Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Gavin Richardson, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Here’s a thread to refer beginners to. I think other CT members may have tried this sort of thing in the past, but it might be a good idea to do it again. I posted a version of this as a reply to a beginner question last week, and it was suggested that I start a new thread with it, so here it is. It’s weak in Greek and Medieval (and pretty much anything non-Roman), so those collectors are especially encouraged to follow up with suggestions.


    We get a lot of new members on the ancients board asking the same questions. Here’s a link to some helpful threads for folks new to ancient coins. WELCOME!


    See this thread.
    And this one:



    This list here:



    Doug Smith’s excellent coin pages:


    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    BTW, I'd love to see specialists' "TOP 3" lists. In other words, I'd love to see @Deacon Ray's TOP 3 resources for Biblical coins, or @Parthicus's TOP 3 resources for Parthian coins. A slew of resources might be overwhelming. But specialists' TOP 3 lists can be inspiring for us all. Just a thought.
    Pellinore, Nyatii, Deacon Ray and 2 others like this.
  4. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish)

    I think this thread is missing:

    @zumbly ran a fantastic series of threads on this question that he indexed here:

    This is a great idea to have a thread with all the resources we use a lot to answer questions so that we don't have to search in multiple places for them anymore.

    As a general rule I also think it would be good practice that if a new collector asks an honest question to try and answer it and include any links specificly related to the question in that thread as well as to link them to this general answer thread.

    For a new collector that is genuinely trying to learn it might be off putting to respond to thier question with "see prepackaged answer C" buried in this other thread.
  5. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    I completely agree, as a measure of hospitality. I don't mean to discourage anyone from taking the time to answer a question directly. I think a personal response, followed by a link to this thread, would be helpful and hospitable.
  6. Plumbata

    Plumbata Well-Known Member

    As a relative newcomer to the forum I'm not sure what the proper protocol for requesting assistance with identifying coins would be (got 2 Greeks and a possible Celtic I can't figure out). Is there a dedicated thread somewhere for such questions?
  7. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist

  8. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    Not that I've seen, and thanks for bringing it up! There aren't any hard and fast rules, although some customs and courtesies have evolved over time. Here's what I feel is appropriate:

    Guidelines for posting coins for identification
    1. One coin per thread.
    2. Do not flood the board with requests. Perhaps one per day, or less.
    3. Include adequate images of both sides of the coin. The pictures should be in focus, of large enough size, and well lit. Crop the images so we see mostly coin, not a tiny round object on a big table. It is preferable to join the obverse and reverse into one side-by-side image. There are numerous free photo editing apps for this. When cropped, a side-by-side picture of 1000 pixels in width is a good size. If the sides are not joined, 400 to 500 pixels wide is plenty, assuming you've cropped out most of the background.
    4. Upload the coin image and show as "Full Image" in thread rather than as a thumbnail. If people have to click to see the image, you won't get as many lookers.
    5. Include the weight and diameter of the coin.
    6. Tell us how you acquired the coin and any other information which might help.
    7. Tell us what steps you've taken so far in your effort to identify the coin.
    8. Tell us what you think it might be.

    As this thread grows there will undoubtedly be more websites, more suggestions, more everything. Gavin, I wonder if it would be helpful to edit your first post as such things arise, capturing all of them in the first post of this thread?
  9. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    That's the plan. But I don't want the list to grow so unwieldy that it ceases to be a selection of true starting points. But @FitzNigel's fine post above reminded me of MA-Shops, which I just added.
  10. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    I believe that too many new questions suffer from failure to these two of the TIF points. Proper images can allow us to refine our replies so they are not just wild guesses. Fuzzy photos will get fuzzy guesses or just ignored because we might well decide that we need not put more care into the matter than you did. This is also the situation with the point asking what you have done so far. Some questions will require some effort to answer. The more sincere effort you have shown, the more likely that someone here will take up the challenge of finding the answer. About half of the questions asked here can be answered with little difficulty by one of the CT regulars. The question is whether you want to encourage effort on the less than obvious questions. There is nothing that makes some of us more interested in helping you than a feeling that you have at least tried to help yourself and might, someday, be willing to help the next wave of new collectors with similar questions.
  11. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE

    I would add to @TIF ’s wonderful list...

    9. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. Or, have a blast like I do!
  12. cwart

    cwart Senior Member

    from a new ancient collector, this is a great thread idea... A one stop shop for info
  13. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    For a brief general overview of the Parthian series, I like the page on Forum: Coins

    (The section on the downsides of collecting Parthian coins is refreshingly honest.)

    The most comprehensive site is Unfortunately it hasn't been updated in a while, but there is a huge amount of information here. Just start on the homepage, and go from there:

    The Parthika site, similar to, is a comprehensive site that includes all Parthian history, not just numismatics (although coins do take up the majority of pages). Text is in French, but it is pretty easy to figure out even for non-fluent French-speakers like me:

    Anyway, that's my opinion. I'd be interested to hear if @Bob L. or @dougsmit agree with this list.
  14. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Well-Known Member

    And in the move of telling us what you've done so far, please mention the various answers you might have aleady had from other forums. It's very annoying to do some research, take the time to write an answer and post it, to then discover you've had the same, or a similar answer in another place : "people at Forum xxxx think it might be this or that, any other opinion ? " would be perfectly OK

    TIF, Roman Collector and Alegandron like this.
  15. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    I like that advice too-- my user name is an acronym for This Is Fun :)! I wouldn't put this advice under "Guidelines for posting coins for identification" though.

    I'd place it in the #1 spot on the overall list for ancient coin collecting rules.
  16. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    I hope I can find my way back here when I receive the 32 ancients I just ordered. They are the first since I have ordered since I gave up my single Septemus Severus some time ago.

    The ones I've ordered are probably going to be in need of cleaning since they are part of a bulk lot of raw low grade coins. It will be something totally new since I never clean my EAC purchases.
  17. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    I just noticed I'll get 8 free so it will be 40 coins for $36 which is less than most of my EAC single coin purchases.

    The lots are advertised as Constantine, but I found it in another thread which indicated at least some received are older middle eastern types.

    The first question will be how to clean up coins from a bulk purchase so I can even start to attempt identification.
  18. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    I just returned from out of town and the Ancients I purchased have arrived. This is the first one which jumped out as larger and potentially more detail. I have simply brushed it with a horsehair brush with no other attempt to clean it.

    Since the lot was described as Constantine era, I will try to begin there. I think this is a nice one for my entry into ancients and how to identify them.
    Roman Collector and Bing like this.
  19. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    Do you want any hints or do you prefer to tackle this identification without any help?
  20. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    Hints are welcome.

    I would like to know what you are seeing that I could look for which allows you to give the hint.

    In this case, I see a portrait with a partial inscription on the "obverse" and some crosses and something that looks like an M on the reverse.
  21. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    The large M is a denomination mark for Byzantine folles (folles is the plural of follis). Instead of Roman Imperial, search Byzantine coins. Part of the emperor's name is visible.

    If you are entirely new to Byzantine coins, perhaps a good way to search would be to look through a list of coin examples ordered by their Sear number (Sear number = the catalog number assigned by David Sear in his book about Byzantine coins). Here's such a list:
    Justin Lee, zumbly and Marshall like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page