Does your collection have a limit?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sallent, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    I think I pretty much align with the philosophical approach to Ancient coin collecting espoused by Doug Smith. I started off eighty years ago just before the outbreak of World War II (3 September 1939) with a gift coin from a relative - I cannot even remember what it was - some non-descript late Roman bronze I believe. But I wasn’t an Ancient coin collector by any stretch of the imagination - the War put an end to such pursuits and I forgot all about that coin. It wasn’t until after the war, in the late 1940s, that I began to research Roman Imperial coins and their history in a serious way. From the beginning my interest was in the historical association of the coins I began to collect in the early 1950s - the “condition” and appearance of them was of secondary importance, in fact, I really liked them to have a used look and feel - to possess a patina that typified “the surface of an object that has grown lovely through use and the passage of time”. I considered, and still do consider, all of my Roman coins to be historical artifacts rather than beautiful artistic objects (I hope that comes across in a non-denigrating way to collectors who hew to a different collecting philosophy) ………………… I am getting tired and will have to continue this later.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  3. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    None of us know whether we have 3 years or not. Do what give you pleasure and leave what is left to those who are left. I do suggest telling the family who to contact regarding the coins so they have an easier time with the matter but a few million coins won't matter then anyway. For that matter, I suggest a little 'book' with instructions including who on Coin Talk should be notified when we pass. I suppose this is minor compared to things like insurance policy numbers and notifying the government but there are people who no longer post here that I wonder about.
  4. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you for the Dylan Thomas poem @Orfew - one of my favorites - I will have to send you a calligraphic rendition of it. And thank you for your nice post. I hope you understand that I was fondly “joshing” you? Now I need to respect @Sallent and the other participants in this thread by getting back on topic which I will do by picking up my previous post response.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
    Orfew likes this.
  5. Andrew McCabe

    Andrew McCabe Well-Known Member

    I don't always know exactly what I have. Today, I bought the lower coin from this die matched pair at retail. I thought it splendid for a Roman Republican bronze, and it comes from an Astarte sale in 2004 as you can see (that's not today's sale picture but from a die study database that has been assembled by Richard Schaefer). It cost £135 and I moved very fast on it as that's very inexpensive for that quality. After acquisition, I then looked to my records and found that I already own the … die matched coin above it! from a Vecchi sale 3 in 1996. Until the newbie arrives I don't even know which is the better coin. Actually I am really happy with both.

    I'm always acquiring bits and bobs, coins that attract me, coins to study, coins that might have a good provenance, mostly around the $100 level. That's totally separate from, or parallel to, my process of gradually upgrading a large low condition collection into a small high quality collection. Even when the day comes when I've decided never again to spend four figures on any coin, I'll still be buying and savouring coins like the Marcus Marcius Manius Filius Triens I bought today. Never going to stop.
  6. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Well-Known Member

    No limit for me yet, haven't been collecting ancients long though.
    jamesicus and Paul M. like this.
  7. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    A great thread, just to pause and think about what you are doing all the time. There’s an addictive auction tomorrow, and one next week, and another next month... I always intended to sell my doubles and the coins I lost interest in, but never could bring myself to really do that.
    jamesicus and Paul M. like this.
  8. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Sorry, I drifted off there - but I am awake now and I want to add that my collecting emphasis gradually shifted to Romano-Britannic associated coins as you will find if you chance to visit any of my web pages. That was a natural development for I was born and grew up in the north eastern Lancashire/north western Yorkshire border region of Britain with my family having roots mostly in north Yorkshire (Ancient Brigantes?). In later times when I visited that region and hiked the wild moorlands (actually north of Hadrian’s wall) I reflected that I might just be possibly treading on the same ground as that marched on by Septimius Severus and his sons Caracalla and Geta - later by Constantius and his son Constantine - during their campaigns against the warlike tribes of the region - a great stretch I know, but it caused me to shift my emphasis to coins associated with the Roman invasions and occupation of Britain, especially northern Britain. And so I finally (after much rambling) am round to doing some justice to the original posted request of @Sallent : I have down-sized my collection at to hopefully use the coins in multiple ways as mostly Romano-Britannic associated historical artifacts (and some Julio-Claudians, my first love).
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  9. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    Agreed, and I anticipate increasing my number of side collections as it becomes prohibitively difficult to fill in blanks in my core collection. Like most of us (outside of an oil Sheikh or two), I have finite resources and there are opportunity costs with every purchase, as well as the challenge of some coins simply not coming up for sale often - I have many coins on my wantlist which haven't hit the market since they entered my wantlist. Side collections and other foci are great ways to stay engaged with coins.
  10. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    I don't have a fixed limit in mind in terms of weight, scope, number, etc. Budget is, of course, a concern, but my collection, like @dougsmit's is really composed of several subcollections: world proof and mint sets from my birth year, denarii of Antoninus Pius, US type coins, Canadian Large Cents, etc.

    I have no idea how many collectible coins I have in my possession right now, because I have a moderate amount of uncategorized bulk buys I have yet to go through. Overall, not counting the bulk buys and mint/proof sets (I don't really think of them in terms of individual coins), I'm guessing I'm at around 200. Including the mint and proof sets as individual coins might almost double that. Adding the rest of my miscellaneous coins might bring me to around 4-500.

    For now, my limits are basically down to budget and storage space.
    jamesicus and Roman Collector like this.
  11. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    I currently have 98 coins in my collection. 5 of those are bronze and the rest are silver. I do place limits on my collection in terms of my chosen focus. I collect the coins of the 12 Caesars. There is plenty of variety within this specialty to last me several lifetimes. This does not mean I do not buy the odd coin outside of this specialty. I do and will continue to do so. I am interested in coins that have a pedigree or an interesting collecting history behind them. I deliberately seek them out. I like the idea of knowing who had the coins before I did because once again it adds to the history associated with the coins. I like to think that each coin has a story associated with it. I like knowing some of this story for each of the coins I own if possible. For me it adds to the interest of the object.

    As to numerical limits, I would like to keep my collection confined to 2 Abafil cases. Anymore than that and they just take up too much space. Since my collection is more than 90% denarii, this gives me lots of room to expand my collection for many years to come.

    Lately I have found myself researching and writing about the denarii of Domitian. The coins of his first year as Augustus are fascinating to me and I would love to have more of them. I might even dedicate an Abafil case specifically to the coinage of Domitian.
  12. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I am always amazed at those who can part with coins, in a good way. To me, if given a choice of a coin or money, I go with the coin every time. Even if I have 6 of the same type, I cannot seem to want to let them go for something as humdrum as money.

    Those of you who can limit themselves to 20 or 100, (heck, 1000) coins are sturdier souls than I. The collecting obsession is simply too strong. Even on vacation in Thailand I managed to buy 6 early Thai pieces.
  13. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    I also delved into a few side collections from time to time, the major one being coins of the Tetrarchic London mint to which I devoted an enormous amount of time, energy - and money. I now regret doing that with such intensity for it diluted my Romano-Britannic and Julio-Claudian Coin emphasis - ah well, we all live and learn (some better than others)!
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
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  14. Alegandron

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

    Does your collection have a limit?

    Only my interests.
  15. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    I am also a subscriber to two well known principles:



    zumbly likes this.
  16. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    Wow. Thats a silly question R U Serious. Most pick on new members. I'll never be more surprised
  17. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

  18. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I add about 50 coins to my collection @ year. I am close to 900 AV coins now. I basically have no limits in anything.....I collect all periods in history, all cultures:) If, I had the financial means, my project would be to have all RR/ Imperial Rome/ Western/ Eastern Roman gold/ silver coinage in MS quality/ close second the Holy Roman Empire AV Dukaten/ Swiss Cantons/ Transylvania...

    frank008, tibor, I_v_a_n and 4 others like this.
  19. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Good point Doug.
    I am a member of the Pasadena, TX coin club. Three of our members passed in the last two months. I spoke with the daughter in law of John M last Sunday. She did not know where John kept his coins, or what to do with them. She found some silver bars that probably are worth a bit, but John had some super coins and those have not been found.
    I am fortunate that my son knows dealers who could advise him on what to do with my collection.
    dougsmit likes this.
  20. Andrew McCabe

    Andrew McCabe Well-Known Member

    That's 350 coins then if you mean the 5 tray 35 slot Abafils. Or 1078 coins for the briefcase size with 77 slots and 7 trays. Or, if you go for the largest Abafils with 14 trays of 77 coins, 2156 coins. Or did you mean a different size ;) in either case quite a step up from your current 98 coins.

    Great thing about defining a collection size in number of Abafils, is you get to decide what size Abafil without disclosing it to us.
    Orfew likes this.
  21. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    You caught me Andrew. I was being deliberately vague about any definite number of coins. I currently use a 4 tray Mediodiplomat, each with 24 spaces. I would like a second one so I could mix the tray sizes depending on how much my collection expands. I also have the 12 spaces Abafil case in which is stored one of my 12 Caesars collection in denarii. My second 12 Caesars in silver is stored in quickslabs in a Leuchterm case. I would not mind having them all in one case.

    Thanks for the comment.
    Andrew S
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