Custodian, not Owner

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kevin McGonigal, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    As I was going through part of my collection today, admiring, wondering and reminiscing, I recalled something I either read or heard many decades ago from some source I can no longer pinpoint. The speaker, or writer, was telling the collectors of coins to keep something in mind. We really are not the owners of our coins. We are their custodians for a period of time, in some cases for only a brief period of their existence. What that person seemed to be saying is that we must carefully guard our coins from the ravishes of time. They have survived centuries of threats to their existence, melting pots, barbarian destruction , buried in earth and under the sea. Handled by untold generations, spent, wagered, bribed, stolen, invested and squandered, they have somehow remained and are now in our hands. They are entrusted to our care, for a while, until they pass on to some other conservator of antiquities and so on, hopefully to the end of time, as a lasting memorial to peoples long gone from this earth.

    I picked out a few of my coins pictured here as ones I hope will survive long after they pass from my care. Not especially rare, but evocative of those who have gone before us and may have left nothing of themselves, except for the coins they handled. Perhaps you have some like them, too, that you would share with us

    The first if a lifetime issue Tetradrachma of Alexander the Great It is a variant of Sear 6713 (I think) and Price 6 and weighs 17.1 grams. The second is a Denarius of the Roman Republic with Pietas on the obverse from circa 107 BC. It is Sear 185, Syd 56T and weighs 3.9 grams. The third is a Solidus of Emperor Leo I from about 465 AD. It is Sear 4233 (1988 edition) and weighs 4.45 grams. The last is a silvered Follis of Emperor Diocletian honoring the "Genius" of the Roman people from circa 300 AD. It is Sear3533 and weighs 8.4 grams. If you too have some fetching coins you are taking care of for a while, please share them with us. IMG_1210[2783]conservator obv..jpg IMG_1211[2781]conservator rev..jpg
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    You make a good point...we are stewards, not owners...
    Paul M., kevin McGonigal and VD76 like this.
  4. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    I like the sentiment, but we are owners. Plain and simple. There was an exchange of money/goods for goods, along with a receipt and proof of purchase. That's ownership my friends.

    But being the owner does not exclude also being the custodian or steward, and the responsibility that brings.
  5. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    When one thinks about it, all of ownership, in a legal and figurative sense, is but temporary ownership as is our stewardship. As you point out the terms are not mutually exclusive.

    KIWITI Well-Known Member

    I once heard a motto: "Like Beer, coins stay with us only for a while!"
    Stevearino, Sulla80, Paul M. and 2 others like this.
  7. CoinBlazer

    CoinBlazer Numismatic Enthusiast

    For there to have the belief of custodian, you first must have the belief in the idea that what you holding is worth preserving. Just because I have a leather couch does not mean I am the custodian of that couch. For you to be a custodian of something , you must have the belief and intention of preserving it and passing it along to another custodian. And personally, if you are holding a coin, you should hold that coin for more than just its resell value.
    Paul M., Arkos and kevin McGonigal like this.
  8. Arkos

    Arkos Member

    Exactly, most of my coins are face value, but I still enjoy having/getting them. Mostly for the historical aspect
  9. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    I don't want start an argument but the idea that coins were a good investment almost drove me out of the hobby some years back. I went out of my mind trying to figure out the differences between an MS 65 and an MS 67 Morgan dollar. When I was a youngster, eons ago, we collected coins as fun, an enjoyable way to learn geography and history and later on I did hope that someday someone else would value and care for my collection. I have found that it is in the collection of ancient and medieval coins and maybe early moderns, that this spirit best lives as opposed to cornering the market on some bullion tokens and making a quick profit. Numismatics is a science, worthy of searching for, preserving and passing on to posterity these tangible links to those gone before us. I hope I have not angered those who collect for investment purposes but at that point, for me, it is something I care little about.
    ominus1, Alegandron and Arkos like this.
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    I suppose I consider coins an "investment" in a very loose sense of the term. Higher value coins likely will sell for as much or more than I paid for them. Budget coins I have found don't appreciate in value very much, however I still highly enjoy them. That's why it's technically a hobby and not necessarily an "alternative investment" as are fine art and other high-priced collectibles sold at auction.
  11. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator

    As with any hobby, it would be cheaper to grab a fistful of $50 bills and cut them up with scissors.

    It is not an investment, but also, I don't think whether they're an investment or not is the point of this thread.
    Johndoe2000$ likes this.
  12. Alegandron

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

    I have moved up the ladder from Custodian to OWNER.

    Each one of my Ancient coins will have my initials lovingly pounded into them. This is so that everyone 2,000 years from now will know they are still mine.

  13. arnoldoe

    arnoldoe Well-Known Member

    Hopefully aging will be cured, Otherwise I’ll have all my coins melted to build my sarcophagus.
    Alegandron, ominus1 and Johndoe2000$ like this.
  14. Johndoe2000$

    Johndoe2000$ Well-Known Member

    LOL :D
    Alegandron likes this.
  15. David@PCC


    Somebody already thought of that. In this case would you cross out their name?:D
  16. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member, i'd just leave it there..crazy Maria..9_9...
    Justin Lee and Johndoe2000$ like this.
  17. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    we as collectors value coins higher if they have provenance.....and we are also, for the most part, hopeless romantics in love with coins & history...:kiss:
    Arkos likes this.
  18. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Maria Sullivan should be condemned to an eternity of being mauled by Cerberus in Hades for defacing that coin.
    Arkos, YoloBagels and Johndoe2000$ like this.
  19. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..that would be all of mine...i find it easy to talk about selling, but i seldom (3 times to date)..'go all the way' :D..and all the peeps who have them are here amongst us and whom i consider very good Brian, Warren and John?!?...:D
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
    Alegandron and Johndoe2000$ like this.
  20. Johndoe2000$

    Johndoe2000$ Well-Known Member

    Lol, that's not harsh at all. :wideyed:
    TypeCoin971793 and ominus1 like this.
  21. Alegandron

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

    LOL, yeah, that is contemporary grafittio. Maria gets around. She was the BASILEOS' consort. Righteous Babe, she was!

    Personally, I would have snapped that up myself. Although a defacing, I would be super curious of the history of why that happened.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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