Are Ancient Coins Getting More Popular?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ancient coin hunter, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    When I joined CT in 2009 the World Coin forum was subtitled 'not limited to the new Euro coins'. Management did not know what to think when the mobsters from Coin Community moved in after a couple of our prime members were kicked out of that group. After a while we requested and were granted a separate group for ancients and stopped posting on World. That left that group to modern World collectors since many of the Medievalists came along I suspect because we had more posts about coins and fewer about investing in NCLT. When the new Ancient section was started the first post was #1 and all the earlier posts on Ancients were left on World. That means that some of the 17000 posts on World were about Ancients. I suspect the Euro collectors were happy to see us go.

    Toward the end, some of us started our thread titles with "Ancients" as fair warning that the post was about coins older than we were. I wonder now if we have any member left that has ever spent a gold coin for face value. Few kids had gold to spend and a 20 year old in 1935 would be 105 now.

    This points to a problem when we got out new Ancients section. I have always collected ancients and, to a much lesser degree, medievals up to about the time they started using machines to press out the Talers. It was always hard to draw a line since some places held on to the old way longer than others. We generally welcomed people who loved the early moderns (like Talers) the way we loved our ancients. In all honesty, I get tired of seeing so many posts about modern coins here on Ancients but that is why the put buttons on the mouse. I do not see Coin Talk starting a separate section for non-investor oriented modern collectors so what we have will be what we have. We have nowhere else to go.
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  3. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    What is the normal date cutoff for Ancients on this forum anyway? I assumed it would be until the Fall of Rome or so, and later for Byzantine stuff where there isn't a sharp dividing line. My primary interest is early modern world coins from about 1600-1850, but I'm starting to learn a little more about Late Medieval and Renaissance coins. I've never been sure which forum is more appropriate.
  4. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    That is a big debate. Many support Doug's position of up to about 1500 when modern machines started striking. Others think ancients, (except for Byzantines being grandfathered in by being the Roman empire), ended around the world around 600 AD give or take, (germans in Europe, rise of Islam, yadda yada).

    Take your pick really. We are not grumpy about posts about coins between 500-1500 really.
  5. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    When I was a kid ,the greatest high tech gadget we had was a transistor radio. We still had other interests which included stamps and coins. We all tended to collect US coins since they were readily available. Our pressing desire was to fill a hole in a folder. We would argue whether or not a penny was F or VF, (if it was mine it was VF, if it was yours it was F). Most conversations concerned Do you have 1909?, I have 1914, Is that an S or a D?
    When I was 13 , I started studying Latin and ancient history. I happened to be in my neighborhood coin store one day and saw some ancients. To my astonishment I knew who some of these people were, what they actually did and could read some titles. This was an amazing feeling and opened up a whole new exciting world of numismatics for me. In the course of several minutes history melded with my coin collecting and from 13 years old , I have never looked back.
  6. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    I've posted in the U.S. coin section, World Coins, Ancients, Medals, & WTS (want to sell). Ancients draw the most responses & interest. Interest in ancient & medieval coins is growing at a phenomenal rate in this country because collectors have been priced out of the market for quality U.S. & world coins. I've also noticed medal collecting is growing in popularity because you can get a loud bang for your bucks.
  7. Macromius

    Macromius Well-Known Member

    Call me a curmudgeon but I wish less people collected ancient coins. Prices are ludicrous right now. Sorry...
  8. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    As much as I like discussing coins on this forum and the CT family, I can only agree with you. Some think prices have come down a bit, but I don't see it.
  9. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    US coin trends though have stagnated since last 20 years. But, US prices where crazy back then for true rarity, still are. World prices are still too low for actual rarity. In upcoming Macho& Chlapovic sale, some of the Holy Roman Empire AV coinage seems $$$$ but then some of the coins are known from 2-3 specimens. Ancients are also vastly under priced considering true numbers extant in collections. US coins as seen by recent Pogue Sales still can go for astronomical prices, esp. in slabbed MS-66/67/68. I read in "Coin News" many times on the demise of coin collecting.....I see the opposite. Prices are going one way/ up.
  10. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    As a recent convert to coins and especially ancient ones, I l always liked them. But intil recently I did not know you could legally collect them and also that they can be affordable.

    Most people are unaware. If they knew, lots of them would get into ancient coin collecting.
    DonnaML and Alegandron like this.
  11. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I started collecting back in the late 1950's when one could pick up some really good stuff in circulation, silver dollars, buffalo nickels, the occasional barber silver coins and thus my major interest was in that area because one could get neat stuff at face value. I picked up my first ancient, a Roman denarius of Nerva in 1961 in really nice condition for $10 from a Philly department store, Gimbels I think. Since my original university major was the Classics, that coin and my studies merged quite well. I changed my major to social studies later (a lot more teaching jobs there than in the Classics in the 1960's) and thereafter my collecting was concentrated in the subjects I would be teaching, so it was often US coinage from Colonial to post Civil War Reconstruction. But as I also taught World History (with a heavy emphasis on Ancient history) I continued with ancients as well. Teaching AP European history brought to me an interest in late Medieval history to the 20th Century, but there seemed to be less use for coins or currency in that subject. Once retired and free to indulge my interests, I returned to ancients and my interest in the Classics, even brushing up on my Latin and Greek. I have found that the most educated and intelligent and knowledgeable and enthusiastic of numismatists have been those who collect ancients, at least as part of their collecting hobby. I think that may be because they two are as much interested in the history of the period as its coinage. In short, for me anyway, I have always combined those two interests, numismatics and history and ancients is the area where the two best intersect. In a world wide context I think that is the reason interest in ancients has remained, perhaps even grown as both a hobby and a study as well as a business.
  12. Claudius 11

    Claudius 11 Active Member

    For me I think there is something special about holding a BC coin in your hand whether Roman or Greek and try to think what was the last item this coin bought maybe I' m just a dreamer. As for prices they have increased I think due to this forum. I think dealers read this forum to see where the most popular posts are about and flood there coins accordingly
  13. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I would say there are US collectors like most ancient collectors, those more interested in what the object is, its history, etc than what the grade and value is. Most of them collect early copper, (pre-federal and early federal), as well as colonial paper money.

    If I went back to US collecting that is where I would be. Much more of a vibe like ancients. I actually started a colonial paper money collection a few years back specializing in Ben Franklin notes. I expanded it a little with a note engraved and signed by Rittenhouse, (first mint director) and one hand signed by Loami Baldwin, (founder of US civil engineering, developer of baldwin apple and cousin to Johnny Appleseed). I may add a few others I like the history associated with them.

    As to prices, I have been around ancients since nice Byzantine gold coins sold for $80. I have seen the price appreciation, but I agree I doubt they will get cheaper. I think source material running low, so prices will continue to climb.
  14. Johnnie Black

    Johnnie Black Neither Gentleman Nor Scholar Supporter

    This is exactly what drew me to ancients just about 3 years ago. I love history anyway but the pricing really made it attractive to move into ancients. Just more interesting variety anyway.
  15. Alegandron

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

    I started collecting in the 60's. Mainly modern US due to accessibility, my younger age, and had not learned of Ancient History. However, I was very interested in the history behind the coins I collected, vs. filling slots in a collection. Even at my young age, I was drawn to the niches of coin collecting because of the history surrounding them. Hard Times Tokens, Civil War Tokens, emergency monies, Mils, etc. were interesting. As I moved into my teen and later years, I was exposed to more Ancient History, and became fascinated with the Ancient World and History. In my late 20's, I dumped a pretty extensive collection and moved on to collecting Ancients. Life, career, children, etc. etc. slowed my collecting resources, but the interest was always there.

    Campania Cales 256-240 BC AE 18 Athena Cock Star.jpg
    Campania Cales 256-240 BC AE 18 Athena Rooster Star
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  16. Libby007

    Libby007 Member

    Greetings, All - This is off topic, but I could use some guidance. Every day I receive via email "Coin Talk Update". My question is: is there a way I can receive the same type of daily "Update" for the Ancient Forum? Thanks in advance.
  17. Andrew McCabe

    Andrew McCabe Well-Known Member

    No, it's getting less popular.

    (35 years collecting experience)
  18. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    @kevin McGonigal
    Honestly for me an ancient coin is a window into a past time. To be able to hold a coin that was used to pay a soldier or buy a pound of wheat for a peasant family and so on, is intoxicating to me. I also love history and microbiology(my field of study) and love to intertwine the two with numismatics.
    SARS COV 2 ain’t got crap on the agent of the Cyprian plague!!
  19. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Why is that sir? From what perspective?

    I agree shows are becoming less popular, but internet has more than made up for that. I don't post in this section always, but am always reading it. It seems this section likes pictures, and I simply do not have time or inclination to take pics of my coins. So, unless I snag the photo from the auction house I don't post as much.

    I do see some excitement waning a little. I think that has to do with less material coming from source countries. Collectors want to buy, and less material leads to less action. This is why I encourage "catch and release" collecting, selling back to the market when you are done collecting to let the next generation collect. I really do not like the idea of donating to museums which do not want them anyways.
  20. Sealgair

    Sealgair Member

    A personal reflection only: after decades of casual collecting, I started collecting coins which had intersecting interest for the history they entailed plus an aesthetic appeal (often highly idiosyncratic). I originally thought that ancients were “very rare” and therefore way beyond my budget, and so was astonished that some splendid or at least very attractive ancients were available for a cost not much different from the charge to ship them to me. So, just as Samuel Johnson had to admit to misdefining one part of a horse, my failure was due to “ignorance, pure ignorance.” I still have a great deal to learn, am only now beginning to weed out counterfeits bought before I knew anything, and will never own anything of great monetary value, I have some I can pass on to my grandchildren without embarrassment. Thanks to this forum for everything I’ve learne
  21. Alegandron

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

    I like that phrase. Well done, boils down the concept succintly.

    Nice comments, @Sealgair ... my thoughts too.

    Agreed. I am but a steward holding my coins for a short period in my lifetime on a long timeline of their past and future existence. When I pass, I hope my children / grandchildren enjoy them, and/or sell them to those that truly appreciate them.

    To museums? LOL, no. Too much open floor space devoted to making things look "pretty" vs. pulling everything out of their storage basements to put them out for everyone to enjoy.

    As to Ancients being more or less "popular"? I have no opinion, just thoughts.

    Although folks may buy more, or buy less in a given year, does that make the Ancient Coin Hobby more or less popular? I treasure, enjoy, research, learn, etc. my coins whether I am acquiring more, or less during a given year. That is me. However, I am sure many others feel the same of their collection or other Ancient Coins.

    I do not define my Hobby as an investment, that each year the Ancients Coins Industry visits how much was bought and sold. I am not sure if we can define whether the Hobby has become more popular or less by the monetization of purchases by year. That approach moves the Hobby to a Commodity.

    Ancient coins are a avocation for me. I spent my life in vocations that monetized our industry into Billions of dollars, and the yearly changes in those revenues determined the health of those industries. I look at the Ancient Coin Hobby as a means for me to de-stress, enjoy History and those Coins that are tangents to periods within History. In my heart, the popularity is incosequential, as I have always enjoyed Ancient Coins for 30+ years, and Ancient History since I was child 50 years ago...

    I caveat the above thought on those who provide a market to exchange Ancient Coins: Auctions, Dealers, Sellers, etc. When a livelihood of the business depends on annual sales success, that becomes another position on whether their Industry is doing better or worse from year-to-year. I am a Hobbiest, ergo that is another discussion left to those experts. :)
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