How do I get into ancients?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Omegaraptor, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht / Longacre Enthusiast

    I know there are a lot of ancient Roman bronzes that look awesome, but are they the best way to start collecting ancients?

    I think ancients are really cool and I'd love to collect them.
    dlhill132, Paul M., Mikey Zee and 4 others like this.
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  3. Ancientnoob

    Ancientnoob Money Changer

    There is no right or wrong way to start collecting coins. You should first determine why you want to collect, do you just want something old?, do you want to collect for investment? Do you have a specific theme, metal or culture you want to collect. There are coins of all levels of cost and awesomeness in all periods and places. Ancient coin collecting is a profoundly personal experience, as you grow and gain experience your tastes may become more refined, your eye more keen and purse more empty but it will be rewarding.
    Trish, Paul M., Mikey Zee and 4 others like this.
  4. Markus1959

    Markus1959 Well-Known Member

    Don't know if they are the best way but learning how and what to collect with Roman era bronze coins are an inexpensive way to get your foot into the door and not worry about paying too much too fast! It's fun to start at the bottom and learn your way up!
    Paul M. likes this.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Start by selecting a dealer who specializes in ancients preferably near where you live and offering coins in your price bracket. Telling us that last part might help us help you. Don't buy from people who know less than you do especially when you know almost nothing. That means no flea markets, no great deals from people who can or will not answer your questions. IF, for example, you live anywhere near Baltimore MD, there is a great coin show downtown March 31 - April 2 which I can't attend due to a conflict this time. If you are going, tell me, I'll suggest a couple people according to your answer to the price question. Not everywhere has anything like a show that good so you might have to buy online. Meanwhile study. Read everything you can here on CT. Ask questions. Some people get some good out of my web pages. At least they should fill your head with questions.
    Trish, Bojan, Paul M. and 3 others like this.
  6. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Oh this one is some!


    Nothing wrong with bronzes at all. May I suggest how I did it?

    Look for late Roman bronzes (LRB) and find something that speaks to you. Maybe you think a horseman spearing a fallen warrior with the legend declaring "Happy Days Are Here Again" is cool...well they got just the coin for you! Maybe you think castles are cool...well they got that too! Maybe a phoenix standing on the world floats your goes on. Best thing about LRBs is they're not hard on the wallet and very good quality coins can be had for very modest sums of money. Something else to consider - there's a lot of information freely available online. The picture below is my first lot of ancient coins I ever bought. Each coin came out to about $5.42 but average retail could be as much as $15 each.
    Some other random LRB goodness to attempt to turn you to the Dark Side:

    But there's lots more than LRBs. It's just that they're ancient and often very nice coins can be had for little money.
  7. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht / Longacre Enthusiast

    Does anyone here have any barbaric fakes?
    Paul M. likes this.
  8. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    sweet ... I like your style

    => so, you wanna be the dude that collects ancients fakes, eh?

    ... cool idea

    Paul M. likes this.
  9. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht / Longacre Enthusiast

    No, the fake coins that barbarians made so they could buy stuff, because people back in the day took whatever coins looked Roman.
    Paul M. likes this.
  10. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    yes, there are lots of those omega...several members have these (i don't have any nice ones to show).

    is there anything in particular you are interested in? or are you like i was, and just wanted something roman that i could actually afford?

    do any of jwt's coin above look cool to you? that is a nice place to start (and where i started as well).
    Paul M. likes this.
  11. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    I know what you meant ... you want to collect fourrees and/or barbaric fakes (right?)
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
    Paul M. likes this.
  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

  13. Topcat7

    Topcat7 Still Learning

    I have learnt, 'Quality over Quantity'.
    (Better to have 1x $100 coin than 10x $10 coins - cheaper postage, too.)
  14. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht / Longacre Enthusiast

    I prefer collecting the real thing. Is it worth trying to play the identification game on Ebay?
    Paul M. likes this.
  15. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Did you read Doug's post?

    Personally, I've never bought from eBay. I've looked...lots of bad pictures, price gougers, and questionable coins. No thanks.
  16. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Omegaraptor, CoinTalk has hundreds of pages of discussion threads. Many mention beginning collecting and the cost of coins. I'd recommend going back through old pages of threads as entertainment. You will learn a lot in the process.

    I recommend old threads to the rest of you, too. Look at threads from before you joined CoinTalk. It will be fun!
    Paul M. and Mikey Zee like this.
  17. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    There are so many possible collecting themes. I'm a one-per ruler collector, although most people here have moved on from that theme, and it does get expensive when all you have left are the rare rulers to collect.

    You could specialise in: coins of a particular emperor, provincials from a particular city, Roman tetradrachms, anything really!
    Paul M. and TIF like this.
  18. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I started collecting coins when I was 12. My parents would buy me a AV British Sovereign for a Birthday, better coin for Christmas. By 19 I was hooked for life.
    I got a job, since i lived at home so lucky me could put all my earnings into you guessed it coins. I already by then liked Ancients....but man most were still out of my budget, so I started into Byzantine gold. Smartest thing, I always wanted perfection, so even then I would get cheaper Emperors like Justin II/Phocas/M. Tiberius.Constantine IX/X etc. in mint state for reasonable prices. I just kept going, and eventually saved up BIG TIME to get some Roman Aurei in sme quality/all this time I still was MORE into Medieval/Islamic/Renaissance/Baroque/Napoleonic era coins. I got 99 percent thru auctions like the ones on For ancients...CNG/Ars Classica/Tkalec/Nomos/Obolos/Roma/Savoca/NFA all supberb! It takes hard work (job) lots of good reference books to educate yourself, passion for the hobby, and overcoming the heartbreaks when you see all the beautifull material on auction sites....that you can never afford.
    Paul M. likes this.
  19. ken454

    ken454 Well-Known Member

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  20. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    I started buying coins almost 1 year ago. However, I read for several months before purchasing my first coin. I also talked to people online and gathered information on trusted dealers. Regarding what to collect...I suggest that you frequent sites such as this one and find out what speaks to you. Do not worry about what others collect, find out what you are interested in and pursue that. Also, there is no shame in changing your mind. If you start down one path and find it is not for you just choose another.
    TIF, Paul M. and dougsmit like this.
  21. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    Like the Cheshire Cat says - if you don't know where you're going, any path will do. :)
    Mikey Zee, TIF, Paul M. and 2 others like this.
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