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On eBay's Imperial Roman Coin market and History

 
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Finland
6 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2018  1:10 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add dzautner to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi guys! thought you might be interested in a research I'm conducting about the Imperial Roman Coins market in eBay and the historical value we can learn from it.

It's a number of small lessons learned from analysing quarter of a million of eBay listings in the "Roman Imperial Coin" category during the last 7 months.

Would love to hear your input and find collaborators on this project as I'm simply too busy these days to give the research the attention it deserves.

http://dzautner.com/on-ebays-imperi...and-history/
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United States
8467 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2018  1:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
First welcome to CCF. Second, while Roman coins isn't my area of interest, you work was pretty interesting. Data is beautiful.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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Canada
2047 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2018  2:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is quite an interesting piece of work. As you say, it is preliminary. I guess that you did nopy attempt to take into account fakes that were sold, which might be rather difficult. I wonder if for some of the countries which large sales, they were high because of the volume of fakes?

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United States
21709 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2018  3:15 pm  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

This is an outstanding article that hard to take a lot of effort to compile. I hope that you will find the time to expand on it more. Very informative.
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Finland
6 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2018  5:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dzautner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the warm welcome guys!

@oriloe

Yes, I suspect as much about the Balkans and Ukraine, and that would be my next focus together with filtering out re-listed items.
I'm really on tight schedule lately so I hope i'll find the time to get an idea on how to detect fakes automatically.

I made my first attempt today by simply checking the normal distribution in prices with Emperors that are prone to fakes vs emperors that are not prone to fakes. You can see it here:

https://public.dzautner.com/charts/...ly_sold.html

(note that you can zoom on the left side of the distribution for clearer image by selecting the area)

Those only take in account sold listings so re-listed items and such should not change it too much. But I don't think I could read anything unique from this data other than that Constantine II is not a very valuable emperors on eBay (;

I expected with highly faked coins like Augustus to see a bump in cheap coins, a gap, and then a bump in the distribution when real coins start. But I think fakes just don't go that cheap to cause valleys in the distribution, but I'll look more into it from purely economical point of view. I believe the answer will lay in the cheap price and multi-listings with same image from different sellers.


Maybe during next week I'll have some raw data to prove that theory.
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3488 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2018  6:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Absolutely, first off, welcome. Quite a splash I think you're making with your initial contribution!

Do you intend that this research will form the basis for a published monograph? There are members here who can probably put you in touch with the right people to have that accomplished.

Colligo ergo sum
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United States
346 Posts
 Posted 04/15/2018  8:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jskirwin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent work. Love the graphs.
Had no idea Spain dominated the listings.

Would you mind sharing your methodology? I'm curious how you got this information from eBay.
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Finland
6 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2018  02:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dzautner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Lucky Cuss

I would love to publish the final product in some official capacity, if there are members in the community that can help with that I would really like to get in touch with them if only for the professional input.


@jskirwin

I'm using eBay's API to check the front page of ended listings under the "Imperial Roman Coins" category every N minutes and storing any new updates.

For the different aspects of the coin (ruler, denomination, etc..) It's a bit trickier:

I run a search with eBay's API with one of those selected (i.e, "Show all ended listings where Ruler = Augustus") and enrich the previously collected data with the new information.

eBay are quite strict on their API limits and I do not intend to overuse their limits by "hacky" ways, so the data collection takes a LONG time. as mentioned in the article, the data collector was running for more than 7 months.

The Math behind it is for now quite simple, as it's really the first first conclusions to draw from the data set, so it's a few scripts that produce the charts.

I sidelined a bit at some point when I got interested in machine learning and was able to produce this project:
https://github.com/dzautner/roman-c...fication-cnn

That will deduct the ruler based on the description of the coin with ~95% accuracy. It doesn't sound like a difficult task as the ruler will usually be in the title, but it is also able to tag titles such as "FL IVL CONSTANTIUS NOB C - GLORIA EXERCITVS 334-335 AD" correctly (Constantine II) which is really nice.
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5190 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2018  09:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


Very interesting article!

Some number of years ago, some members posted a similar tabulation of completed auctions (from major auction houses, IIRC) broken down by the 207 emperors, Caesars, wives, usurpers, and family members who issued coins in their name or image from the beginning of the Principate in 27 BC to the coinage reform of Anastasius in the 490s. It would be quite interesting to see how the two compare; I remember that Constantine was at the top by a wide margin, and I was surprised to see Nero near the top as well.

E: here is the thread:
http://goccf.com/t/127458&SearchTerms=207
New Sale! Inexpensive classic Greek silver, over 2,400 years old!

http://goccf.com/t/323297
New Member
Finland
6 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2018  10:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dzautner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Finn235

Thankfully this was a one minute chart to produce, so here you go!
https://public.dzautner.com/charts/...r-ruler.html

(Biddings that ended selling only)


Constantine is still take the crown, the other ones differ (:
Valued Member
United States
346 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2018  11:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jskirwin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
dzautner
Do you collect Roman Imperial coins?
We could use a guy like you in the hobby.
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Canada
2047 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2018  12:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One interesting item in your paper was that only 20% of the listings sold! it suggests some sort of market saturation, at least at the (likely) inflated eBay asking prices.
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5190 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2018  12:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As I have unfortunately learned, listing Roman coins as a $0.99 auction is risky business unless you are a well-established seller with a lot of followers. I have been on both sides of being "taken to the cleaners", if you will. Sellers who don't like to risk it might start coins for a higher starting price, which results in less competition and less sense of urgency.

And yes, a lot of sellers like to ask outrageous prices - "highrating_lowprice" is one who lists dozens of $50-250 coins for $500-5,000 over and over again until they sell. And they do sell - so he keeps doing it!
New Sale! Inexpensive classic Greek silver, over 2,400 years old!

http://goccf.com/t/323297
New Member
Finland
6 Posts
 Posted 04/17/2018  05:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dzautner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@jskirwin

Yes I do! I have quite a small collection (10-20) of Roman Imperial Coins and a few oddballs like Russian Silver Wire Kopeks and a Lodz Ghetto Token (https://www.PCGS.com/news/lodz-ghet...en-coinage/) which means a lot to me personally coming from a Jewish family.


@oriole


This doesn't take in account re-listings though! People will re-list their overly priced coin dozens of times before either giving up or getting them sold. I will come up with the numbers of unique listings sold in the future to give a better picture of a coin's chance to get sold. My pipe-dream is to use machine learning to guess if a coin would sell or not during the listing the stage.

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United States
941 Posts
 Posted 04/17/2018  4:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add lrbguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The numbers you are "crunching" are impressive, but I am finding them a bit confusing. You report that in the past 7 months there have been over 250,000 listings, of which 19.6% sold.

You also report an average of 194 new listings per day. That number of daily new listings only gives us 35,405 new listings in 6 months. Since you do not say what the population was at the start of your data collection, I cannot tell the significance of these numbers.

I am also confused by the purpose of excluding transactions for coins sold from the New World. Since the stats focus on seller location, are you supposing that coins in "Old World" countries are new finds? If so, I think that needs to be reconsidered, since some percentage of the material in the hands of those sellers represents material that has been circulating in the market place for generations. While I would agree that 100% of the material in the "New World" is recirculated market, how do we differentiate old market and new excavation among the material being sold in "Old World" countries? Or is that not the point of mentioning the distinction in geography? If not, what IS the point?

There is great merit to having a breakdown by locale, in trying to assess the kind of market we have for specific material in different places. But apart from telling us what material is popular in various places, I don't yet see what we learn from making the "Old World" "New World" distinction.
Edited by lrbguy
04/17/2018 4:37 pm
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