Help finding a Trajan coin for my kid

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by JimsOkay, Nov 19, 2021.

  1. JimsOkay

    JimsOkay Active Member

    My daughter is well versed in history and for her birthday next month I would like to get her a silver Trajan coin.

    I am very limited in my knowledge of ancients (looks like a fantastic field to be in). Basically all I know is buyer beware due to so many being fake. I would be very embarrassed if I gave her a fake.

    What I am looking for is an authentic coin, something that looks good in hand. Silver and something under a hundred US dollars. Paypal or check.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    If I posted in the wrong place just let me know.
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  3. romismatist

    romismatist Well-Known Member

    Welcome to CT Ancients, JimsOkay.

    The timing and price range are certainly in the ball park. You can definitely get an authentic Trajan denarius in VF condition or so for under $100 that will ship to you in a month. However, to minimize the odds of getting a fake, I would stick to US dealer sites, or respected online ancient coin platforms such as VCoins or MA Shops.

    Here's an example from MA Shops in your price range:

    Or another one on VCoins:

    You may be able to negotiate a lower price with some of these sellers, so don't always take the list price as being the final price.

    You should also be able to do better than my two examples with a little more searching.

    Other CT'ers in the US may be able to recommend online US coin stores or auction houses with fixed price lists where you may also be able to get something.

    Although getting an authentic example from EBay for cheaper is definitely possible, I would recommend against this options simply because it's too risky for those not experienced enough in spotting fakes.

    If you had more time, there are a number of auction platforms such as Biddr or SixBid that could be used as well. Turnaround there is longer than a month, and there are additional buyer's premiums to contend with.

    Just my $0.02.
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  4. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Well - this is really an exciting opportunity. You're very lucky to have a daughter with an interest in history!

    There are so many options... is silver the answer? For this price we are talking education not investment.
    I never collected coins at all.. but once I held a large ancient bronze in my hand I was completely hooked! Perhaps something inexpensive yet as unique and inspiring as a large ancient bronze that has been held and traded for millennia may peak her interest more?

    This is 33mm.. and authentic. almost 2000 years old..and $68 bucks. Think outside the box.. what may not inspire you may inspire her. Or look at others @

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Hi, Jim. I can help with that, but since this is a discussion forum and not the place for sales offers and want lists, I sent you a private message.
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  6. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    The coin I messaged you about does meet the criteria you stated, but to prove I'm not trying to spam up the forum (the optics of that would look pretty bad, me being a moderator and all), I will, in the interests of full disclosure, mention that you have plenty of other options there.

    For example, here is a keyword search on VCoins for "Trajan denarius", to give you some idea of what's out there, and how prices generally run.

    The dealers on VCoins are, for the most part, trustworthy. The site makes its dealers agree to a code of ethics. Some of them are outside the US. I don't know where you are in the world, but if a Christmas deadline is a factor, you'll want to bear that in mind if you're looking at inventory from an overseas dealer, as far as shipping times go.

    Edit- ditto MA-Shops. Great place to browse (and I like the coin from MA-shops that @romismatist linked to above), but since it's a European site (mostly German), that will increase the shipping delay if you're in the USA.

    Here's an MA-shops keyword search for "Trajan denarius". Note that the later emperor Trajan Decius does show up in some of the search results.
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  7. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    I cannot recommend US dealers or auctions since I only buy from European auctions but you already received very good hints above my post.
    What I want to add is that, if you want to buy a Trajan coin, you have lots of options to choose from and most likely you will find a nice coin in the price limit you have.
    Trajan is a very good choice, as his coins are not rare (compared to other emperors), a person with minimum knowledge will recognize Trajan's portrait and you can find interesting reverse designs (not sure if this is a criteria but I am sure your daughter will like a coin with a reverse with historical importance).

    Here is the Trajan denarius I paid the most for.

    Including buyer's premium this was right under $100 and perhaps I even overpaid a little, but this coin was important for me and I wanted it in that moment. Saw nicer examples going for less.

    And as @lordmarcovan mentioned, make sure you do not end up buying a Trajan Decius coin as he was a different emperor.
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  8. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    The first Roman denarius I ever bought was a denarius of Trajan, not in perfect condition of course, it was worn but with the whole legends perfectly readable. I was a teenager then, and this coin was something I could afford with my very limited schoolboy budget. Such coins are still on the market, for ex. this one.
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  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    That’s the same type as the one I offered him, and at the exchange rate, about five bucks cheaper than what I was asking on mine, not counting their shipping fee. (So pretty close to the same price, all told.) Nice coin for the money, I think. That one’s in the UK, though.
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  10. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    Under the circumstances of the current market, a month will most likely turn up a coin lower in grade or higher in price than you want but there are always Trajan denarii out there. With luck, you could find a coin with a more interesting and historical type but that may not happen immediately. Your daughter may be aware of a few things about Trajan. One is that he expanded the empire to its greatest extent with his Dacian wars. These are commemorated on coins.

    Trajan also built a road that was longer than the famous Appian Way but took less time because it had better terrain. This is commemorated on a coin showing the personification of the road.

    A gift to a daughter who might appreciate the humor (Divine Dad) would be the coin Trajan issued in honor of his birth father (he became emperor after being adopted by the previous emperor, Nerva).
    Not all coins are equal. Finding any of these in a month might be a problem. My coins are not for sale.
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  11. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

    Second all the recommendations given so far. Two stores that I would watch closely (both in the US):

    BargainBinAncients - This is a great source for low cost, authentic, coins. Unfortunately, they don't have a Trajan denarius right now, but he's always adding new stuff.

    Aegean Numismatics - You'll need to keep a tight eye on this store, because the good stuff sells out within hours. They often carry denarii, and Trajan is among the most common emperors.

    One thing that is my perception from looking through ma-shops and vcoins: the European shops tend to have better prices for these types of coins. My suspicion is because there are lots of shops, so competition is fierce, and because they have these coins everywhere.

    If you're willing to pay the shipping, the following shops do have a Trajan denarius in your price range. All are on VCoins.
    Numiscorner (Germany)
    Tom Vossen (UK)
    London Ancient Coins (UK)

    I've ordered from these three and from the two above without issues. Note that shipping across the pond is very easy, but may take up to a month. In my experience, standard shipping takes 3 weeks and express a few days. If you're interested in some coins for yourself or for more gifts, you can add a few coins to make the shipping more cost effective.

    Here's my Trajan coin. It's a very standard type that I bought for 30 Euros. For me, I just wanted a coin from the emperor and didn't care about the specific history mentioned.
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  12. Ryro

    Ryro Trying to remove supporter status

  13. JimsOkay

    JimsOkay Active Member

    Wow, a lot to take in! I greatly appreciate the feedback here! I have things that I have to take care of today, but I will be back ASAP. This is all very helpful, thanks!
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  14. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    I think @Ryro's estimate on the denarius will be correct and it proves the price for Trajan denarii in decent conditions.
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  15. kirispupis

    kirispupis Well-Known Member

    For reference, here's what the last Savoca blue did for Trajan denarii. As you can see, they ranged from 19 to 65 Euros. Next week's auction has two up - the one @Ryro mentioned, and another much better one. The better copy is a bit better than those mentioned above, so I'm guessing it will go for 80 Euros, while I agree with the estimate of 30 Euros for the other one. (Important note: I don't specialize in Roman coins, so I'm not strongly aware of the prices)

    To calculate the total price, add the 18% buyer's fee and 18 Euros + 1% for shipping (this is why it makes sense to purchase several coins).

    I've purchased from Savoca many times. They usually ship the day after payment, and they used Fedex which reaches me (in Seattle) in roughly 4-5 days from Munich. I've ordered from Savoca and US sellers on the same day and received the Savoca shipment first. :)

    So, estimated costs:
    Lot 814 30 Euros + 18% + 18 Euros (+1%) = 53.7 Euros = $60.60
    Lot 813 80 Euros + 18% + 18 Euros (+1%) = 113.2 Euros = $127.75

    If you do order from Savoca, make sure to register several days before the auction.

    Finally, Savoca tends to hold Blue auctions every two weeks, and Trajan coins are extremely common, so if these coins go too high, there's a very good chance that more will come up.
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  16. JimsOkay

    JimsOkay Active Member

    Thanks to all for all the information!! The breath and depth is amazing! Ancient Coins are truly a rabbit hole, but in a fun way. :) I think I have narrowed down and hopefully secure one shortly.
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  17. TIF

    TIF Always learning.

    Another good non-high-end US-based source is Marc Breitsprecher. I've bought a few coins from him, including some of my first ancient coins. He has a Vcoins presence but like some other dealers (such as Forum Ancient Coins), you'll find the prices a little be lower on his own website.

    Here are his current selections for imperial issues of Trajan (not that there's anything wrong with getting a provincial issue).
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  18. JimsOkay

    JimsOkay Active Member

    I found and ordered one that I think will be just what I needed.

    I GREATLY appreciate all the help and offers! Everyone here is super!!

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  19. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Nobody will be bothered if you post here the coin you chose.
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  20. JimsOkay

    JimsOkay Active Member

  21. JimsOkay

    JimsOkay Active Member

    Since I know so very little about ancients the strength of the obverse was the draw for me.
    Again, thanks for all your help!
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