No Mistakes
0

11 posts in this topic

38 posts

Hi, I collect almost exclusively US Rare coins, but, I have been interested in ancient coins of late. I'm looking to spend $250.00 - $300.00 on one but I am so new to this that I'm afraid of making a grave mistake. Can anyone help me to make a wise decision? Ebay prices on sold items are all over the place and I have know idea how to tell the different verities. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,301 posts

I think he wants too much for that. Search Ebay for 'denarius' just to see how uncommon it is to pay that much for one, and how many more interesting/uncommon emperors are available for that kind of money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8,988 posts

No offense but to put it into terms you might understand better, your request is kind of like a newbie coming into the forums and saying "I don't know anything about US coins but I think I would like to buy one and I want to spend $250 to $300 on it."  Kind of like "I have money, someone take it away from me!"

If you don't know what you are doing, take the time to learn, and spend small amounts while you do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 posts
44 minutes ago, Conder101 said:

No offense but to put it into terms you might understand better, your request is kind of like a newbie coming into the forums and saying "I don't know anything about US coins but I think I would like to buy one and I want to spend $250 to $300 on it."  Kind of like "I have money, someone take it away from me!"

You are correct, but, I have a good knowledge of US Coins and I know where to look to find the right price. Yes, I'm a newbie with ancients but I hope you understand that unlike US Coins I have absolutely know idea how to validate an ancient coin price. All of the varieties and so so much I don't know about them. Before I come to the forum I do my best to find out what "Sold" ancients went for but then there is all of the other stuff. I'm sorry if I'm wasting your time but I come here as a last resort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14,967 posts

The biggest challenge I had when I started collecting ancients was actually knowing what was available. There are so many different types, from many different cultures. "Ancient" coins spans literally the entire history of civilizaition, from China to Britain, and covers about 1500 years. 

I suggest starting by figuring out what you like, or want, and then look at past sales to see what is available and at what price. 

Ebay is actually not where I would look for ancients. Try Vcoins https://www.vcoins.com/en/Default.aspx 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,301 posts
2 hours ago, Robert1963 said:

You are correct, but, I have a good knowledge of US Coins and I know where to look to find the right price. Yes, I'm a newbie with ancients but I hope you understand that unlike US Coins I have absolutely know idea how to validate an ancient coin price. All of the varieties and so so much I don't know about them. Before I come to the forum I do my best to find out what "Sold" ancients went for but then there is all of the other stuff. I'm sorry if I'm wasting your time but I come here as a last resort.

The only way to check pricing on ancients is to get a positive catalog ID and run that through something like Worthpoint to see what it's hammered for in what conditions. What people offer it for means nothing. What people actually forked over for it is everything.

Let's suppose I have a billon heavy maiorina of Magnentius. If I'm selling it, and I know and publish that it's a Sear 18791, I am probably not afraid people will look to see what other S-18791s have sold for, or for that matter what it's listed for in Sear (however obsolete; VF US$60; EF US $175). If I don't give the catalog number, the most logical explanation is I hope no one will look up what it really is. Why would I not want them to do that? Because they might find out I'm asking too much, and am hoping for a new collector to come along and pay me too much.

So, here's the best guidance I can give you: just don't offer on anything that doesn't assert a catalog ID. Anything with a catalog ID, you can research prices without having to invest the many hours it took some of us to learn to make positive IDs. The seller's credibility is associated with his publication of a catalog ID for his offering; if you question his ID, you can at least theoretically look it up yourself (as I would do, and without disrespect intended; anyone can make a mistake). All educated buyers and sellers of ancients have the skill to make positive IDs; that's a big part of the education.

Ancients are great, but to buy them without firm IDs is just setting yourself up to be taken for a ride.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 posts
12 hours ago, JKK said:

So, here's the best guidance I can give you: just don't offer on anything that doesn't assert a catalog ID. Anything with a catalog ID, you can research prices without having to invest the many hours it took some of us to learn to make positive IDs. The seller's credibility is associated with his publication of a catalog ID for his offering; if you question his ID, you can at least theoretically look it up yourself (as I would do, and without disrespect intended; anyone can make a mistake). All educated buyers and sellers of ancients have the skill to make positive IDs; that's a big part of the education.

Probably the best advice I've received today. Thanks and you know the funny thing is it makes sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,301 posts
10 hours ago, Robert1963 said:

Probably the best advice I've received today. Thanks and you know the funny thing is it makes sense to me.

Ancients are a great numismatic path. In my experience, they are also one of the friendliest. In our coin club, our ancients expert has been a major mentor to me. He gave me my copy of Aorta as a gift and has helped me understand a lot about really old school coins. I hate to see anyone get taken in because they show up waving a given sum, which someone is sure to accept whether or not it's reasonable.

Reality: common Roman silver in all right condition tends toward the $30-40 range. To clear that, it has to be exceptional in some way: older, rare emperor, rare condition, etc. Common Roman bronze tends into the $12-15 range; same grounds for exception. I've seen small older Greek coins in the $30s. Roman Republic stuff tends higher in most cases. But ultimately it comes down to, you cannot make any defensible value assessment without that positive ID. And if you doubt someone's positive ID, post the pics here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,875 posts
On 12/15/2017 at 11:38 AM, Robert1963 said:

I am somewhat partial to the Denarii of Gordian III, as they were last ever struck. You need to decide what you want to collect and then look at auction records for certified examples to determine prices. Heritage is probably the best place to see large quantities of certified Ancients. You could look at Roman, Roman Imperial, Roman Provincial, Greek, etc. See what you like before you buy anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0