Is it so hard to find a Widow's Mite in a good condition?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by AncientSoul, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. AncientSoul

    AncientSoul New Member

    Greetings all, I am a new coin collector, and have recently joined the forum. I have been reading a lot. Literally i have spent 15 hrs since yesterday on this forum, and so far I am loving it. To boot my hobby, i wanted to start with something sacred... Even the wife wont mind if i spend time and money in this new hobby.. hence i wanted to get the first Widow's Mite, and then later few more biblical coins before I get into other ancient coins.
    All the Widow's Mite I am seeing on vcoins or for that matter on ebay, are disasterously disfigured or fossilized. I have been reading on the forum, many folks do have the coins in reasonably good appearance. Why is it so hard to find them right now? Or am i looking at the wrong place. The ony two sellers on vcoin have them in a little better shape are Athena and Zuriqeh.. who i read have a very bad reputation and I will keep them at a distance.
    Paul M. likes this.
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  3. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    There is a dealer who goes to large shows, (educational coin?) who has trays of them in every grade from poor to gVF.
  4. AncientSoul

    AncientSoul New Member

    Thank you for your replies. Do you have any more detail about this dealer? How can i get in touch with him?
  5. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I do not know it, but am sure someone here will know. They are a dealer who goes to FUN etc that has tons of bulk material and usually have like a double or triple booth at major shows.
  6. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Are you sure you aren't expecting too much? these were small crude copper coins and they were USED. And them most of them were buried for over a thousand years. Rough crude coins with bad surfaces are the norm. I looked on Vcoins and saw several pieces I thought were decent for the money being sold by L Alexander Wolfe.

    There are a bunch being sold on MaShops at a range of prices. I saw a few there I felt were decent such as this one

    Really nice one ARE going to be difficult to find.
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  7. AncientSoul

    AncientSoul New Member

    Thanks, I am willing to pay extra if i can find a good one, i guess then i think I should wait and keep looking. IN the mean time I will start hunting for others.
    Is there a quick checklist of coins that a newbie can start accumulating.. like the must have's?
    For eg.. if u are getting into rock music... there are is always going to be a list that fans will provide you to start collecting.
  8. AncientSoul

    AncientSoul New Member

    Keeping fingers crossed, hopefully someone knows and might help lead me to him.
  9. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    With all due respect sir, my avatar was used and then buried for over 1000 years. Modern collectors "give coins a break" due to their age more than ancient ones.

    The main problem with leptons and prutah, ("widow's mite" technically a lepton), were that they were such a small denomination no one cared how poorly they were struck. They were struck on cast flans connected to each other to speed up striking. If they were well struck, or struck at all, does not seem to be much concern. Then, the soil in that area is notoriously acidic, and the coins weren't worth much, so most were found unprotected in the soil.

    Most today are in miserable condition, but they DO exist nicer. I have a very pretty VF one in my collection, with full strike.
    Paul M. likes this.
  10. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    My advice sir? Look around. Look at posts here, look at ancient auction houses, see which coins you find yourself looking at, reading about, etc. Everyone gets drawn to certain areas for no particular reason. ancient Jewish coins are a natural gateway due to religion, so are the "anonymous bronze" series the Byzantines put out with pics of Christ. Here is a site where an article I present at my coin club is hosted about the series:

    Whatever trips your trigger is the answer. Ancient collecting is basically without limits or boundaries, we respect any pursuit you see fit. It CAN be overwhelming because of this, but is freeing once you get used to it.

    Another area lots of people get into is Tetrarchy/Constantine since many of these figures people have heard of, and can be very inexpensive to get into.
  11. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    If you are willing to wait you might find something in one of the coming Heritage Auctions. I did a quick look through their archives and they have sold some decent ones in the past.

    Stacks/Bowers will have an auction containing ancients at the ANA show in August, catalog isn't up until the 22nd so I don't know if they will have anything. Checked their archives and they haven't sold more than a couple in the past few years and I wasn't impressed by the quality of those.

    Checked Sixbid and there are only a few coming up only two of which looked decent as far as visual quality.

    But if you are wanting higher end pieces the auctions might be the way to go.
  12. C-B-D

    C-B-D U.S. Type Coins or death!

    I hear they'll cost you, "all that you have."
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  13. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Supporter

    The Vcoins store name that Condor posted above is a great place to start, imo. They have some nice coins.
  14. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Maybe @Deacon Ray could make a suggestion?

    Based on your posts @AncientSoul you may enjoy coins from Constantine and his heirs because they feature early Christian symbols.

    Constans, AD 337-350
    AE, 2.9g, 19mm; 1h; Siscia, AD 348-350
    Obv.: DN CONSTA-N PF AVG; diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right
    Rev.: FEL TEMP REPARATIO; emperor in military dress standing left in galley, holding phoenix on globe and standard with chi-rho on banner, in the stern sits Victory steering the ship
    In Ex.: ASIS (symbol?)

    Constans, AD 337-350
    AE, follis, 16mm, 1.5g; 12h; Siscia, AD 337-341
    Obv.: CONSTAN-S PF AVG; rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev.: GLOR-IAEXERC-ITVS; two soldiers with spears and shields, facing one standard, chi-rho on banner
    In Ex.: BSIS

    Valentinian I, AD 364-375
    AE, 2.2g, 17.5mm; 6h; Siscia mint
    Obv.: DN VALENTINI-ANVS PF AVG; pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
    Rev.: GLORIA RO-MANORVM; emperor in military garb advancing right, head left, holding labrum witn chi-rho, dragging captive behind. M in left field, star over P in right field.
    In Ex.: BSISC

    Magentius, AD 350-353
    AE, 23mm, 4.72g; 12h
    Obv.: [DN MAGEN]-TIVS PF A[VG]
    Rev.: [SAL]VS DD NN A[VG ET CAAES]; Large chi-rho with A to left, W right

    There are other coins with Christian significance as well. There are also numerous examples of pagan dieties and religious themes available
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  15. AncientSoul

    AncientSoul New Member

    This is so good. Thank you. I will start looking into them right away.
    I am already starting to like this new hobby. I am here for a life long run.
    At a later time when i have a decent collection, I would want to buy a coin cabinate with layered sliding trays and keep it in my office. I will start my day with a coffee and proudly going over them daily. :)
  16. AncientSoul

    AncientSoul New Member

  17. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    AncientSoul and Paul M. like this.
  18. AncientSoul

    AncientSoul New Member

    Agree with you. I am in no mood of throwing money at it without research, and actually understanding the true value of it. Just with the easily available Widow's Mite I am researching for two days making sure I am not overpaying and trying not to get scammed. I am sure there are legit dealers for the Tyrian shekel who do not charge an arm and a leg.
  19. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Don't forget a Denarius of Tiberius, the "tribute penny". Mark 12:14 thru 12:17

    14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?

    15 Should we pay them, or should we not?” But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.”

    16 And they brought one. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.”

    17 Jesus said to them, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.
  20. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    In my opinion they are fairly common. Do not buy but hold out until you find the right coin in the condition you want at a price you want. Go to your LCS and coins shows. You'd be surprised at what you can learn and what you might find.

    I have found several coins at local shows but I've walked away from them due to being overpriced. It's best to wait.

    Welcome to CT:
  21. ma-shops

    ma-shops Active Member

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