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Approach To Collection

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Author Previous TopicReplies: 9 / Views: 549Next Topic  
New Member
United Kingdom
1 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2019  03:48 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add coinfin to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi there,

I'm a newbie, lots to learn, but love ancient coins and wondering about the best approach to start my collection. I love the Roman Republic coins and the stories around them.

I'm thinking of collecting coins from each emperor or choosing a specific emperor and collecting around him.

I suspect buying the very best coin you can afford is better than buying a few lower value ones (it may depend on the individual).

I really love the silver Hadrian Denarius, which is one I'm might start with.
I don't understand why the valuations vary so much. I am a newbie have been reading about this, but sill find it unusual.

For example a silver Hadrian Denarius on eBay can bought anywhere from 50-200.
Whereas on a silver Hadrian Denarius goes for 650

I understand some are of obvious better quality, but some of the 200 ones on eBay look as good at the 650 on RoyalMint.
Just trying to figure out the best way to buy a good coin at a reasonable price.

All the best

Bedrock of the Community
United States
34830 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2019  04:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
to CCF.
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
2519 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2019  05:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DavidUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi and welcome... I will give you my opinion for what it is worth.

Companies like Royal Mint. Com aren't famous for offering good value... Small independents as can be found on Vcoins tend to have plenty of experience and lower profit margins and are a reasonable way to buy.

Ebay can offer both better and worse deals.. There is the element of danger - of fakes and misrepresentations. Buying from. Vcoins you have some protection from the site, of the one or two problems I had there (concern over a coin, missing delivery) the customer service was excellent and problems resolved.

As to what to collect, my first Roman was a Hadrian Denarius but I loved the Greek coins best. Some like Bob specialise specifically on a specific area like Parthian coins and others like myself are more general.

My collection ended up as a folder with themed pages (large silver Greek coins, small silver greak coins, Greek bronzes, Roman silver, Roman Bronzes, Chinese, Indo-Greek and Byzantines, medevial,)

Rather than sets I tried to acquire examples of types, chosen on historic significance and personal preference.

There is no correct way to collect, I suppose it is a reflection of our characters how we tend to do so.

Good luck.
Bedrock of the Community
17183 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2019  05:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fin: to the CCF!

My experience:
I have been collecting ancient coins for more decades than I would like to admit.
Before collecting Roman coins, I started by reading all about them over a period of about 2 years.
I also looked and examined as many as I could, without buying, just to become familiar with them. That way, the possibility of being deceived by a fake coin is minimized.

When I visited London, I even spent a whole day in the Coins and Medals Department of the British Museum, just to appreciate and to become more familiar with Roman coins.
Decades later, I have a small Roman coin library, as part of a much larger general numismatic library, which includes specialist books relating the the subject of fake coins. I also maintain a fake ancient coin collection for the purposes of my own education.

My first Roman coin purchase was a silver denarius of Antoninus Pius, bought in 1968 for AU$4, with a modius and corn ears reverse. It came from a coin dealer who, after all of these years, I still maintain a good friendship.

Vcoins and Wildwinds are excellent internet sites to assist in the building of a collection of Roman coins.
Pillar of the Community
3551 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2019  06:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@coinfin, just a warning: ancients can be very addicting!

My personal approach is to get a sample from every era and area. I like variety.

You are surprised by the variability of prices. It is probably more so with ancients, but any item, even modern mint products, will have asking prices all over the map. Sale prices less so.

Depending on where you live, you may consider local coin stores or larger coin shows-talk to some dealers and you may establish a good relationship.

Dip your toes in the water before you dive in.
Learn More...
United States
23144 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2019  09:33 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

And to the world of ancient coin collecting. There is a section here titled Books, downloads, and website I suggest you read through that section. It will answer a lot of questions you may have.
Pillar of the Community
United States
5117 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2019  09:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome to the hobby, Fin!
Edited by Bob L
12/08/2019 09:56 am
Pillar of the Community
United States
694 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2019  10:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add travelcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I also started my collecting with a Hadrian Denarius. True story, bought it from Bulgaria and it turned out to be fake. Lesson learned. Starting out, I would just buy from trusted dealers on eBay or Vcoins. I'd rather pay a little more for a coin than have a fake on my hand.

Only when you are familiar with fakes (it will take a few years), I would feel confident in "taking a chance" with bargain basement deals.

It's an extremely rewarding hobby!
Valued Member
United States
160 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2019  12:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sasquatch to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

I agree with the above post.
I have also recently started to collect ancients, and would like to add that I only collect NGC slabbed coins until I am more proficient in spotting fakes. After all crooks have had thousands of years to perfect their counterfeiting craft.
New Member
39 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2019  8:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Yazul to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome to the hobby Fin. I wanted to add to what Sasquatch said about NGC. While I agree that NGC is very reliable, But I have occasionally seen some fake coins passed their hands and ended up in NGC slabs. So we can not 100% rely on NGC. I personally think its better to try and get better at spotting the fakes myself or ask more experienced collectors. As for Fin's question on collecting, I would say collect as you wish. I never care much about market value to make profit later on, I buy the coins I like which has an eye appeal to me even sometimes at higher price. I have coins from Seleukids and Romans and Parthian and Sasanians. I find Sasanian and Seleukids the most artistic coins, specially the early Sasanian coins.
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