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!