Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Mukremin, Jun 10, 2010.
btw also please a value indication
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You can ID them further using the spreadsheets available here:
To give you an example of their value, I once bought three bags of unsorted ancient coins (mostly 4th century bronze) for $60. I found several in the mix that were just like yours and in similar condition. At $60 for the lot I purchased, it came to $0.37 per coin.
Properly attributed, they're still only worth about a buck or two each. They can be fun to identify, but they won't put your kids through college.
Silver and gold coins from that period are much rarer and therefore worth a lot more. Not only because they contain precious metals, but because they were more carefully crafted. The bronze coins never got the love -- not then, not now.
If you're interested in valuable Roman coins, you'll have to look earlier in their history or, ironically, later. Some of the last Roman coins to be minted (in the period just before the fall of the western empire) are quite valuable if you can find a well-struck identifiable specimen. Most of the bronze coins minted at that late date were so poorly produced, they weren't identifiable even when they were new. So if you find a rare decent example, that'll actually be worth good money, even though it will likely be an ugly little excuse for a coin.
This is a fair question that deserves reply (and we hear it all the time). There are Roman coins that sell for $50,000 in average condition (the EID MAR Brutus come to mind). There are Roman coins that sell for whatever the minimum price a dealer charges to get out of his chair and take your money (like 99% of late Roman bronzes). The difference is demand. I collect Roman coins. If these three coins were offered free, I might take the one on the right to give to a new collector but but the fact remains that chipped, broken and corroded coins of common types exist far in excess of people who want them. If being identified raises the value from 37 cents to a dollar (debateable) you would need to find a non-ancient collector who thinks anything that old is worth a dollar. Harder is finding someone who thinks a thousand such coins are worth $1000. Most of us would rather have the same coin in presentable/beautiful condition for $10-50. I'm surprised that it is not also that way with Ottoman coins. Is there are market for the most common coins in corroded and broken condition? There are more common ancient coins in good shape than there are collectors willing to tie up all their cash in many thousands of common coins. Most prefer to have a few hundred selected 'special' coins.
Being old does not make a coin valuable. Soldiers of the Late Roman period buried their cash reserves in a secret place and went out and died in battle. Farmers buried chests full of cash and left quickly when the barbarians were coming over the hill. Rich people died of disease and forgot to tell anyone where they stashed the cash. If my total 'cash' worth is $1000, at least $900 of that is in the form of entries in a bankbook. A Roman worth 1000 coins had a bag containing 1000 coins. Both of us might have IOU's and other forms of non hard cash assets but few modern folks have money buried in the back yard.
Later, in the medieval period, there was a smaller use of cash in transactions. In the East, the same type coins stayed in circulation for hundreds of years so many that are found are worn slick. The turmoil of the late Roman period caused regular changes in monetary standards so many of the coins buried would have been hard to spend even if they were found. The combination of millions of coins and a terribly fast change in the economy conspired to make a lot of coins not worth much. Add to that a couple thousand years of burial and we have a million coins in existance with a thousand still in decent shape but only 500 collectors who wouldn't mind having the type. There are well over a million different ancient coins and most collectors do not try to get a complete set so the boring ones sort of fall by the wayside while the collectors dream of owning one of the 'special' ones they could never afford.
Coin value is not what a dealer charges for a coin but what that dealer will pay a collector to buy that coin back from the collector. As long as the earth continues to cough up thousands of unsearched and uncleaned coins, the market for coins identified as nothing special will remain low. You might find a new collector who would pay $10 for the coin on the right and they might take the other two for free if you threw them in but it might be hard to find a dealer willing to tie up any amount of money to buy a bag of 10,000 broken and ugly coins knowing that there would be nothing special hidden inside. Again I am surprized if it is different in Ottoman. What is the value sight unseen of a bag of 10,000 damaged common bronzes pretty certainly picked over to remove anything special? Similarly, what would be the value of 1000 good looking common coins which are likely to be already in the collection of 99% of the people who are interested in such things? Such nice coins might be worth $10 or $50 'retail' but who is willing to tie up $10,000 while they look for a thousand buyers? Perfect coins are easier to sell but, unlike US coins, I've not known collectors interested in buying mint roll sets.
This is way too long but I'll ask others to disagree with the points I've made. If you say just any old coin is worth real cash, how many would you like?
One of my favorite coin dealers has said: "Love your coins for what they are, not what they are worth." We all have to ask if the bottom fell out of the coin market, would we buy twice as many or give up the hobby in disgust.
Definately twice as many :goofer: :goofer: :goofer: :goofer: :goofer:
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