12 March 2008

3 Important Guidelines in Starting Your Ancient Coin Collection

Before you get started with your ancient coin collection, it helps that you learn about the history of these ancient coins.  You also need to find out where you can possibly acquire these ancient pieces of history and at what cost.  Finally, you need to know how to evaluate the authenticity of these coins to avoid counterfeits.

Collecting ancient coins can be very enriching as you get to hold a piece of golden history in your hands.  It may not be as easy as you think, but your passion and interest are reasons good enough for you to go on with your antique collection.  Just before you get started, here are a few things you need to do in order to get the best ancient coins for your collection:

Learn about the history of ancient coins

The first and most important thing you need to make sure is that you know what you will be collecting.  To do this, you have to do some research on the history of coins.  Find out how they began, what kinds of coins there were, where these coins were fabricated, what materials they were made of, where it spread, and where it is said to be buried by ancient leaders.  You need to be familiar with the types of coins coming from different eras, such as solidus during the rise of the Byzantine Empire.  Go out and witness coin shows, as well as read books and magazines to help you get acquainted with ancient coins.  Through this, you will know what coins there are to collect and their worth among other coins.   Here are some sources that can help you with your research:

Classical Coins - this is an ancient coin dealer that comprehensively displays the ancient coins they sell according to type, such as roman coins, byzantine coins, and biblical coins, among others, with the respective history and nature of ancient coins.

Coin - this is a website of Edward J. Waddell, Ltd. that offers online auction for ancient coins.  It also presents relevant history of ancient coins from different eras and places.

Ancients Info -  this is a forum for ancient coin collectors.  You can read posts in their message boards and find ideas regarding history of ancient coins as well as news updates.  Members can also help you with your coin collection concerns as you participate in their discussions, as you post new threads, or as you chat with other members.

Ancient Coin Collecting.  This is a book by Wayne G. Sayles that ­­incorporates ancient world history, the history of ancient coins, and the hobby of ancient coin collection.  You will find tips on how and where to look for ancient coins, how to stock your collections, and how you clean the coins.  You will also find information about grading and authenticating these coins.

Find out where to get these ancient coins and at what cost

Some websites previously mentioned are also dealers of ancient coins.   Here are other online destinations where you can find these coins to make comparisons and start your collection:

Collectors Universe Forums - this is an online forum where you can buy, sell, or trade coins for collection, including ancient coins.

Collectors Corner - this is an online marketplace for collectors of sports cards, stamps, currencies, and coins, ancient and modern alike.  You can also find news articles regarding these collectibles on their home page.

VCoins - this website presents a wide variety of coins for collection, including ancient coins, offered by different dealer-members.  This is a good place to find authentic pieces for your collection as dealers are bound by strict regulations in doing business with collector-customers.

Other ancient coin dealers are Barnes and Noble, Twin City Gold, and Nemesis Ancients and Antiquities.  Do not limit yourself to these sites, though, as you can find more dealers as you go on with your research.

The cost of ancient coins is determined by the supply of such coins, the material they are made of, and their grade.  Coins that are rarer to find are logically more expensive than those commonly found and so are those made from pure gold than other metals.  Ancient coins with higher grade, as rated by third party grading services based on their conditions, are also more expensive.

Know how to ensure authenticity of these ancient coins

Counterfeits can be very common with antique coins are they are hand-crafted by nature and easier to imitate.  It is important that you know the details of the particular coin you are interested in to avoid getting into this kind of trouble.  You can find ideas online at rg.ancients.info by Reid Goldsborough that contains articles on counterfeit coins, tips on how to avoid fraud on EBay, and coin grading and authentication services, aside from topics on different types of coins.

Do not just go for cheap coins sold especially by individual sellers who are not trusted in the industry.   As a beginner, it would be advisable to purchase your ancient coins that are certified by professional coin graders or those that went through third party grading services to ensure authenticity.  Popular graders are Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).  These are trusted third party graders that comprise of experts who do not only grade coins according to their condition, but also certify authenticity of these ancient coins.

Ancient coin collection can be very interesting and enriching.  It allows you peek into a piece of the past - the past that has become the foundation of today’s civilization.  Aside from learning more about ancient history, you are able to hold the most precious works of art, beauty, and luxury of golden times.

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