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...
Welcome to my first write-up of "COINS - AS SEEN ON TV!" here on Coin Talk! I have written buyer guides on eBay the past year with the same title but different headline topics. I have been an avid watcher of all Coin TV shows & networks for many years now, and have learned who the stand-outs are, and who are the cheats. I will focus on one Show/Network for a given write-up, and will even offer a critique of each show/network in regards to price, honesty, knowledge, customer service, on-air host(s), and more! Hope my Coin TV observations are of some benefit to all coin buyers out there, particularly the newer collectors. Comments always welcome! First up is Rick Tomaska's RCTV Rare Collectibles TV...
Rick Tomaska has had his own show now for almost 2 1/2 years, after leaving the now defunct Art & Coin TV (ACTV) in a nasty split that resulted in Jack McNamara also leaving to join Rick in his new venture. Barry Chappel, who is sticking to his Art show, continually lobbed...
The tumultuous year of 238 was one of the most chaotic in all of Roman history. The coins presented here are in my collection, with the exception of Gordian I and II. Balbinus and Pupienus I was fortunate to acquire in @John Anthony 's auction of last week.
The emperor at the beginning of the year was Maximinus Thrax, who had ruled since 235. Later sources claim he was a cruel tyrant, and in January of 238, a revolt erupted in North Africa. The Historia Augusta states:
"The Romans could bear his barbarities no longer — the way in which he called up informers and incited accusers, invented false offences, killed innocent men, condemned all whoever came to trial, reduced the richest men to utter poverty and never sought money anywhere save in some other's ruin, put many generals and many men of consular rank to death for no offence, carried others about in wagons without food and drink, and kept others...
I received an interesting coin Monday thanks to Ken Dorney.
The auction ended Friday the 13th and arrived Monday. That was a quick trip from California to Texas!
I was not in the market for a second coin from a large issue of coins (Crawford estimates 988 obverse dies). I found over 200 examples of Cr. 342/5b on line before I stopped looking. I have a similar coin that I bought in 2006. It is the second coin on my RR spreadsheet. The artwork is far from the best on RR coins. But..... @Ken Dorney is a good salesman! He mentioned an unpublished control mark: "This type unrecorded with any [reverse] control marks.", and the hook was set.
Roman Republic, Silver Denarius, Rome, C Vibius Cf Pansa, 90 BC, unpublished reverse control mark
Obverse: Laureate head of Apollo right, [control mark?] before, PANSA behind. Crawford says that this coin should have a control mark before Apollo’s chin. I see no signs of a control mark there,...
Hello CT friends. I have slowed down quite a bit on my coin purchases this year which has allowed me the chance to study and learn about some interesting coins in my collection I might not otherwise have spent as much time studying. This awesome coin came to me by way of our coin friend who’s namesake had some serious mother issues (looking at you @Severus Alexander ). I think this coin is fascinating because it was minted by a ruler who did not identify himself on his coins and thus remained a mystery to numismatists for centuries. Also this coin comes from a rare type of ancient civilization that we can study from sources both east and west (I.E. Chinese, Greek, Roman etc.). However, after studying this coin the only thing that I can say about it with certainty is that there is nothing certain to be said about it! More on that below.
Vima Takto, AD 78-110
AE Unit, Unkown mint, struck ca. AD 78-110
I have added several coins of Nikopolis ad Istrum this week. Nikopolis ad Istrum is just west of Markianopolis in the province of Moesia Inferior. For those of you not familiar, let's take a look at the map.
Here is a map with the appropriate area highlighted:
Finally, a little more detail within the province:
If you start at the Black Sea just above Constantinople and head west, you will come across Markianopolis first then Nikopolis directly after. All of this is in what is present day Bulgaria.
The town was founded by Trajan in commemoration of his Victory over the Dacians in 106AD. It issued much in the way of its own coinage and thrived. By 447AD though, the town had been in decline and was sacked by the Huns along with Markianopolis. The coins from the Severan era can be considered representative of the glory days of both towns.
First up is an AE18 of Nikopolis....
Well, Bizarre Love Tetrarchy never made the charts, so you get what you get. Also, there is what could be a triangle involved, but that comes down the post.
I was doing a little wandering outside of my usual areas this last month and found some interesting coins and thought I would share them with you. Like I mentioned before, I do have a thing for collecting LRB's by series/mintmark/officina details. Which is another way of saying, "I like to hoard Late Roman Bronze coins." But whatever. The coins in this post are all from about the same one hundred year period, from the Tetrarchy to Arcadius.
During this period you see some changes in the coinage which I think prompt most people to say, "Great. More LRBs." The portraits of the emperors become stylized so much as to become generic. The content of the coins both in terms of metallic value and design variety becomes very disappointing when compared to the choices in designs and artistic quality of the earlier Empire. With...
Over in the Ancient Type Set thread, @dougsmit boldly predicted that it would be possible to build a "reasonably comprehensive set of ancient coins" with just 100 slots to fill. Since I'm a generalist collector, and I also aim to be comprehensive, this prediction inspired me to try to build the smallest checklist I could live with. Here is a first draft that I cobbled together today. As you can tell from the title, I wasn't quite able to keep it to 100. The total number right now stands at ~186 [edit: now 189], and I would be very interested to hear your comments and suggestions! What crucial coin issuers/times am I missing? Can the list stay at 200 or less?
The list aims to be historically comprehensive, not numismatically comprehensive; and it focuses on political and military history, not cultural or social. It's awfully broad-brush, and there's an inevitable Western...
Goodness gracious, snakes alive, as my grandmother would (almost) say. I’ve picked up three very unusual depictions of serpents this year, all with similar motifs. Cue up the Steve Miller Band and behold the marvelous Snake Cowboy:
EGYPT, Alexandria. Domitian. Regnal year 10, CE 90/91. Æ diobol (25mm, 10.86 g, 12h). AVT KAICAP ΔΟ ΜΙΤ CEB ΓΕΡΜ, laureate head right / Agathodaemon serpent, wearing the skhent crown (emblematic of upper and lower Egypt), on horseback galloping left; L I (date) below. Köln –; Dattari (Savio) –; K&G 24.109; RPC II 2585; SNG Copenhagen 214; Emmett 277.10 (R5).
Ex Giovanni Maria Staffieri Collection. Ex West Coast/Lloyd Beauchaine Collection (Classical Numismatic Group 41, 19 March 1997), lot 1110; Classical Numismatic Review Vol. XVI, No. 1 (January 1991), lot 316; Numismatic Fine Arts Fall Mail...
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