Just started in ancient coins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by kirispupis, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. kirispupis

    kirispupis Active Member

    Hello everyone! Years ago, I visited Petra in Jordan and was excited to buy some (fake) ancient coins. Since then, I've been admiring the hobby and figuring out when I would have the resources to enter. In December, I decided it was time.

    To finance my new hobby, I sold off a number of things I had sitting around the house annoying my wife - particularly the Star Wars figures and Transformers I played with as a kid, my US mint sets and commemoratives, and my antique firecracker packs (yes, people actually collect them - and in fact their sale raised the most money).

    I started by picking up a few coins on Forum, then I moved to auctions where I first seriously overbid an Olbia dolphin - but I love dolphins and I thought it was amazing that someone used one as coinage.

    I'm learning a lot each day, but the thing that's amazed me most is I completely misjudged the advantage of collecting ancients. Going in, I thought it was a combination of each coin being unique and the opportunity to connect with history. While those are true, what I'm finding is that I'm not buying coins - I'm buying stories. Another hobby of mine is writing novels (just released my first recently), and I'm finding a tremendous wealth of material as I'm realizing that Game of Thrones pretty much plagiarized Roman history. Of course, my wife tells me that I can find the stories without the coins, but they make everything so real.

    To display my coins and prevent my relatives from holding them, I created this album. Below are some rather bad shots of the storage. I write up a story for each, most of which is pulled from Wikipedia. I feel this provides a lot of context to the coin, since each is more of a discussion with history than a metal object. I put each coin in a slip pocket, then print out a description, cut a space out, and tape the slip case in. I then place the whole thing in a protective sleeve, then put it in my coin binder.

    So far, I've started with coins you consider very common, but I still love them. My collection is currently at 52 coins with 15 more on the way, including a Julius Caesar elephant denarius I'm thrilled about. I also have an Aquilia Severa and Severina coming, who have fascinating histories. I'll likely slow down now as I'm nearly out of money, but I'm in this for the long haul and know I'll eventually fill it in.

    I've already spent a lot of time going through posts in this forum and I'm awed by how much dedication and knowledge there is. I look forward to participating and learning!

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    Limes, Scipio, svessien and 35 others like this.
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  3. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Welcome @kirispupis . Looking forward to see your coins; 52 ! what a start !
  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Great that you've broken into the ancients hobby @kirispupis ! Since I started collecting when I was ten I can say it can almost be a lifelong hobby. (I did stop for twenty years after I had kids and a career that was very demanding) but started up again in 2012. The combination of history, drama, and pathos is very rewarding!
  5. Alegandron

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

    @kirispupis , I really enjoyed your post! I like the style that you are approaching your collecting. I am similar, I enjoy the History (story) around my coins.

    Nice start, and I am REALLY looking forward to your future postings!
  6. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    I too got my first 'ancients' at Petra in Jordan. If I remember correctly they were terrible fakes - huge lumps of metal that I think were supposed to be Roman. The guy that showed me around the local museum even begged me to buy some secretly from him when he suspected I might not tip him.

    Now, I have some genuine Nabatean coins from Petra itself - I have no idea why they didn't sell fakes of these as they are crude but attractive.

    Malichus II Prutah, 40-70
    Raqmu (Petra). Bronze, 16.6mm, 2.9g. Malichus II and Queen Shaquilath/Šagīlat II. Two crossed cornucopias, Aramaic legend "Malichus, Shaquilath" in two lines (Meshorer 140).
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  7. Zebucatt

    Zebucatt Well-Known Member

    I completely agree with kirispupis. I feel very lucky to have been a Stewart to the cions I have. Not only do I think of the people who used them but also previous collectors too. Remember Augustus also collected coins. I feel I am buying more responsibilities sometimes. Lol. Its a great hobby. Welcome!!
  8. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I would agree to look at Nabatean coins if you visited Petra. Years ago I got @John Anthony started on them, (then he quickly surpassed my knowledge on them). Search threads here or ask John any questions. Btw, the Nabateans are the civilization that constructed Petra and used it as their capital.

    I also agree with you coins makes the history come alive!
    ominus1 and kirispupis like this.
  9. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    Welcome! @kirispupis .. Very much collecting "stories".

    I'm also in the fairly-new camp myself. My invigorated desire to learn more about ancient history has absolutely been inspired by the tangibility of ancient coins.

    FWIW, GoT generously borrowed from the War of the Roses(1455-1487) for material as well.
    kirispupis and DonnaML like this.
  10. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    I think your statement "I'm not buying coins - I'm buying stories" absolutely nails it. It expresses exactly why most of us are intrigued and bewitched by ancient coins as passports to the ancient world.

    You may be interested in a good book, "The Reach of Rome", by Alberto Angela, who narrates the adventures of a coin of Trajan as it travels and is spent across the empire.
  11. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the world of ancients. I like your approach to collecting - I'd be interested to see some of your other purchases/stories.
  12. Zebucatt

    Zebucatt Well-Known Member

    I had to get that book, found one on Amazon for $15 and change from a 3rd party. I have his other one "A day of a life in ancient rome" and it is brilliant. He has a writing style that keeps you in thrilled. A great read.
    octavius, DonnaML and Theodosius like this.
  13. kirispupis

    kirispupis Active Member

    Both books sound interesting. Trying to find a store that sells the original Italian and can send to the US...
  14. Scipio

    Scipio Well-Known Member

  15. kirispupis

    kirispupis Active Member

    @Scipio grazie mille! I just ordered both books.
    Scipio likes this.
  16. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

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