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Medieval Vs Ancient Coins

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Pillar of the Community
United States
893 Posts
 Posted 12/19/2017  9:55 pm  Show Profile   Check Collects82's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Collects82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
waiting in that list of medievals. The obscure kings, the obscure kingdoms, this city-states, feudal. Heck, old medieval German States is probably a book all by itself. This is is gonna be good :)

My collection covers all centuries. I've had my moments of passion for so many of these. Persian/Abbasid have some of my favorite designs. With Romans there is crazy variety and I appreciate I can read them even st almost 2000 years old. There is something mysterious in the designs of Byzantine coins that intrigues me.

With medieval, remember during the dark ages that everything regressed. This includes coin size and quality and abundance. So lower price survivors might be smaller, thinner, cruder, and more obscure; but it survived!

My hoard of '82s is up to 204! 218 BC x 1, 118 BC x 3, 18 BC x 1, 82 x 1, 182 x 1, 282 x 2, 382 x 1, 582 x 2, 682 x 1, 782 x 2, 882 x 1, 982 x 4, 1082 x 1 1182 x 8, 1282 x 2, 1382 x 1, 1482 x 5, 1582 x 13, 1682 x 15, 1782 x 57, 1882 x 49, 1982 x 33
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 Posted 12/19/2017  9:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add travelcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Finn, great advise! Take it slow - my first experiences was buying a fake from Romania, overpaying for coins such as a Crispus Roman coin for $30 that you can buy for under $10 all day! You sound just as excited as we all were when we first started and dove right in. I wish I knew about this forum and done my research before I started collecting. But I have no regrets, I'm still learning and I'm addicted.

I can't wait to get as good as some these guys here in this forum, so I can give really sound advice. But I'm getting better!

BTW I'm getting into crusader coins, but dam they are expensive!

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 Posted 12/19/2017  11:06 pm  Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Finn, that thread deserves a bookmark from anyone with even the slightest interest in ancient coins, including myself.



One reason that I think some people prefer ancients to medieval issues is the quality and type of the coins' designs. Many of the Roman and Greek issues had a classical, "arty", and even elegant feel to them sometimes, whereas much of the early European hammered coinage featured much simpler designs, sometimes so badly copied or engraved as to be nearly unrecognizable.

If we accept the classical definition of "medieval" as being the time period corresponding roughly to the 5th c. AD through the 16th c. AD, you can find plenty of coins from plenty of countries that can be had without needing to win a lottery, especially once you look outside of Europe towards Asia and Arabia.

Spence and others can expand later; I'll do a tiny comparison of a bit of England vs. France...baselining coins that are recognizable as to type and denomination, and which have at least partially legible legends.

Plantagenet House of England

Henry II - $50 and up
Richard I - $75 and up
John I - Anything decent is going to start at $250 and go up from there really quick.
Henry III - $75 and up
Edward I - $30 and up
Edward II - $30 and up
Edward III - $100 and up
Richard II - $75 and up

French House of Capet (Kings of France) except Le Hutin.

Philip II - $75 and up
Louis VIII - $50 and up (more likely $100+)
Louis IX - $50 and up
Philip III - $40 and up (decent is $150+)
Philip IV - $40 and up (decent is $150+)
Philip V - $100 and up
Charles IV - $75 and up

Some other areas to investigate:
- Venetian and Sicilian issues of Italy
- Cilician Armenian coinage
- Polish Piast & Jagiellon
- Hungarian denars
- Poitevin & Angevin French issues
- Mongolian Ilkhanate
- Ayyubid & Artuqid dynasties
- Crusades issues, if you have deeper pockets

That should provide a very brief start...
Longhorn Coins & Exonumia
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 Posted 12/19/2017  11:39 pm  Show Profile   Check spruett001's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add spruett001 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Topic bookmarked just in case! Thanks for the info, guys.
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Canada
125 Posts
 Posted 12/20/2017  08:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add arvan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great start to the Medieval list Paralyse :) I was actually talking to my wife about this last night and the conversation turned to collecting Venetian coins if I was going to go the Medieval route instead of ancient. I am a huge Venetian history buff (if you have never read A History of Venice by John Julius Norwich, you are missing out on a great historical read!) so it would be fun to collect coins from a place that I am so passionate about. Plus my mother's side of the family is Italian (near Napoli not Venice) so it would have more to do with my Heritage as well.

Would any of you have some rough ideas of prices on Venetian coins? I did a quick check on eBay and the more recent coins (1700s and 1800s) are not too bad in rough shape but the older ones seem to sell for a pretty penny.
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Canada
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 Posted 12/20/2017  2:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add arvan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I know I am asking a lot of questions here (I really appreciate your patience and assistance!) but I have one more (as of now lol)...

When one collects coins for a set or line of rulers, is there a preferred type or denomination that one should collect? Or would you be aiming for having the same type of coin for each emperor?

Thanks for all your help!
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 Posted 12/20/2017  4:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
With most civilizations, there is frequently one or two denominations that are by far the most common and universally used denomination, at least within a set timeframe.

For simplicity, let's look at the Rome, and say you want to collect a straight run of all emperors from Augustus through Theodosius II / Valentinian III.

The denominations for the early emperors are:
- Aureus (gold)
- Denarius (silver)
- Quinarius (silver)
- Sestertius (brass)
- Dupondius (brass)
- As (bronze)
- Semis (brass)
- Quadrans (bronze)

Every emperor from Augustus through Gordian III issued a denarius, and they look really nice put together. Problem is, Augustus denarii tend to run $200-1,000, Tiberius' common but popular "tribute penny" denarius routinely goes for $200-500, Caligula's denarii are rare ($1,000+) and likewise with Claudius ($600+). The early emperors all issued nice bronze denominations, except Otho only issued silver. By the second century, the coins are a lot more common and cheap, but the sestertius had pretty much moved up to replace the lower denominations. By the time of the late Severan dynasty (230s), the only regular coins produced were the denarius and the sestertius. At the end of Gordian III's reign (240s) the denarius was phased out and replaced with the double denarius, or antoninianus. Valerian and Gallienus (250s) dropped the sestertius, and the antoninianus (and aureus) was the *only* coin made until Diocletian (280s), save for a brief commemorative series by Aurelian in the early 270s (these are rare, anyway).

Diocletian entirely dropped the old denominations and from that point it's mostly bronze. Tetrarchy folles are almost as big and hefty as the old sestertius, but after Constantine the most common bronzes are the AE3, about nickel size. After the Valentinian dynasty, it drops down to AE4, or less than 18mm.

In my emperor set for Rome, I have ratty bronzes for the first four emperors, denarii for Nero through Gordian III (missing several obviously), Antoninianii for Philip I through Diocletian, folles for the whole Tetrarchy, and then the later bronzes are mostly AE3.

Other sets practically make the choice for you; the Parthian and Sassanian empires issued gobs of silver drachms, while copper and silver fractions are rare enough to be more expensive.
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 Posted 12/20/2017  6:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DavidUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Its not only about cost its about how the coins appeal.

I love Greek coins the most out of all the coins so I concentrated on those, but I also like variety so got some Romans. I felt I had to have some medieval ones but in truth none really drew me in. They can be hard to ID and the only ones I found a particular affinity to were Tudor ones.

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Lithuania
363 Posts
 Posted 12/21/2017  04:08 am  Show Profile   Check giedrius's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add giedrius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1518. This is the year, when the Medieval times ended in Lithuania with the wedding of Grand Duke Lithuanian (and Polish King also) Sigismund the Old and Italian princess Bona Sforza. Renaissance and the New Age came to Lithuania with the court of Queen.
There are plenty of cheap silver coins of the medieval Lithuania.
Half-groats of Alexander Jagiellon, 1495-1506, minted in a hugh amount (until the death of Alexander about 15-20 million half-groats might have been minted) cost from 5 (most common ones) to 30 (rare types) USD in VF.
Also half-groats of Sigismund the Old, 1509-1529, cost from 7-10 (most common types of years 1509, 1510, 1511, 1512, 1513, 1514) to 400 and more (1528,1529) USD in VF. And it's not difficult to collect the budget set of these nice coins. The book about it, we wrote, http://goccf.com/t/282866#2593952

Catalogue of Lithuanian half-groats 1495-1529 http://goccf.com/t/282866
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 Posted 12/24/2017  7:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok well it has taken me too long to put in an adequate response to @arvan. As usual, @finn's reply was spectacular, and @paralyse and @giedrius did a great job getting us started on the medievals. I would like to point out that our own @echizento has put together an excellent reference guide for collecting ancient coins (https://www.coincommunity.com/pdf/A...-Guide.pdf).

Let me give you some thoughts, based on my own collection of medievals that has been in process for quite some time now. First, at CCF, we talk about medievals ending in the year 1600 AD. This date is somewhat for convenience and certainly you could reasonably pick some other date as your own endpoint. For the purpose of this post, I am picking the arbitrary starting point of 1000 AD. If I get around to it, I might try to make a similar analysis for my coins of the Dark Ages.

Within this timeframe, the vast majority of my coins dating to between 1420 and 1599 AD were acquired as part of my "One From Every Year" (OFEY) effort. Collecting coins by AD date is an arduous, but relatively easy proposition for the 16th Century. It gets significantly more difficult (and expensive) for the 15th Century. If you decide to walk down this pathway, I recommend getting Krause's book of German coins dating from the 16th Century to modern times. There are many small silver coins from the various German states available in reasonable condition for $50 or less. In this same timeframe, you can also pick up small silver coins from Hungary for even less--$25 or so. I recommend using the very recent Frynas reference as Huszar's book is pretty tough to find. Mine came from an old collector who seemingly smoked as many cigarettes as he had coins. Dated Swedish and Polish copper coins are also generally available for a reasonable price. For the Polish coins, I use Kopicki as my reference, but I just today learned about this website, which also seems pretty useful (https://fortresscatalogue.com/).

Once you get through the 1500s, you will also need another reference book. I heartily recommend Levinson's book and have created this thread on CCF http://goccf.com/t/269713) to discuss these coins in detail. If you are particularly persistent and deep-pocketed, you will be able to work your way into the 1400s and may even pick up a dated coin from the 14th Century. These coins are almost all a few hundred hundred dollars apiece (and up!). @Jbuck's "HOw far back can we go" threads are really useful for seeing what material was out there and you will definitely see trends for certain decades. Here is a link to the fourth edition http://goccf.com/t/277302), but the first three are also good reading!

In the 1400s, there is a pretty good selection of undated Hungarian coins that are attributable to a specific year. These are also pretty reasonable in price, but don't really cover all of the years of this century. At this point, your collection will need to shift gears if you want to continue going further into the past. This is due to the lack of minting date on most coins in this time range. I would recommend that you consider focusing on a certain countries, or even region within a specific country. Here is a non-comprehensive list of some geographic regions that issued coins, along with the first author of my preferred reference books:


Austria (Szego or Luschim)
Bulgaria (Youroukova)
Byzantine Empire (Sear)
China (Hartill)
Crusader States (Malloy)
France (Roberts or Duplessy)
German States (Saurma, Bonhoff, Krug, Probst, Ilisch)
Great Britain (Spinks)
Italy (Biaggi)
Muslim States (Album)
Slavonia (Rengjeo)
Spain (C&C)
Switzerland (HMZ)

Of all these references, most are available with some relatively reasonable amount of effort. However, the book by Biaggi was quite hard for me to find--it took over five years of searching for me to find my copy. Certainly there are other reference books as well. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the other folks here would recommend other reference books.

Perhaps the cheapest of these are the cast cash of the Northern Song Dynasty. I bought mine from the early- to mid-11th Century nearly twenty years ago for a buck apiece and I'd wager that they aren't worth much more than that now. The price of the most common, small silver coins from the other places are generally under $100. Certainly, though, if your pocketbook allows, larger, nicer, and/or less common coins can be had for much more. The bulk of my coins fit that first category, but I do have others that cost me in the $100 to $200 range. My general method has been to pick a specific geographic region, buy the reference pretty soon after getting my first few coins, and then pursuing various sub-regions or rulers that are of interest to me. All the while, I am still on the lookout for coins that can be attributed to a single year.

One final point: if you are looking at the Crusader States, consider reading this thread first: http://goccf.com/t/285873

Hope this helps and Merry Christmas! Seems like I need to do some last-minute wrapping now...



"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
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"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
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Edited by Spence
12/24/2017 8:56 pm
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 Posted 12/24/2017  7:56 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Dave, you have inspired me to start paying more intention to medieval coin so I found a used copy of Grierson"s Coins of Medieval Europe on Amazon for $50, so I snatched it up.
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 Posted 12/24/2017  8:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sorry for the crossed wires, Ron. I took out my flippant reply to Dave. LOL.
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 Posted 12/24/2017  8:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I took out my flippant reply to Dave


Yes fat fingers. I posted after only typing a few sentences and then finished the rest of my post over the course of the next hour. @bobl, I'd be interested in your thoughts to what I have posted now.
"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 12/24/2017  9:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
bobl, I'd be interested in your thoughts to what I have posted now.


Excellent reply and worth the wait. However, while I'm sure that Krause, Huszar, Levinson, Biaggi, and the rest are useful resources, most of what I know about medieval coinage I've learned from Spenciner.
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 Posted 12/24/2017  9:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Worthy of discussion also is what exactly defines the cutoff between "Ancient" and "Medieval". I've been thinking on it for a while, and I think there's a major event for every "culture" (for lack of a better term) that can be used both from a historical and numismatic point:

- Europe: Fall of Rome in 476 AD (Pretty clear cut here)
- Middle East: Fall of Sassanian Empire to Muslims, 651
- India: Fall of the Gupta empire to Huns, c. 550
- China: Rise of Tang dynasty and end of Wu Zhu coinage, 618

Ones that are a little less clear cut:
- Africa: Aksum conquers Himyar, c. 520? Muslim conquests to Morocco?
- Central Asia: Huns fall to Turk Shahis, c. 600? Turk Shahis fall to Hindu Shahis and muslims, c. 750?
My Collections:
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Japan Type set Tokugawa + Modern
http://goccf.com/t/348999
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http://goccf.com/t/322087
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