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Collecting Ancient Coins: Tips For Newbies

Finance & Money Blog

Collecting ancient coins can be an exciting hobby. Each coin has its own history, and in learning about the coins you collect, you can learn a lot about ancient history. Yet, this hobby can take a little time and know-how to get into. Follow these tips for newbies in order to have a great collecting experience. 

Buy from a reputable vendor

Since you are not overly familiar with how various ancient coins should look, it is easier to get swindled than when you are collecting, say, United States quarters. As such, you really need to do your due diligence and buy from a reputable vendor. Look for someone who has been in the field for several years and who has good reviews from customers. They should sell their coins with a guarantee of authenticity, which means if you find out that the coin is not real, you can return it for a refund. 

Don't be turned off by low prices

If you are used to collecting more modern coins, you might initially be shocked by the prices that ancient Greek and Roman coins are selling for. For instance, if you see 10 coins for $20, you might figure that is certainly a scam. But in many cases, the price is authentic. There are not many people who collect these ancient coins, so the prices have stayed rather low. Also, tons of these ancient coins have been unearthed in large hoards since some people in antiquity would bury their treasures during times of unrest. As discussed above, make sure the vendor is reputable before you buy from them, but don't be turned off by low coin prices, as only a few specific ancient coins really fetch big bucks in the U.S.

Don't clean the coins too much

When you buy ancient coins, you will often notice that they come to you looking dirty and gross. You can give them a quick rinse and get the surface dirt off, but resist the urge to scrub them, treat them with mineral scale remover, or the like. Some tarnish on ancient coins is expected. It ensures they look authentic and actually adds to their value. In cleaning them, you will often decrease their value, and you may actually make it harder to make out some of the details on the coin.

Branch out

Some ancient coin collectors like to focus just on a specific type of coins, such as Greek, Roman, or Byzantine coins. But as a newbie to the hobby, it is good for you to branch out a bit, at least for now. Purchase any ancient coins you think are interesting, and learn what you can about them. After a year or two of collecting, you will know more about each of these civilizations and will be better prepared to focus your collection on just one. Or, of course, you can keep collecting coins from numerous ancient cultures; this is a common approach, too.

Attend conferences and trade fairs

If you see any trade fairs or conferences in your area dedicated to ancient coin collecting, make sure you plan on attending. You can learn a lot from the people who run the booths, sell coins, and give seminars at these events. You can also make friends who share this hobby, which is one of the best parts of collecting. 

The world of ancient coin collecting is not too tough to break into. Follow the tips above, and if you have any further questions, talk to a coin vendor who has coins such as ancient Greek coins for sale in your local area. 


18 February 2020