Ancient Coins Price History

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Spargrodan, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. Silphium Addict

    Silphium Addict Supporter! Supporter

    Apparently, prices had dropped in the mid-1990s when I started seriously collecting ancients. Used to routinely get nice coins from CNG auctions at or below estimate (and they traditionally have low estimates). Was still learning and in retrospect should have bought many more quality coins, like from David Freedman’s exceptional Greek AE collection in Triton V. Someone told me once I was benefiting from the collapse of NFA after Bruce McNall had pushed prices up with ancients as “investments.” While I collect for enjoyment, the quality pedigreed core of my collection has significantly increased in value since that time. Especially when the Sheikh was paying premiums for quality ancients. So, it seems certain individuals can affect the market. Of course, I can’t bring myself to sell for profit yet.
    Roman Collector likes this.
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  3. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    If ancient coins prices from the early 1980s don't seem very low now, even without adjusting them for inflation, then there must have been a huge jump in the previous decade. Because (again in nominal dollars, without adjusting for inflation), it seems to me that most of the prices in this Nov-Dec 1971 retail catalog I still have from Manfra, Tordella & Brooks (a NYC dealer back then) have gone up 5x to 20x since then. See below.

    MTB 1971 Cat, p. 1.jpg

    MTB 1971 Cat, pp. 2-3.jpg

    MTB 1971 Cat. pp. 4-5.jpg

    MTB 1971 Cat. p. 6.jpg

    At the time I got this catalog, I was still in high school. I didn't collect ancient coins back then, and picked it up for the British coins. If only! Even on my modest weekly allowance, the coins I could have bought!
  4. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I believe the opposite/ prices of high quality coins will keep going up and up, as all other collectibles. Rare art/ vintage baseball cards/ classic cars, you name it. Look at prices realized (Heritage Auctions) past ten years in militaria/ minerals/ fossils/ banknotes/ rare wines/ civil war artifacts.
    The reason behind this trend/ more of us have the $$$$ to spend on hobbies. Back in 1900, only industrialists/ nobility/ movie stars had that ability. In 2020, ordinary Johns like me can collect rare coins. I am sure back in 1900, most factory workers would have collected, if they had the spare cash after paying the bills. We are lucky today to have that chance. Others think that when the "Baby Boomers" sell off in next 30 years, that the tech saavy folks will not do much else but look at their boring smartphones. Soon they too will start collecting.
    Having said that, I wish the opposite where true and that prices would drop back to 1980 levels, I still want to win lots of new and exciting coins in next 20 years or more. Would be nice to get MS Ptolemaic Oktodrachms for 5K:happy:
  5. Herberto

    Herberto Well-Known Member

    Can I ask you?

    Those two byzantine coins are VERY common and cost about 20-40 Dollars today:

    1.jpg 2.jpg

    Did they still cost the same for about 20 or 30 years back then?
    panzerman, Bing and Alegandron like this.
  6. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I doubt the top one is a 20-40 coin today, spectacular condition. Both, while common types, are very nice condition, which has been going up. Generically though, I think average condition Byzantine bronzes haven't really moved in 30 years.
    panzerman and Herberto like this.
  7. Herberto

    Herberto Well-Known Member

    Now you are here: A solidus of Heraclius costs about 300-400 dollars today. Can U tell me how worth it was for 20 or 30 years back then? Has it moved?
  8. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    A solidus of Heraclius used to run $150 30 years ago. However, gold was $400-500 an ounce then versus $1800 today, so that would have an effect.
    panzerman, DonnaML and Herberto like this.
  9. Alegandron

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

    LOL, I like this.

    Coin collecting, and Ancient Coin collecting is a Luxury Good.

    It reminds me many years ago during my MicroEconomics course that I had a great professor who stated:

    'What the heck is "Utility"? Let's be tangible... you don't always buy luxury goods for "Utility" - you buy them for the JOY! So, for the money you have, how many JOYS can you get?!?! '

    It stuck with me throughout my Bidness career! :D
  10. DiomedesofArgos

    DiomedesofArgos Well-Known Member

    Is there some place one could see pricing for ancients in the 1500s/1600s? Like a book or something that collects the info?
  11. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    Spot on. There's always a cost to sell and if you choose the wrong auction house, make that 50%;)
    panzerman and Spargrodan like this.
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