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Medieval Vs Ancient Coins

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Canada
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 Posted 12/18/2017  10:49 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add arvan to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
In your opinions, what would be easier/more cost effective to collect for a budget coin collect? Ancient Roman/Greek/etc coins or coins from the medieval time period? I want to say ancient Roman and Greek coins as I have run across them more but I wanted to see if anyone could shed some light on this and perhaps give some more insight.

Thanks All!
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 Posted 12/18/2017  11:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's a pretty loaded question... what sort of goal are you looking to accomplish? An emperor set? Kingdom/culture set? Type or mint set of a particular issue?

In general, Greek coins are going to be the most expensive, and late Roman coins are going to be the cheapest, unless you are willing to delve into really obscure medieval Indian coins or 6-8th century Silk Road bronzes.

Personally, I would dabble a bit, find what really interests you, and then pursue that, taking it slow and as your budget can accommodate. If you need to get your hands dirty, I would recommend you buy a lot of Roman bronzes for $1-2 each on eBay, and work to identify those. Go for ones where all coins have full portraits and legends, and keep searching until you can win one on a middling bid.
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
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 Posted 12/18/2017  2:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add orfew to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It is not as easy as just pitting ancient against medieval in terms of cost efficiency. There is way too much variation in each of these broad fields. For example, If I wanted to collect budget coins of the Roman Empire I would focus on the 3rd and 4th centuries. There are plenty of affordable coins in these centuries. However, I would not focus on the first century CE. This is the rea of the 12 Caesars. These coins are sought after and can be very expensive. To some degree this depends on the meal you collect. Bronze coins will generally be cheaper than silver, and silver will generally be cheaper than gold. Notice I say generally as there are exceptions to this. Some rare sestertii of the Julio-Clauian will cost thousands. Some rare silver coins will be more expensive than gold coins.

The same sort of thinking also applies to medieval coins. If you collect medieval coins of Hungary there are plenty of affordable coins. However, if ti is British hammered you are looking for the prices will be much higher. British hammered gold can also cost several multiples of other European hammered gold. French medieval coins are available and many are affordable, but certain types are very attractive to some collectors and the prices will be much higher. In my experience many feudal coins are affordable while the royal coins are much more expensive. There are of course exceptions to this as well. Some coins are sought after for their connection to history. For example, coins of Eleanor of Aquitaine are not considered rare as regards the references on the subject. However, try finding one for sale. I waited well over to a year to find one that came to auction.

In short, it is all about what are of collecting interests you most and what your budget is. There is no single division between ancient and medieval which in my opinion would make one area more attractive than the other as far as budget issues are concerned.
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 Posted 12/18/2017  3:12 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For me it has been more worthwhile to collect ancient more than medieval coins. There is much more variety with ancients IMO than medieval. Medieval coins tend to be small in size and expensive. I could buy a 16 gram Greek tetradrachm for the same amount as a .9 gram medieval coin. I would rather have the tetradrachm.

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 Posted 12/18/2017  3:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ancients over medievals Ron? Those are fighting words!
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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 Posted 12/18/2017  4:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You've received some great advise already. You also need to consider the time you have to devote to your collection, not just the money.

Most of the ancient coins have exceptional books and web portals that are easily accessible. That isn't quite so true of medieval.

For me, at least, learning the Roman coins was the easiest to start with.
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 Posted 12/19/2017  09:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add arvan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
OK I have come to see the errors of my ways when going about collecting older coins. I guess I never really thought of getting a collection or collecting a certain type. In my mind I would be picking up random coins that would fit my price point (quite inexpensive) and interest. I guess I don't really have a desire to put together a collection from a certain date period, or dynasty or anything along those lines.

That being said, maybe that is the error in my ways. Maybe I should collect with a theme in mind. With that, would you all have some fun ideas that can be done on the cheap? I would love to hear some :D
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 Posted 12/19/2017  11:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Romans are probably the easiest to assemble a "set" since their coinage was arguably the most organized, consistent, and closest to what we look for in modern coins (e.g. later coins have mintmarks). Some inexpensive sets you could strive for:

The Constantinian dynasty (could be done sub-$50 in low grade with patience):
- Constantius I
-- Wife Theodora
- Constantine the Great
-- Mother Helena
-- Wife Fausta
-- Son Crispus Caesar
- Delmatius Caesar
- Constantine II
- Constantius II
- Constans
- Constantius Gallus Caesar
- Julian II

Technically with the above but usually omitted due to price:
- Hanniballianus (Held title of "King", nephew of Constantine)
- Nepotian (Usurper, nephew of Constantine)
- Procopius (Usurper, cousin of Julian)


The Five Good Emperors / Nerva-Antonine dynasty:
- Nerva
- Trajan
-- (Wife Plotina and her family are silly expensive)
- Hadrian
-- Wife Sabina
-- Aelius Caesar
- Antoninus Pius
-- Wife Faustina I
- Lucius Verus
-- Wife Lucilla
- Marcus Aurelius
-- Wife Faustina II
- Commodus
-- Wife Crispina

Barring Nerva (can be had for $50-100), Trajan's wife, sister, and niece ($1,000+ each), and Aelius (generally $100+) you can get the emperors in silver for about $75-150, and the wives for about $200-250, a good chunk of which will be Sabina. I sold a lot containing most of them in low-ish grade silver for $120 recently.


If you want variety, you could also do a survey set of ancients from across the world:

Greek:
Archaic (pre-450 BC): Miletos small silvers are like $25
Classical (450-330 BC): Cherronesos hemidrachms are ~$30-45
Alexander III: Drachms are about $50-100
Hellenistic (323-100 BC): Lots of cheap bronzes
Late/Provincial (100 BC - 300 AD): Lots of cheap bronzes here too

Celtic:
Eastern style (Copies of Alexander III and related): $50-200
Celtiberian (Spain): $10-50 for bronzes, $100 ish for silver
Central style (Copies of Roman or Greek): $50+
Gallic potins: $50+
British: $50+
"Barbarous" copies of 2nd-4th century Roman: $1-50+
"Migration period" and post-Roman Germanic: $50+

Roman:
Republican: Denarii can be had for $50-150
12 Caesars: Easy to find cheap Augustus provincials, Claudius bronzes, and Vespasian/Domitian denarii for $10-50
Nerva-Antonines: Lots of cheap denarii
Severans: Super common denarii; You can get Septimius Severus or Alexander Severus for under $50 in XF
Crisis: Bronze antoninianii can be found in lots for $1 each
Tetrarchy: Bronze follis in low grade for less than $15
Constantine and later: Lots for $1 per coin

Byzantine:
Post-Reform folles can be had for under $20 for a nice massive coin
Anonymous folles (featuring Jesus) are a must-have type and are sub-$10 in low grades
Billon or copper trachys (cup-shaped coin) can be fairly cheap

Persian / Middle East:
Achaemenid Siglos: $40 in low grade
Parthian drachm: $40 ish for common emperors
Judaean widow's mite: $10 ish
Elymais bronze drachm: $15-20
Sassanian drachm: $20 or less for Khusro I, Hormizd IV, or Khusro II
Umayyad dirhem: $20-40
Abbasid dirhem: $10-30
Other later dirhems: $20-100

India:
Mauryan punchmarked silver karshapana (300-180 BC): $10 or less
Sunga cast bronze karshapana: $5
Apollodotus II silver drachm: $15
Scythian Azes II tetradrachm: $45
Kushan bronze tetradrachm: $15
Nahapana silver drachm: $20
Western Kshatrapa drachm: $15
Satavahana bronze karshapana: $10
Gupta silver drachm: $10
Maitrakas silver drachm: $10
Gadhaiya Paisa drachm: $10
Chola AE Massa: $5
"Bull and Horseman" silver jital: $10
Delhi Sultanate silver Tanka: $30
Mughal silver Rupee: $20

China:
Ban Liang (210-118 BC): $5
Wu Zhu (118 BC-618 AD): $3
Wang Mang (c. 7-23 AD): $5-20
Tang (618-907 AD): $3
Song (960-1279): $3

I'll have to defer on the European medievals, as I don't know the cheapest to represent that series.

Hopefully that's enough to get your research started
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
Edited by Finn235
12/19/2017 12:09 pm
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 Posted 12/19/2017  11:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is a great list, Finn - one that should be read by all potential ancients collectors. Well done.
Valued Member
Canada
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 Posted 12/19/2017  3:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add arvan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Finn... Just wow! The amount of time and effort you took to put this together for me is beyond belief. Thank you SOOOO much!

Like Bob said, I strongly agree that your portion of the post should be stickied somewhere as a starters guide to how to start a collection.

I wonder if any of the Medieval collectors will step up to the challenge and create a similar list for their time period :P

Looking at this list really gives me some great ideas. I already have one Constantinian coin (Constans) so maybe that is a good idea but the Byzantine Empire is also very interesting to me. I think I am going to do some research and see what direction I go :)

Thanks again Finn!
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 Posted 12/19/2017  3:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Crazyb0 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just read the list too Steve, great. Is what I was trying to figure out a while back and got plumb frustrated! Into the bookmarks goes this thread!
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 Posted 12/19/2017  4:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks all! I really need to make it a priority for 2018 to get my long-running threads back up or kicked off. Maybe it would be a fun idea to create a survey thread to link to various pile-on threads for specific collecting areas? I really liked the Women of Rome threads before those lost steam a few months back!
My Collections:
Roman Imperial
http://goccf.com/t/348979
Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
Indo Sassanian
http://goccf.com/t/322087
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
17899 Posts
 Posted 12/19/2017  4:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Finn235:
Thank you on behalf of coin collectors who may be afraid of ancient coins, for your post.

There must be lots of coin collectors who are afraid to venture into ancients, because of the perception of potential high prices per coin.

Your post gives the lie to this wrong perception.
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 Posted 12/19/2017  9:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I wonder if any of the Medieval collectors will step up to the challenge and create a similar list for their time period :P


Yikes!
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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United States
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 Posted 12/19/2017  9:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Yikes


Hah! Cue: Dave! You're up!
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 Posted 12/19/2017  9:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yeah I know that I gotta step up my game a little. Won't be tonight though.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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