Ancient Coin Collecting For Beginners – Watch This Before You Start (What Types of Goals?)

Here's a bit of perspective that I wish I had before I started collecting and dealing ancient coins – hopefully this is a fun overview and can be helpful to you however you may be approaching this hobby! I certainly appreciated learning a lot of this wisdom along my own journey, and wanted to pass that along to all of you – and while I may be mis-pronouncing things or even messing up the facts a little bit, this should be nice & helpful for you as you think through what your collecting might look like!

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27 Comments on “Ancient Coin Collecting For Beginners – Watch This Before You Start (What Types of Goals?)”

  1. I recently signed up on Whatnot, I’m very interested in collecting ancient coins so I appreciate you putting this video out. I do have a question about purchasing from you on Whatnot. Do you wait until the end of the auction to send an invoice for all coins purchased?

    1. Hi Sherri – The coins are immediately charged to your credit card after a successful bid, and then you will get a packing slip invoice with the coins when they arrive!

  2. I have no idea what this would sound like to someone who doesn’t collect ancients. But being someone with a few decades experience in it this presentation came off very scattered. I am not sure “collecting strategy” even makes sense with ancients. Collecting and educating oneself go hand in hand, start with a small budget and buy what you like, then learn everything you can about it. You will find yourself gradually growing anyway and being more comfortable spending more. Don’t think about strategies, just have fun -that’s what makes it different from collecting US!

    1. I agree – it definitely is a scattered video – certainly catered towards people who haven’t been involved with ancients! I think there’s a lot of people who have no idea where to start.

    2. I won’t worry about being scattered when your trying to help someone get an idea on how to start collecting coins with over 2 thousand years to think about lol. Especially when you have people having a hard time collecting modern rounds for a certain set minted within the past few years.

  3. Great video, so much information. I stated with 10 coins per century, different Rulers, Civilizations, Country’s. The most fun is hold a coin, think about it’s history, what it bought at the time it was minted. What was going on at the time. The thought of who held it. Studying the meanings of the portraits or scenes depicted. I’ve put together 6, 3 inch binders of information, in my researched, got to love hard copy’s. Old school. Can’t wait for the next auction on Whatnot. Take care my friend.

  4. My first 4 ancients i bought graded because i was new and nervous about fakes. They are the only graded ancients that own now. Would rather have them raw. Like you said, its a good way to get your foot in the door for someone that is new. I think it would be neat to see a video going over different types of roman denominations with all the changes due to inflation.

    1. That makes a lot of sense. And I will look out for that – I’d like to get together with an ancient monetary historian to discuss the different edicts and that sort of thing with regards to that. On the topic of fake avoidance, I was unsure of that drachm I sold you (despite it coming from a reputable auction house in Switzerland and the US), and so I cancelled the order. If you would like it, it would be $45 less than the original payment, but no authenticity promise – I figured you’d much rather have the $$.

    2. I figured that’s why it was pulled. Thanks for the honesty. That’s why I buy from you.

  5. Thank you for your input, I know nothing about ancients and a year ago I bought INB slabs. They were so bad, they were basically all widows mites, with some of the even having bright cliped edges like someones took them out and clipped pieces off them and put them back in.

    1. To be honest I don’t have an opinion – I’m not too familiar with that pricing and market.

  6. Great video! Before this I wasn’t interested in ancient coins at all, now I have another collection that would be fun someday.
    Also I really appreciate how humble you are. Here is Anton of amazing info “my ancient history could be better” haha meanwhile everyone else is just amazed at your knowledge.

    1. Thanks for the supportive comment! Ancients are fun to dip into and then discover what you’ve been missing – it’s been awesome discovering that history!

  7. Thanks, Christian, for those pointers on collecting ancient coins.
    I have been thinking about which ancient coins I might want, after I went in search of a 17th century 8 Reales for my channel picture.

  8. Really cool to see you getting more into ancient coins, Chris!
    If you need some help, send me a message on instagram and Ill be happy to give you a hand

  9. Awesome video! A couple things i think you should mention next time are, for Roman coinage you can collect different eras such as Roman Republic, imperial, and Byzantine, and even within those eras you can break them into more specific niech eras like with republican coinage you can collect early archaic coinage such as the large bronze AS gravs or you collect coins just from the Imperatorial period which is basically from the time of the first and second triumvirate. Or with Imperial coinage you can break them down to rulling dynasties Like the Jolio-Claudian, Flavian or Nerva-Antonine dynasties, i know a lot of collector’s try to collect the 12 Caesars set but most of those earlier emperors are very pricy to get Denarii even if their not in the greatest shape, emperors like Galba, Vitellius, and Otho are very expensive and even Augustus, Nero and Tiberius’ denarii are very pricy and Caligula and Claudius are very hard to find. But some alternatives if you don’t have the budget for the 12 Caesars in Denarii or Aurei then you can collect them in their Bronze denominations like the Æ As or Æ Dupondius, i wouldnt really recommend Sestertii though if you are looking for something affordable cause sesterts can be very expensive in decent grades as well. But probably the best thing to do that I think you should definitely mention is to look at the Provencial coins route, their designs and busts are usually more crude style and the level of artistry is usually not as good as officially Roman mints but they definitely have their own appeal and have some very interesting iconography of all the diverse local cultures from provinces all over the Empire, and not to mention it is much more affordable. Another way that you could find a more affordable theme is to instead of collecting a 12 Caesars set, you can collect the 5 good emperors set with, Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius & Marcus Aurelius. I have got very high grade Denarii of all these emperor for under 70$ if you search hard enough, the only one that is a little more rare/ expensive is Nerva because of his very short reign. And you can even collect some of their Co-Emperors and Caesars and even their wives and daughters, such as Lucius Versus, or Aelius Caesar, or Faustina Jr, and Sr, or Lucilla, or empress Sabina. Another interesting niech to collect is coins with Punch marks or “Chop” marks, i even know some people that collect ancient Forgery coins like Barbarian imitations or Fourrée coins Or you can collect coins with religious motifs like coins with early Christian iconography, or Roman and Greek coins with Greco-Roman Pagan iconography. Or you could collect emperors who faught against each other, like Constantine I & Maxentius & and Licinius, or Augustus, Lepadus & Mark Antony, or Gallienus & Postumus & Vaballathus/ Zenobia. Honestly there are probably an endless amount of ways you can collect with ancients, that’s why I love them so much. Just thought I would throw out a couple more ideas in case you ever make another video, which I would definitely love if you made more videos about ancient coins. I wish there was more content on YouTube for ancient numismatics! so please keep up the great work!!!

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