https://www.cointalk.com/threads/it-is-about-that-time-to-start-thinking.370239/, I’ve come to that perennial question. What is Ancient and what is Modern? I appreciate there are as many answers as there are numismatists, but a line needs drawing. I think it’s agreed anything that comes in a proof commemorative gift set is Modern, while anything from a year ending in ‘BC’ is Ancient. In between, though, we have 1800 years of grey area. So, since no-one can give a definitive answer, I have put it to the vote. (Just for amusement – no-one in their right mind would put a complex question such as this to a consequential public vote). Æ32 dolphin. 400-300BC, Olbia, Thrace. 2.49g (SNG BM 360). Undeniably ancient. But is it a coin? First, I should correct the error in the question. Ancient and Modern are not contiguous. We have very many centuries in between that can’t be described as either. The bit in the middle is called, well, the Middle Ages. The question, therefore, is better phased ‘when does the Ancient period end for a numismatist, and more specifically on CoinTalk’. Here are the options I have arbitrarily put together: 476AD: The End of the Romans Does Ancient end with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire? It’s a Eurocentric view, but that’s not quite the sin it would be today given 4 of the 7 continents hadn’t even been discovered yet. It’s also a very useful one, as the Romans had directly affected coinage across the whole of Europe, north Africa and west Asia. For example, few, if any, coins were struck in Britain in the 200 years after the Romans left. It is therefore both a theoretical and a physical divide. It is also the start of what historians call the Middle Ages. Delmatius bronze follis. 335-337, Trier (second officina). 1.64g. FL DELMATI-VS NOB CAES. GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS. From the Nether Compton Hoard, Dorset, UK, found 1989 (RIC VII 594). An ancient coin, but is it one of the last? 793AD: Charlemagne’s Coin Reform In 793, Charlemagne introduced a thinner and broader coin as part of a reform of weights and measures. This style was adopted throughout Europe, including by Offa in England, where the distinctive ‘penny’ remained in use until the reforms of the Tudors at the start of the Modern era. To the uninitiated, many European coins from Charlemagne’s time are difficult to distinguish from medieval coins struck 700 years later. It would seem arbitrary to separate a Charlemagne denier from a Charles II of Anjou denier. Dernier of Charles II of Anjou (the Lame), 1285-1287, Clarencia, Principality of Achaea. 0.73g. K R PRINC ACH DE CLARENTIA (Metcalf 942). Or is it Charlemagne? 1000AD: The Millennium The next candidate is 1000AD, if for no other reason than it’s a round number and easy to remember. It’s also not based on any historical event, which would inevitably be tied to the circumstances of a particular culture. For English coins this works because of the Norman Conquest in 1066 – in England, history begins in 1066, when William I ‘the Conqueror’ changed much and wrote it all down. In China, by 1000AD the Song Dynasty had reunified much of the country. They experienced rapid economic growth and there was an associated growth in coin production. Their coins were used across East and South East Asia. They were the first to use gunpowder and issued the world’s first banknotes, which certainly sounds Modern. William II ‘Rufus’ penny, 1092-1095, London. Voided cross type. 1.38g. + þillelm rei. + þvlfþord on lv, Wulfword of London (S 1260). Struck in the same millennium as I was born, so it must be Modern. 6 July 1189: Time Immemorial Believe it or not, English law has a definition for the time ‘beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition; indefinitely ancient’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_immemorial). In law, having some property or benefit ‘since time immemorial’ means you’ve had it so long you don’t have to prove how you came by it. In 1275, the ‘time of memory’ was set at the accession of Richard I (6 July 1189). ‘Before memory, record, or tradition’ would be Ancient, then. Richard I ‘the Lionheart’ cut halfpenny, 1189-1199, London. Class 4b, Fulke on Lond (S 1348C). Officially in use since time immemorial. 1453: The Fall of Byzantium If the collapse of the Western Roman Empire is too early, perhaps the end of the Eastern Roman Empire will do. It coincides with the end of the Medieval era (the Middle Ages), which lasted from the end of the Western Roman Empire to around 1500, when the Modern era (in historical terms) began. Justinian I, half follis, 541-542, Nicomedia. 29mm, 11g. D N IVSTINIANVS P P AVI. A/N/N/O, XЧ, K (DOC 141; MIB 116; SB 203). Early medieval, but is it Ancient? 1561: The Beginning of Milled Coinage Anything produced by a machine is undeniably Modern, and Elizabeth I’s experimental milled coinage (from 1561) might serve as a starting point. A big difference between collecting Ancient and Modern coins seems to be an obsession with grading, and Ancient and Medieval coins don’t get graded very often – hammered coins don’t have the ‘proof ultra-cameo’ or ‘MS70 with a green sticker’ surfaces that make grading such a sport for collectors of Modern coins. (It’s also more difficult to give them a lurid tone). If there was a divide that makes most difference to numismatists, this might be it. However, there’s a problem. Not every country started milling coins at the same time. Indeed, Elizabeth I’s milled coins are 100 years older even than England’s last hammered coins. Half rupee, copper, 1835-1900, Bhutan. 4g (KM 8.1). A coin hammered 300 years after the first machine-made coin was produced. Ancient technology in the Modern era, but is it Modern? So I would be grateful if you could help me out here and vote. If you like, post your 'youngest' Ancient by your own definition.