Aesthetics or Historical interest

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Davie, Sep 21, 2023.

  1. Davie

    Davie New Member

    Hey I know this might be a random question but when collecting coins, do people buy based on aesthetic or is it more about historical side of the coin or is it a bit of both. I'm new to collecting and was just wondering what other people's opinions were.
    Thanks in advance
    Sulla80, sand and expat like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Both for me.
  4. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else Supporter

    That is a question that is individual to each collector. There is no wrong way. Personally, I collect for both the coin itself and, more important for me, is the history from the time in question, the people and images on the coin and sometimes the mint it was struck at. The most important part is to enjoy whatever path you have decided to take. Good luck and have fun.
  5. Davie

    Davie New Member

    Cheers for the replies, I was just asking out of interest as I saw two roman coins, one was aesthetically more please and very detailed but the other one was from a time and emperor that I was more interested and would be part of the 12 emperors collection
    expat and sand like this.
  6. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    I leans more towards history. But nice looking also helps.
  7. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    I was taught in my youth that Aesthetics, a form of Philosophy, is History, and History is the presentation of Aesthetics.

    Be aware it was a Jesuit education, so...tread lightly.

    Truth is....both are intertwined to a degree that separating is futile.
  8. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Being an old country boy that loves his coins.... I am looking at three ancients on my desk right now that I could tell you very little of the history, but had my breath taken away when I saw them..... Yep, I am the shallow aesthetics guy.

    Sulla80, galba68, Chris B and 2 others like this.
  9. Davie

    Davie New Member

    Those coins look really nice, I'm interested in Ancient Roman coins and was looking to start the 12 ceasars collection but also saw a really nice Constantine I coin and was struggling to decide which one to get lol Screenshot_20230921-130725_Samsung Internet.jpg Screenshot_20230921-130759_Samsung Internet.jpg
    Sulla80, galba68, sand and 3 others like this.
  10. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    I, too, like the aesthetics, but history is much more important, and I believe most collectors would have to say that deep down. If it were pure aesthetics, a good counterfeit would be just as prized as a genuine Eid Mar denarius. A good fake MS 70 would be as sought after as a genuine 1907 Extra High Relief double eagle. Not that aesthetics are meaningless. I own a nice poster of a Monet. I've seen the real one in Paris, and they are both beautiful. But I'd still rather have the real one, just because of the history, mind you, not the money for the Monet.
    Sulla80, sand, Davie and 1 other person like this.
  11. Davie

    Davie New Member

    Yeah I feel I would have to agree for me I'm more drawn to the historical significance of the coins and the eras they were minted, like you I enjoy a finely detailed coin but for me I think history is most important and the aesthetic is a bonus.
    Sulla80, Neal and sand like this.
  12. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Well-Known Member

    Davie, first, welcome to CT.
    These 2 options are not mutually exclusive. If we have 1 million collectors on CT (OK, that may be a slight over reach), then there are 1 million different collections; and you can bet that the majority of them include both aesthetically pleasing and historically significant specimens. But each collection will include the specimens that are particular & important to that specific collector. (...including ancients.)

    To put it another way, I have friends who, whenever they buy or build a new home, they hire an interior decorator to tell them what they are supposed to like. Don't be that person.

    I have coins which I feel have a very high probability were in the hands of Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, & such (at least that's what I'm going with...:smuggrin:) as well as the best specimen I could afford for its kind (like several graded 1909 S vdb's).

    It's your collection, make sure it pleases you.
    Sulla80, mcwyler, Davie and 1 other person like this.
  13. sand

    sand Well-Known Member

    Hello @Davie. Welcome to Coin Talk Ancients (and Medievals).
    I collect coins, for the history and the mystery. I collect ancients, medievals, and moderns, usually earlier than 1900 AD.
    I am interested in the history of the coins, and the meaning of the coin designs. I also like the appearance of coins. Therefore, I try to get the nicest examples, that I can find, that I can afford. However, I also like worn coins, because it shows that the coins were used in the past, often in faraway lands.
    Sulla80, mcwyler, Davie and 1 other person like this.
  14. mcwyler

    mcwyler Member

    Pretty much in agreement with the majority here, while I appreciate a beautiful coin (and some coins are stunning miniature works of art that leave you thinking - how did they do that back then??) I also love my worn coins, after all they were worn down by ancient hands and I like wondering what stories they could tell. I have far more of the latter than the former btw!
    Sulla80 and Davie like this.
  15. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    The 12 first, then then buy to improve detail
  16. Vytis

    Vytis Member

    I say a little of both for me. I generally follow the notion that I should be able to at least read the name of the Emperor in regards to Roman coins. Funny enough an extremely detailed Constantine coin like the one you've shown is what first got me into ancients.
    Sulla80 and Davie like this.
  17. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    The problem with aesthetic ancient coins is that even a common coin can be priced exorbitantly (Athens owl, anything with Pegasus/ Medusa/ Gorgon), but historic coins are not like that, I can be happy with even a worn cruddy coin of a historic figure (Mark Antony/ Caesar/ etc). But if i'm buying a coin for its artistry I can't be making compromises with the condition, it needs to have an eye-appeal, which comes with a pretty price tag as well.
    Sulla80 and Davie like this.
  18. Sulla80

    Sulla80 Supporter! Supporter

    Depending on what you collect - "aesthetics" may be an acquired taste - I think I collect nice looking coins...but I definitely lean story first :

    The beginning of the Second Triumvirate (Mark Antony and Lepidus):
    Al Kamil during the 5th Crusade
    Kurzuwan under siege by Genghis Khan's armies weeks before the destruction of the city:
    Manuel I Comnenus (reverse) and his dream of a restored Roman Empire with MP-ΘV (i.e. ΜΗΤΗΡ ΘΕΟΥ == Meter Theou == Mother of God) Virgin Mary enthroned and facing holding nimbate head of infant Christ before her on the obverse:
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2023
    galba68, Davie, mcwyler and 2 others like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page