This is something Mark posted years ago. It helped me at a time that I had more money than brains. It made me think more and make better decisions. It also pointed out many mistakes I made at a younger age.
Thank you Mark for letting me share this here.
After collecting coins off and on for years as a child, I have been involved in numismatics on a full time basis, since 1979. During that time, I have run my own coin dealership, worked for Heritage on three different occasions, been a buyer for David Hall, worked for Pinnacle Rarities and was a grader at NGC for seven years.
And, as I like to tell people, numismatics runs in my blood, literally – numismatic pioneer B. Max Mehl was my grandmother’s uncle. I am proud to have that numismatic connection and always do my best to honor it.
I created the list of collecting tips below, in order to help collectors enjoy and benefit more from our wonderful hobby.
1.Buy/collect what YOU like. But keep in mind that when it comes time to sell,...
One of the oddities in our hobby is the concept that a coin can be "unlisted," in other words, not documented in the major catalogs. For those who collect Roman imperial coins, that means the volumes known as..."Roman Imperial Coins" a series of books that started publishing in the 1920's and ended (I believe) in the very early 1960's, or thereabouts. Updated editions have come out for Volumes I and II, which included many types unknown to those writing the initial volumes.
How something is defined as listed or unlisted can depend on how much detail is in the reference work. This concept is addressed in Doug Smith's article, " 'Unlisted' Denarii of Maesa & Elagabalus?" In my almost 20 years in this hobby I have only come across one sestertius for which the references were completely silent - in other words a reverse scene completely unknown to RIC. This was a sestertius of Caracalla, sold a year or two ago by the European company Pecunum. The reverse showed a figure with an ax...
Maria Magdalena of Austria
Work of Guillaume Dupré, 1613
Lead, 97.2 mm Ø, 77.3 g
Obverse: Bust of Maria Magdalena facing left, with elaborate hairstyle, wearing open ruff, intricate lace collar, and jewels. Around, MAR · MAGDALENÆ · ARCH · AVSTR · MAG · D · ETR (Maria Magdalena, Archduchess of Austria, Grand Duchess of Tuscany). Under truncation, GDP 1613 .
Maria Magdalena of Austria (1589-1631) was the youngest daughter of Karl II, Archduke of Inner Austria, and his wife Maria Anna of Bavaria. She married Cosimo II de' Medici (1590-1621) in 1608, and together they would have eight children. Cosimo II succeeded his father to become Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1609 until his passing. His mother, Christina of Lorraine, and Maria Magdalena would then act as regents for the new grand duke, the ten-year-old Ferdinando II. Pollard notes that Maria Magdalena was portrayed in similar court dress and...
Hey all, these past few weeks have been been unusually busy for me and I've been driven into veritable lurking mode here on CT. Even though my coin activity in general has been close to zero (which is good since my budget is well into negative territory!), I wanted to share this recent arrival from an auction win back in March.
I've admired these Lokrian staters ever since I started collecting Greek coins and they've always been right at the top of my want list. This example has a really beautiful, high-relief head of Demeter, but it was probably the intricate decorative details on the inside of Ajax's shield on the reverse that really sold me on it. I wish my pictures were better, because it is truly gorgeous in hand .
As always, please share 'em if you've got 'em!
LOKRIS, Lokri Opuntii
AR Stater. 12.09g, 24.9mm. LOKRIS, Opous, circa 350-340 BC. BCD Lokris-Phokis 60; McClean 5433; HGC 4, 992 var (control). O: Head of Demeter left, wreathed...
This coin is the one I had hinted at in the “Post Your Favorite Coin” thread. I was extremely excited to be able to buy it, and I was quite surprised for one to simply fall into my grasp like this one did. What you are looking at is a gold-inlaid knife cast by Wang Mang between 6 and 9 AD. The inscription reads “Yi Dao Ping Wu Qian,” or “One Knife Worth Five Thousand.” Since it will readily fit into your hand, you might be surprised how something so small can be worth five thousand of a monetary unit (likely Wu Zhu). However, there is a reason for why this is, which I will explain below.
I am sure most of you have at least heard of Wang Mang, but I would guess that few of you are familiar with the details of his story. If so, then there is no time like the present to read about this fascinating tale. I find the lore surrounding Wang Mang’s rule to be some of the most fascinating in all of world history as it began with brilliance and good intentions but...
A couple of hours ago during lunchbreak on this sunny day I took the bike to visit my very first ever floor auction and this is what I took home with me:
IMP CAES D CAEL BALBINVS AVG - Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Balbinus right
CONCORDIA AVGG S C - Concordia, in long dress, seated left on throne, holding double cornucopiae in her left and patera in her outstretched right hand
Sestertius, Rome, 22 April - 29 July 238
30 mm / 18,53 gr
RIC 22, BMCRE 18, Cohen 4, Sear 8494
Chosen by the Roman Senate against Maximinus Thrax in a unique feat after the failure of the Gordiani Africani, Decimus Caelius Calvinus Balbinus and his colleague Pupienus Maximus were doomed by their mutual antipathy and growing unpopularity with the Army and the city plebs, who wanted a successor with a pedigree, namely the young Caesar Gordian III.
According to Edward Gibbon, "Balbinus was an admired orator, a poet of distinguished fame,...
I worked out one heck of a deal to acquire both of these truly beautiful, scarce and amazing pieces today. With a little knowledge of these error types, researching recent sales, an emphasis that few people collect these error types, illustrating a passion to preserve such pieces and that they will be in good hands, and providing proof that I am a collector and not a dealer looking to flip it, it is amazing what you can offer a seller yet they feel comfortable giving it away for a whole lot less than even very recent market value/trends.
1. The 1/2 cent blank planchet is one of only three known total in existence anywhere, according to writeups in Mint Error News. As you can see, it is in absolutely amazing condition (beautiful color and few marks or dings on both sides, great rims) for being at least 161 years old (James Buchanan was in office as President in 1857).
Nickels on Cent...
There are many aspects of numismatics that can be challenging. The Lincoln Cent series is full of such challenges and is probably the most collected series of US coins. The common 1982 cent is one of those many challenges that seems to trouble collectors both new and old. So, I thought I would put together a simple guide to help identify the 1982 Lincoln cent.
Before 1982, the Lincoln Cent was made on a 95% copper planchet. Due to the cost of materials, a planchet change was needed in the 1980s. It was decided that a change to a 99.2% zinc planchet plated with copper was the economical alternative. So, that change was made in 1982. Unfortunately for collectors, the change was made in the middle of 1982 resulting in some cents comprised of 95% copper and others 99% zinc with no obvious way to tell them apart. To make matters worse, during the same year the font size of the date was changed from large to small…also midyear. The typical annual release of two different...
I'm sure many here know Mark. He wrote this many years ago to help collectors such as us. I just wanted to share it here. Mark is good with me posting it here. Great information.
I have no doubt that much or all of this has been discussed previously and in some cases, in greater detail and in a more interesting fashion. But, I have received a lot of questions about pointers for examining and grading coins, so I'll try to address them in this format.
These are merely my opinions and they may differ from those of others.
Different people prefer different types of lighting. I prefer using a small, high intensity "Tensor" lamp. I can sometimes see things (hairlines, etc.) on coins under this type of light that I can't see under a regular lamp with a 75 or 100 watt bulb. Some prefer halogen lamps and others prefer 75 or 100 watt lamps, like you might see at coin shows or auction lot viewings.
There is no right or wrong in this area. I would suggest experimenting...
I have been looking at sales prices achieved over the years and 2014 appears to be a good year for sellers, especially for run-of-the-mill gold coins because of the high price of the base metal. But although the base metals have been fairly stable I recent times, I find that I am able to pick up some fairly desirable coins at 20-30% less than in 2016-7. In exceptional cases, the price of very rare or high grade coins has appreciated, but this represents a small minority IMHO.
The three coins below are a glaring example. They are in no way sloppy examples of their era, I think. However, I placed advance bids because of the time difference in my country of residence and actually won 3 out of 5 coins, in my sleep, at 30-40% less than estimates and at least 20% less than what I paid for another MS63 Seljuqs of Rum AV dinar less than 6 months ago. A fluke or a disturbing trend??
Was it my lucky day or is it because of a general feeling of nervousness throughout the globe!! If the trends...
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