Dealers from whom I purchased the most coins in 2020

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, Dec 31, 2020.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I think the majority of members of this forum probably make the bulk of their ancient coin purchases in auctions. But I suspect that there are others, like me, who prefer the certainty of direct retail purchases at venues like VCoins and MA-Shops, despite the (allegedly) higher prices. I thought that those who prefer such purchases, and who might have liked some of the coins I've shown here this year -- somebody must have, given my 12,000+ "likes" in my 11 months here! -- might be interested in knowing which dealers I've used the most this year. So here's a list, in order, of all the dealers from whom I've bought three or more coins in 2020. All are retail dealers except for Frank S. Robinson and Harlan S. Berk, Ltd. (although I've always bought at the "buy" price from the latter anyway). And I'd recommend any and all of them. Any problems with shipping delays certainly aren't their fault. And both returns I had to make -- one fake, and one fourree -- were accepted without hesitation.

    I bought no ancient coins on Ebay this year, so I can't offer an opinion on any dealers who sell there exclusively.

    London Ancient Coins (UK) - 18 coins
    Harlan S. Berk, Ltd. - 8 coins
    Marc Breitsprecher - 8 coins [inadvertently omitted; edited to add him]
    Herakles Numismatics - 7 coins
    Victors Imperial Coins - 6 coins
    Frank S. Robinson - 6 coins
    Romae Aeternae - 5 coins
    Ken Dorney - 4 coins
    Kirk Davis - 4 coins
    Sphinx Numismatics (Canada) - 4 coins
    CGB (France) - 4 coins
    Lucernae (Spain) - 3 coins
    Marti (Spain) - 3 coins
    Aeternitas (Spain) - 3 coins
    Pegasi - 3 coins
    Aegean - 3 coins
    Silbury Coins (UK) - 3 coins

    I bought either one or two coins from about 20 other dealers.

    I only went to one coin show in 2020 -- the NYINC in January, where I think I bought a total of four coins from dealers on the bourse -- but it's not as if I usually go to more than that in any other year.

    If anyone else would like to mention any retail dealers from whom they purchased more than once or twice this year, at any venue, please do so.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
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  3. shanxi

    shanxi Well-Known Member

    Roma Numismatics
    Numismatik Naumann
    Leu Numismatik
    London Ancient Coins
    Forum Ancient Coins

    and some more
    Zebucatt, Ryro, panzerman and 8 others like this.
  4. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    With the 20+% buyers fees and the very high shipping cost in todays' auctions I'm not certain it is still true...
  5. Egry

    Egry Supporter! Supporter

    Although I do purchase a lot of coins from auctions the majority of my collection has been purchased from a local dealer ‘Colonial Coins and Medals’.

    From my experience their stock is high grade and prices lower than what I would pay at auction, the only catch is that you have to wait until the coin you want comes into stock, however this rarely limits my purchases as I can always find a coin I like.
  6. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    My feeling as well, but I didn't want to start a debate about it. Plus, my concern is that if the cost of buying at auction continues to rise, retail dealers are going to start raising their own prices if they think the demand is there.
  7. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I had never bought a coin from a dealer (always auctions) upto 2017. Then I started looking at V-coins/ MA-shops and was pleasantly surprised to see nice quality/ priced material. Since 2017/ I bought 25+ coins from various dealers on those sites/ happy with all of them. I find/ I also had great experiences with sixbid auctions/ although some auction houses rubbed me the wrong way by sending lots via FEDEX (when I requested them sent by post)=13% customs charges:yuck: So/ from my end 13% +20% comm. + 35-70% exchange rate+ average auction prices realized are 20% higher then in 2019=$$$$$ coin.
  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Off the top of my head...

    Numismatica Prados
    Frank Robinson
    Romae Aeternae
    JAZ Numismatics

    And about ten others that I don't recall without checking the flips. Geographically I have made purchases from the US dealers, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany, U.A.E., France, England.

    I also buy from the fixed price dealers about 40% of the time and 60% via auction.
  9. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    I only buy from US / Canada auctions and dealers:
    Herakles Numismatics
    Marc Breitsprecher
    Frank S. Robinson
    Forum Ancient Coins
    CNG auctions
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I somehow forgot to put Marc Breitsprecher on my list -- probably because I always buy directly from his website rather than through VCoins. He should have been near the top, so I'll have to go back and add him!

    I've bought from Forum Ancient Coins several times, just not so much this year.
  11. FrizzyAntoine

    FrizzyAntoine Active Member

    I stick almost entirely to auctions these days, but I have had very positive experiences with Herakles Numismatics and Forum Ancient Coins this year on some very well-priced pieces, some even lower than what I would have thought they'd hammer for at auction. My overall 'favourite' auctions by volume would be:
    A slurry of others with one or two purchases, usually coins that I felt were good deals and warranted registering. Though of these CNG, Nomos and NAC are my overall top picks, despite the disappointment of being rather frequently outbid!
    panzerman and DonnaML like this.
  12. FrizzyAntoine

    FrizzyAntoine Active Member

    A fellow aussie in this thread, and also from Brissy no less, what were the odds!
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  13. Egry

    Egry Supporter! Supporter

    The odds wouldn’t have been that great!
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  14. IMP Shogun

    IMP Shogun Well-Known Member

    I've had a great experience with several mentioned and bought from Victor and Forum and also Augustus coins.

    The retail dealers are an important part of this hobby both financially and for access to specific variety and timing. I like partnering with someone who is elevating interest and helping the hobby. Sometimes I like knowing how much it will be and not hassling with getting sniped or overpaying but a majority of my purchases this year in ancients were auctions.

    With the three mentioned I've also purchased from several members that I had a very good experience with all.

    I bought the below Trajan with what may represent the statue of Hercules in the Ara Maxima near Forum Boarium from Augustus Coins. It's not one of Al's Triton coins but it's a coin I like very much, made both my scarface and Trajan subcollections. I also didn't have any pre-Dacia denarius, and not yet quite Nerva-esque.

    Trajan 98–117 A.D. den RIC 49 var is that drapery on the shoulder; Hercules
    101-102 in Roma
    Hercules, holding lion's skin and club
  15. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    For me this year...
    Tom Vossen
    Aeternitas Numismatics
    Marti Classical Numismatics
    Marc Breitsprecher
    Tauler and Fau
    Ken Dorney
    panzerman, philologus_1 and DonnaML like this.
  16. otlichnik

    otlichnik Well-Known Member

    I don't really buy many coins these days.

    I spent 2010-2015 living in Europe in a place with a lot of ancients coins for sale. I did win a few lots at in-person auctions during that time and bought some coins from stores, but I bought most of my coins in less formal settings, as is common in places in Europe with a high volume of collectors and dealers.

    While there were the foreign scam-artists regularly at famous flea markets, there were also a lot of legitimate local dealers and traders at smaller weekly markets, a regular circuit of large numismatic shows and regular (often weekly) meetings of collectors who swapped and sold stuff to each other. Interestingly there are many dealers on vcoins and MA Coins who don't have bricks and mortar shops and simply look like "one of the gang" at these shows and meets - but clearly work their online presence.

    In a typical week I would search through various piles, boxes and bins of coins, handling literally thousands of coins and usually picking out a few dozen. It was heaven. It was also financially untenable. I knew I would never live in such an environment again - coin-wise - and so bought a lot of coins with the oath to curtail my spending after I moved back to N America.

    So over the last five years I have instead concentrated on things like cleaning, identifying, and labelling the coins I have. And general numismatic research. And this comes after my job (several years yet to retirement) and family.

    Long winded explanation as to why I buy little now.

    This year I bought a few coins from Frank Robinson and a few form various dealers at the London Coin Fair, which I was lucky enough to visit, just before COVID hit the West. I have purchased several books online - from amazon, Spink, and, again Frank Robinson.

    In addition, I have bought a large number of Chinese and Vietnamese cash coins from a couple of Far Eastern dealers. (Low value - I am not a high end collector.) I have collected Chinese coins since 2008 and was always very cautious given the prevalence of fakes - which I saw in person in Beijing. I have been lucky to have been referred to trustworthy dealers by more experienced collectors.

  17. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I would stay away from any dealers based in China/ Lebanon once was the "Mecca for fake coins" now China has that dubious honour/ among others.
  18. otlichnik

    otlichnik Well-Known Member

    Panzerman. As I noted, there is a prevalence of fakes when it comes to Chinese coins. No one disputes that.

    But it is too simplistic to imply there are no good sources in China. I have been there. I saw the issue with fakes first hand. In fact I purchased over 100 different fake coins there on purpose. While I still own a few (I posted some large "Qin" coins here before), I sent most of them to the fakes cabinet of my friend who owns Calgary Coins and whose website has a huge section dedicated to Chinese coins and Chinese fakes.

    There are also a great number of real coins in China, and collectors and dealers. And while I would be very wary of buying rare or expensive Chinese coins - anywhere - there are sources for genuine normal Chinese and Vietnamese cash. After all, the specialist Western dealers in Chinese coins don't find their coins here.

    And yes, even some common Chinese coins are faked, though not usually with the same attention to creating a fake patina as with there expensive coins - it is just not worth it. The most important point is to be able to trust the dealer though either personal validation or the recommendation of a specialist.

    Nathan B., Spaniard, Bayern and 3 others like this.
  19. Henry112345

    Henry112345 Member

    Wow , It is pretty much coins for purchased, good for you.

    By the way , I wonder did you ever been purchased from CNG before ? And if so , how do you think about it ? Because I’m still considering shouldn’t I purchase from them.
    panzerman likes this.
  20. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Supporter! Supporter

    Over the years, most of my coins have been purchased at auction. Usually because I find coins that I want at auction and rarely in retail e-shops, though I scan them daily. This year was a bit of an exception as I made offers that were accepted for 7 coins. These retail sales were from:
    Herb Kreindler
    Gorney & Mosch (2 coins)
    Sovereign Rarities

    Auction Purchases were from:
    Bertolami (6)
    CNG (2) *edit 3 total including one retail
    Jean Elsen (2)
    Roma Numismatics
    Nomisma Spa
    Heidelberger Munzhandlung
    HD Rauch
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2021
    panzerman and DonnaML like this.
  21. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I don't know if you're talking to me, but I've never purchased from CNG, either at auction or at their retail "coin shop" (prices too high). But lots of people here buy at their auctions.
    panzerman likes this.
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