How can those anonymous folles be worth 300 USD?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Herberto, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't underestimate the the importance & value of your Gordian/Byzantine follis, regardless of what you paid for it :smuggrin:. I haven't seen anything remotely similar to this overstrike. This coin transcends the status of a mere novelty into something very special :happy:. In light of the growth & interest in Byzantine coinage that has taken place during the last few years, your coin would fetch a hefty price in a featured auction today ;). The remarkable thing with this coin is the time span of about 765 years when it was originally struck till the time it was overstruck :jawdrop:! The Gordian bronze must have been a special coin to someone to have ended up in Constantinople so many years later....
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  3. Heliodromus

    Heliodromus Well-Known Member


    Not sure if the customers are usually real or not, but the episodes are all staged. In reality the owner Rick Harrison (who's actually a coin collector) never works in the store, and David Vagi would not be flying in from out of town to authenticate and price a $300 coin.

    I used to like the show, but it's more sitcom than reality!

    There's another daft coin episode where the "customer" is Ilya Zlobin (eBay's "high rating low price") and the expert is again David Vagi.
    ambr0zie, robinjojo, DonnaML and 3 others like this.
  4. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    There have been posts how everyone has to audition to get on the show with their object. PennyLady here posted about it. I guess many large shows have Pawn Stars audition tables.

    So yeah, staged. Worst one was a lady who came in with Republic of Texas notes, and the expert discussing them knew a lot about them. He should, the lady was his girlfriend and he has been promoting these "million dollar notes" for about a decade and everyone in the paper money hobby knew he owned them.
    DonnaML, Heliodromus and sand like this.
  5. Ricardo123

    Ricardo123 Well-Known Member

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  6. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    Since when have we come to expect 'Reality' TV to be 'real'? These shows are entertainment. I was surprised that the man behind the counter who did not know a Christ portrait was played by Corey rather than Chumlee who is usually cast as the village idiot. I know I am in the miniscule minority who hate Historical Fiction. That is why I liked Game of Thrones. They never suggested the story was someone who actually lived in a place that actually existed on a planet that follows the rules of our sun. When care is taken not to confuse reality and fiction, those who know history are not placed at a disadvantage thinking the guy named 'Commodus' has any relationship to the one we have studied on our coins. Obviously producers prefer ignorant people who by tickets to those who know and stay home.
  7. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    Of course everyone knows Vagi lives in Florida and isn't just down the street. I assume that's the same for all the experts. So that part of the show is staged. They film several episodes in 1 day. The experts also know what they are showing up to see, so they can do any research they need to do before they arrive and not look like an idiot on TV. Beyond that, the rest is pretty much authentic. Rick doesn't know what the expert is going to say, and the person selling the item doesn't know what the expert is going to say because they want to keep all the reactions as natural and spontaneous as possible.

    Concerning the Byzantine follis, the price seems perfectly fine, if not a little cheap these days.

    Barry Murphy
    sand, Ryro and Heliodromus like this.
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    Immediate thought: I should take a hint from Pawn Stars and research what I say here rather than trying to remember things off the top of my head. As it is, I seem to be among the last to offer an opinion on most threads so I wonder if we all might be better advised to think first? :eggface:
    philologus_1 likes this.
  9. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Here's one more anonymous follis that I photographed today. This coin is attributed to Romanus III, and it is a type B follis, struck over another coin, probably a type A follis.

    As these coins go, it is quite decent, given the crude nature of this type. There is some wear on the portrait, so I think it would grade as a good VF, lower overall compared to the A2. I have had this coin for many years, having purchased it from Harlan Berk back in the late 1980s. Back then the price was $150 which I think would pretty much the price it would sell for today, perhaps a bit more. Again, slabbing the coin would likely increase the price somewhat.

    Romanus III, 1028-1034
    AE anonymous follis, Type B
    Overstrike on likely a Type A follis
    S-1823, Berk 951
    14.06 grams

    D-Camera Byzantine anonymous follis 1028-34 Romanus III class b s-1823 14.06g Berk 10-27-21.jpg

    Edit: Here's one more follis. This coin is an imitation of an anonymous follis attributed to Constantine VIII, 11th century. I got this coin out a a Stephen M Huston auction on November 6, 1992. The estimate was $90, but I can't remember what I paid; I'm pretty sure it was under $10,000.:woot:

    8.86 grams

    D-Camera Byzantine follis imitation Constantine VIII 11th c S Huston 11-92 8.86g 10-27-21.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
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  10. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Seriously? It was the most common issue. Sure, full face, but I have quite a few. Maybe full retail at a shopping mall in Vegas or something selling to tourists, but they sure did not look like anything worth $300. Same coin being another Class maybe.
  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    I have to wonder if the crowd currently paying double the price of many things know or care that 'Class A' refers to a style of design rather than a value judgement.
    John Anthony likes this.
  12. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Maybe I have been doing this too long. Prices today simply confuse me nowadays.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  13. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Meanwhile, I just landed this at $16 US. Leave the surfaces alone for one minute; look at the completeness of the legends, and the detail of the obverse --don't recall seeing a Gospel book as sharp as that every day.
    Unpopular opinion (oops, another very current thread): it's not just that esthetics generally, but a very skewed esthetic at that, has taken over the Byzantine market, along with every other Eurocentric one, from Classical to medieval. There should be a more inclusive balance between that and the historical and cultural contexts.
    ...If I were to go on, it would really belong in the "Unpopular Opinions" thread (highly recommended):
    BenSi, catadc, sand and 1 other person like this.
  14. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    That's a very nice coin at a great price!

    As the coin darkens over time it will look even better.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  15. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    For the same price in GBP, a full reverse of a similar sub-type. Some people care more about the reverse and the ornaments than the face of Christ, and those will get cheaper coins in their zone of interest.
    0122 - an follis.jpg

    I remembered this dilemma I had more than one year ago. It is in line with this topic.
    +VGO.DVCKS, BenSi and sand like this.
  16. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    I think I should look around for a higher grade piece. I have three anonymous folles all of them with various wear patterns. The curious thing is that I bought a nomisma for $700 and that's probably below the cost of an anonymous folle in excellent condition.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
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