The majority of ancient coin collectors tend to center their attentions on Greek or Roman coins. These are by far the most widely researched and easiest to collect, and they were the parents to advanced neologism of the western populace. ( Coinage besides developed independently in China in the shape of cast copper coins, and in India as punch notice coins, though both of these are much more ambitious to collect. )
▲ Roman Republic, 225-212 B.C. Silver Didrachm ( Victoriatus ). obverse : mind of Janus. change by reversal : jupiter in quadriga. ANA Collection 1990.19.2
here are respective points to consider as you begin your journey into the earth of ancient Greek and Roman coin collecting.
You ’ rhenium holding ancient history in your hands. We ’ re talking about coins struck 2,000 years ago ! They bear the portraits of greek gods and Roman emperors, and they circulated in empires that we ’ ve all read about in books and seen in films. Being able to hold something that traded hands in ancient Athens is an incredible experience .
research materials abound. You could spend a week or a calendar month just researching one piece, depending on the depths of your curio. Ancient Rome used their coins to deliver news and propaganda, so even if you purchase a piece that ’ s already attributed, you can spend a batch of time digging into the diachronic context of the time it was minted to try to figure out what that particular coin was trying to communicate to the people .
Choices, choices, choices. Like world coins at boastfully, there ’ s a huge variety show of ancient coins to explore. You can find everyone from Nero to Medusa depicted on them, and the inverse designs besides offer ten thousand designs and symbology. concerned in animals ? Ancient gods ? architecture ? They ’ re all out there, waiting to be found .
Ancients present across-the-board solicitation. Let ’ s be honest – if you show your MS66 Morgan dollar to person who doesn ’ thyroxine collect, they may not share your affection and appreciation of the mint. ancient coins, however, seem to speak to the history buff in us all ; collector or not .
▲ Greece, Olympia, Peloponnesus, 4th Cen. B.C. Silver Stater. obverse : Diademed head of Zeus. reverse : Eagle standing with wings closed. ANA 1978.52.62
Some pieces may be difficult to identify. If you purchase unattributed pieces, figuring out precisely what you ’ ra looking at can sometimes be something of a challenge. Legends can be hard to read, reverse devices bully to identify, and references can be incomplete. If you ’ re a novice and unfamiliar with ancients as a unharmed, attribution can seem intimidating. Depending on your level of dedication, it could take hours of meter scrolling through databases while attempting to find alike pieces. The good newsworthiness is, you ’ ll be accruing cognition as you go !
timbre is a overriding consideration. As you might guess, the quality of ancients can range all over the spectrum. You may encounter lumps of copper that have no identifiable details left being sold as “ coins. ” Or, conversely, you could find spectacularly preserved Roman gold. As a newfangled collector, you want to be careful to avoid the overprice low-grade pieces and focus on attributable examples. Differences can be hard to pinpoint when first base starting out, but it ’ sulfur well worth the feat .
“ Sets ” can be tough to define. Having a intelligibly defined set means having a list of dates and mint marks required in order to consider a collection “ complete. ” If you want a clear-cut goal for your solicitation, ancient coins might not be the best fit. You can always define a specify for yourself, of course, but even then it ’ s not quite so cut and dry as a date and mint crisscross determine of wheat pennies. That said, your collecting goals are yours and yours entirely to shape .
▲ Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius, AD 161-180. Bronze Sestertius. obverse : Laureate head of Marcus Aurelius right. Reverse : Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus facing each other shaking hands. ANA 1986.155.130
U.S. coins, world coins and ancients all show options for a across-the-board image of budgets and interests, and are all areas of numismatics that can grow with you as you delve deeper into the hobby. And cipher says that you have to pick just one area of collecting on which to focus ! Rather, when determining where to start, ask yourself what aspects of the hobby bring you the most gladden. Follow the answer to that wonder, and you ’ ll surely find what you ’ ra looking for.
To learn more about ancient coins, explore the ANA Money Museum’s on money.org.
Read more: Collecting Proof Sets
felicitous collect !
National Coin Week 2021
One hundred years ago, the U.S. Mint reintroduced the Morgan dollar after a 16-year absence. Later that year, production began on a new argent coin, the Peace dollar. And 50 years ago, minting of the Eisenhower dollar commenced .
milestone anniversaries for these three big and iconic coins inspires the theme of 2021 National Coin Week, Money, Big & BOLD. The 98th annual event, held April 18-24, will focus on firm first step in numismatics, and bold leadership and ideas depicted on coins and wallpaper money .
Click the banner below to learn more!
About the American Numismatic Association
The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a nonprofit organization organization dedicated to educating and encouraging people to study and collect coins and related items. The Association serves the academic community, collectors and the general public with an interest in numismatics .
The ANA helps all people discover and explore the populace of money through its huge array of educational programs including its museum, library, publications, conventions and numismatic seminars and webinars .
Introduce a Child to the Hobby You Cherish!
Introduce a child to coin collecting with the endow of ANA membership. And for a circumscribed time, your young endow recipient ( long time 5-17 ) besides will receive a package of fun collectibles !