Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by happy_collector, Jan 29, 2019.
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@Bing .. coins to me are a tangible piece of history. History I can touch, read about and learn about. Having one gold coin would not excite me as much as the learning and enjoyment many coins provide.
Personally, I've often bought an aureus just because that was the metal in which the type I wanted was struck. Gold for gold's sake isn't a valid argument to me. I wanted the Claudius "IMPER RECEPT" type in either silver or gold and I was outbid on the very few nice denarii (and the 5x more plentiful aurei during the same period) before I finally bought my aureus. While I'm happy with my coin, I might some day "upgrade" to a denarius if a really special example came up.
Overall, I'd find a well-matched set of denarii in very nice style with interesting types and VF+ detail to be far more impressive than a few aurei. Also be forewarned: if you're looking for a challenge, it is hard to find great examples of denarii. It's first necessary to look at enough coins to identify when a particular coin is truly exceptional. It can sometimes be subtle but once you get there in experience level, it'll become second nature. You'll end up learning about more coins which will hone your eye and prepare yourself for if you some day want to add an aureus.
It is great to hear from experienced collectors. I'll surely gear towards education and coin researching fun now. I enjoy reading the many CT posts, especially a recent one about Faustina's hairstyle changes. This is something I had remotely thought about, and wow, someone actually talks about it... Really enjoyed that topic. Thanks again for all the comments!
Truth is you don't need to possess the object in order to learn from it. Having a very, very special item is special in its own right. You might get more joy out of that fine aureus, and show it to others and hold it and look at it and just keep remembering that it's yours than you will a bunch of ordinary other coins.
I learned this lesson as a kid when my dad gave me the option of buying the toy I really wanted if I could wait another week until my birthday or get me a cheap toy on that day. I went for the cheap toy of course. And regretted it long enough that 40 years later I still think about it ;-)
is a good point!
There are a few regular CT members who no longer collect or have coins (or who only have a few) but who are active in researching and adding to the body of numismatic knowledge.
Budgetary constraints have drastically slowed my purchases and I'm starting to see the appeal of simply admiring other people's coins while continuing to read, learn, and contribute.
For now though I'll continue buying what I can when I can .
I doubt that. There a thousands of low priced coins that are pretty boring and duplicate each other to the point that you gain nothing by adding another. Unfortunately, the same can be said for coins that sell for huge sums just because they are gold or mint state. The secret of collection is to find the ones that speak to you, not the ones that you think will impress the neighbors. I have coins for which I paid under $5 and coins that were over $500. It is not necessary that my next coin will be one or the other category but, if it is expensive, there will be an effect on how many other coins I can buy to a greater degree than a cheap one will. How we each balance such decisions is why each of our collections are different and, hopefully, fit our personal desires.
The idea that a coin has to be expensive to avoid being 'ordinary' goes against every idea I have about collecting.
Same here. The only aureus I want is an example with Boscoreale toning. Otherwise I’d rather have a variety of EF denarii.
Edit: here is a dream coin:
This is a fair point: there are more than enough coins photographed/documented/analyzed in museum and other public collections to satisfy any amount of learning.
The only reason to own a coin is because you like it and want it for your own collecting parameters and preferences. At some point, one might question why bother owning any coins: you can just look at pictures. The same rationale would apply to any sphere of collecting - why own minerals, fossils, stamps, autographs, cars, art, etc.
Ultimately, collecting is just some odd facet of the human condition and I don't really want to question it too deeply because owning coins (and minerals and fossils) makes me happy.
Those sentiments resonate particularly well with me. I am not well versed in psychology and seldom indulge in self-analysis, but I think the main attraction for me in actually owning the coins I do is so that I can hold them in my hands and contemplate them whenever I read a book, or conduct research, or watch a movie relating to the historical events associated with those coins - I then feel an almost mystical connection - “I feel the vibes” as they say these days. The following may be heresy to some here, but I have only minimal interest in the appearance and condition of my coins (although I do like them to be reasonably well centered with complete and legible inscriptions) - or how they were made - the only thing in this regard that specifically interests me is the inscriptional lettering because of my love of Calligraphy. Fortunately there is room for all our diverse interests in this hobby.
For the record, unlike Scrooge, I always wear pants when handling coins. I mention that for the comfort of those who have coins that used to be mine.
That is the coin I look at and admire more than any other in your collection. It is a very important historically associated coin issue that I have wanted to add to my collection for many years. However, I have encountered very few examples that complied with my criteria - or I didn’t have the funds available at the time to buy the ones that did. Several times in those circumstances I contemplated selling one of my Samurai swords in order to purchase the coin, but I always decided not to take that step at the last minute. Now it is too late in the game for me to do that - there is a lesson to be learned there.
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