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About this journal

After a quarter century on numismatic hiatus, I have re-discovered my childhood passion for collecting coins.  Previously a fan of Lincoln cents (nowadays, prone - disillusioningly - to dealer's adulterations), I have a newfound obsession, namely ancient coinage.  


I focused initially on ancient Greece, and examples can be found in my NGC Ancients Custom Set entitled "The Ancient World Collection."  While I highly admire ancient Greek coinage for historical importance and artistic splendor, I found myself inexorably drawn to its successor.  For the next two millennia, Rome and the autocracies she spawned (the Roman Empire, followed by the Byzantine Empire) dominated the Mediterranean-centric world, leaving behind a plethora of coinage for modern-day contemplation.  Thus, I began compiling a new NGC Ancient Custom Set, which I named "The Roman  Empire."


Admittedly, many (if not most) ancient coin collectors eschew the concept of slabbing their coins.  For a beginner like myself, I appreciate the confirmation of attribution and condition.  I also enjoy the concept of a custom set, whose contents I control.  Above all, coin collecting should be fun and informative, and these aspects came together in a special way for me in this collection.  Rome's history seemingly demanded that I research each coin and provide a synopsis in its Owner's Comments section.  In more than a few instances, I use the opportunity for find synergies with other interests of mine, whether historical, geographical, scientific, etc.


Within its inaugural year (2014) the collection grew to over 100 specimens and was noted "Best Ancient Set," and within the last two years the set has grown to over 200 specimens.  Therefore, I decided it was time I might start this journal which, like the historical backdrop for each new coin I acquire, is subject to future exploration.

Entries in this journal


A daunting task for sure, yet one that has provided enormous fascination and personal satisfaction thus far – to discover the Roman Empire through numismatics.  That is my stated goal for my NGC Ancient Custom Set entitled “The Roman Empire.”  Initially, I contemplated constructing a typical set of “Emperors” coinage.  While such an effort is certainly worthy, I quickly discovered that Rome’s history, from the Republic to the Roman Empire to the Byzantine Empire, holds far more interest.  On the other extreme would be the attempt to build a comprehensive collection of coinage based on a certain subset, for example, imperatorial, imperial, provincial, or pseudo-autonomous coinage.  In the end, I embarked upon a quest (if I may call it that!) to represent not just Rome’s Emperors, but also Empresses, allies, usurpers, and more.  While admittedly constraining, I decided to build this set within NGC’s “Page” format, allowing for 15 coins grouped together thematically, if not roughly chronologically.  As a consequence, I have “missing” coins in the collection, which, if anything, helps provide context for other coins on the same page.


For each coin in the collection, I conduct some basic research, or at least make some attempt.  This allows me to provide my own Owner’s Comments, whose historical accuracy should be taken with a grain of salt.  Where it gets particularly fun is when synergies exist with my non-numismatic interests.


At the moment, I am still awaiting NGC's grading of the last 10 coins that I acquired.  Among those is the infamous “Coin That Killed Caesar,” and once I get that one slabbed I will have reached a milestone - first “Page” complete of my collection!