11/2014  11:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add chrsmat71 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


I would stick with vcoins if you are new to ancients and want to dive right in to silver greek coins. You'll pay a bit more (maybe), but you'll get a real ancient coin.

medieval makes a good suggestion, getting you feet wet in the low budget bronze end of the pool is a good way to start. there are plenty of nice ancients you can get on a small budget.

every coin I have I picked up on a small budget!
Pillar of the Community
United States
5155 Posts
 Posted 12/11/2014  11:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ancientnoob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What are you looking to spend? There are A LOT of choices in all price ranges.
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United States
22887 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  12:33 am  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
to the community

Before you start spending money, check out the sticky section here on Books, downloads, and website. You will find tons on information there which will guide you in your purchases. Also stick around here and ask questions, we are glad to help. When you do decide to buy as Chris pointed out Vcoins is the place to go. There are dealers there that sell all types of ancient coins.

Pillar of the Community
1106 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  05:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Topcat7 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply



IMHO Don't start by buying rubbish, like I did.

Eventually you wake up to the fact that owning fewer nicer coins is more pleasing than owning a 'ton of rubbish'.

Take Meds advice and look around for a bit, decide on the one (style) you keep coming back to, and find a 'good' example of it.

Please stay away from 'bulk' purchases until you know a heck of a lot more.

New Member
United States
13 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  08:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MW_O to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Any tips for spotting counterfits?
Valued Member
United Kingdom
183 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  08:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add HawkHybrid to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
a real coin can look and feel so much different
from what you imagine it to be from online pictures.

I would say that going to coin fairs can be a good
start to discovering which types/style of coins you
really like.

there are always going to be nice coins outside of
your current budget, but it does make them that much
more special when you've saved up for them.

HH
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
16623 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  08:33 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My first ancient coin was a denarius of antoninus Pius, with the commodius & corn ears reverse in VF. It cost me $4, but that was way back in 1964, and I had already been an enthusiastic collector for about 6 years.

My first Greek coin was a gold coin, that came direct from Spinks in London in 1979, via Noble Numismatics in Sydney, (then Spinks Australia). I paid 360 Pounds for it. I still have the polaroid and the invoice to prove provenance. At that time I already had a very good numismatic friendship with the CEO of the Australian subsidiary.
The real point to be made about this purchase, is the fact that the coin came from a dealer with the very best of international reputations.

I have to admit, I knew very little about Greek coins at the time, despite the fact that I had been collecting Roman coins for about 15 years.

I have since obtained some excellent book references on Greek coins, including books on fakes: how they are made, and how identify them and test them. I also maintain quite a decent fake coin reference collection for my own education. Cross referencing on data bases on the 'Net regarding fakes, is also a great help.

I have started a few collectors on ancient coins, and in every case, I have purchased an antoninianus of good silver of Gordian 111 for them. They are very reasonably priced for a piece of ancient silver, and the legends are easily worked out by the new collector with a little explanation and encouragement from a more experienced collector.
Pillar of the Community
United States
513 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  12:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add chuy1530 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Regarding spotting counterfeits, there are a couple things that you can look for, but in general it takes a lot of experience to be able to do it even somewhat reliably.

The first obvious thing you can look for is a seam on the edge of a coin, or evidence that a seam was filed off. This usually means it was cast. Confusingly some real coins do have seams (or what looks like seams) but it takes an expert eye to catch.

The second obvious thing is weight on silver coins. If all of a certain type are 5g and the one you're looking at is the same size but only 3 g, that's a good sign that there's a problem. Different coins have different tolerances though.

The most reliable sign that a coin is fake is examining the style and fabric of the coin, but you have to look at thousands of coins before you really start to see that.

At any rate I recommend poking around wildwinds.com and some stores in Vcoins and just looking at them like you're at an art gallery. Examine them and see what draws your eye. When you find something look at dozens, or hundreds if you can find them, of examples of the type. That's when you start to build an understanding.

Also, it's sort of impossible to give advice on where to start because different people value different things. I started with a bunch of cheap coins, but from a large assortment of different cultures. That really worked for me because it let me hold something in my hand that really connected me more with the nicer examples I went on to purchase. Some would go the other way though and jump into one area and enjoy that more.
Pillar of the Community
1106 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  3:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Topcat7 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Any tips for spotting counterfits?


A simple thing to those who know, but valuable information to those who don't, is that if the coin has an 'R' stamped on it then it is most likely a 'Replica' and if it has 'WRL' on it then it is also a 'replica' coin made (for the tourists) by "Westair Reproductions Limited'.

These coins are not made to deceive but in the hands of some less scrupulous (or naive) people can be USED to deceive.
Edited by Topcat7
12/12/2014 3:15 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
513 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  4:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add chuy1530 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And sometimes someone will attempt to press out or scratch out the WRL, so look for signs of that. The best defense against fake coins is reputable sellers with good return policies.
New Member
United States
13 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  7:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MW_O to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Any good websites for buying decent, low budget coins?
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United States
22887 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  7:15 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
On Vcoins you will be able to find coins in all price ranges.
Valued Member
United States
61 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  8:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rasiel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Browse this link of the "good stuff" on ebay and if something catches your eye copy and paste the link here and someone will let you know if it's worth it or not. This is by far the cheapest way to get started.

http://(Offsite URL shortening not allowed-G) /IVTcgG

On that page the Balbinus coin is bogus and stay away from saxbys and coina-ancient-world.... the rest look ok!

Ras
Moderator
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United States
22887 Posts
 Posted 12/12/2014  9:18 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Check out Dirty Old coins Ras has some nice stuff. http://dirtyoldcoins.com/shop/Uncle...n-Coins.html
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