I started up a Roman Emperor collection a while back as my first delve into ancient coins. Many of you provided useful advice and tips on resources while I was trying to get my feet under me. While my results have been less than stellar, I do appreciate that effort. I started shopping for coins through what, to the best of my ability, I had determined to be reputable online auction houses (I won't name them, but I'm not talking about Ebay here), as this was my only real avenue for accessing these coins. I made a handful of purchases, some slabbed and some raw, and decided to send in my raw purchases to get a handle on how I was doing from a quality perspective. Let's just say that I was not too happy when they came back: 1 made the cut and 4 were in "Tooled" body bags. These are the condition related portions the tooled coin auction descriptions: Domitian- VF, dark green surfaces with touches of red, some smoothing. Claudius- VF/VF-EF, nrly centered with practically full lgnds, dark brown patina, only a hint of roughness Hadrian- VF, dark green and brown patina with touches of red, light smoothing, minor roughness. Trajan- lgnds somewhat wk & partly off at obv bottom; dark brownish-green patina with smoothing & traces of remaining porosity; nice portrait with excellent detail. The auctions provide backgrounds and resumes for the "Experts" that do these evaluations. I assumed that, in the interest of maintaining reputation, they would feel compelled to disclose tooling in the description. I learned the hard way that this doesn't seem to be the case, the tooled coins now represent over $1000 worth of garbage (Not literally, but this is how it feels at the moment). Let's just say that this experience has left a bad taste in my mouth for the ancient coin collecting hobby. And, if I ever buy more, they will definitely be slabbed.