Thoughts about value

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, May 12, 2018.

  1. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    I tend to foolishly obsess over a “missing” coin and would be willing to pay a premium (maybe 30%) more just to be “done with it” and have the coin, just so I could move on and obsess about something else. Fortunately, I mainly collect late Roman bronzes for affordability reasons. This means that paying a premium for a coin might mean paying $75 for a $50 coin. It doesn’t mean paying $1100 for an $800 coin. I think I’d have a hard time paying the premium if were talking about higher dollar coins.
    benhur767, 7Calbrey and Valentinian like this.
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  3. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    This is the question all specialists face. When you see a coin few people recognize as special but selling for high price, do you feel obligated to buy it or let it go on the theory that you will find another at a later date? If you feel the need for every little variation, you will pay high for some and low for others so it may all even out. If you need every variation the first time you see them, the expenses will go up.

    I don't specialize in Constantine but recognize it has some differences from the ones we see everyday. That might drive me to pay a bit more but if all the people like me would leave these to people who really cared, the price and demand would balance out. I know that very few here are interested in the coins I like the best. I like it that way. Should we all stop pointing out what we like? It might make them cheaper but it would not add to the fun of Coin Talk.
    A) I can no imagine collecting a common coin and feeling the need for 60 varieties differing only by some little point. I would pay more if and only if the coin in question had some particularly interesting nimbus rather than just different.

    B) The closer one gets to a full set, the more driven one feels to complete. There is a special merit to a variety that is either more interesting (chimera is better than a star) or one not shown in the literature previously. Do we know that the fancier types survive in smaller numbers?

    C) This is not a fair question since some FTR mints are vastly less common than others. Some were in operation for a very short period and made few coins. Others struck FTR of one sort or another for 15 years. It is not necessarily the case that the last mint you need will be the most rare one. You have to balance the chance of finding another against the rush you feel to have that coin.

    There is a point not mentioned: There are millions of ancient coins I do not want at any price. There are thousands I will consider if the price is low enough. There are dozens I want for a 'fair' price. There are very few that tempt me at a any price. There is a difference between 'tempt' and 'buy' at any price.
    This is the advantage of having many interests rather than one obsession. Some of us here have more 'specialty interests' than others have coins. There is a coin currently being auctioned that I have always wanted and if I get it, I will have one from its 'set'. If not, I will still have that specialty interest but it will remain a null set.
  4. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    This thread is interesting for one reason. It is entirely theoretical, but also unrealistic. As we have seen people have proposed various values starting at $1 and going up from there. But opinions in this case really dont matter and have no bearing on reality. Sure, I have no doubt that if one searches long enough they may find one for that single dollar, but not likely. Even at $5 or $10 just as unlikely. A very quick search will show that if someone wants one they will have to pay between $40 and $100 depending on grade. Before I did some searching I was going to suggest a retail value of $20-35, so I was fairly close (based on the grade of the OP coin).
    benhur767, Valentinian and 7Calbrey like this.
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    In that case, I have been known to go way beyond my budget to obtain a missing coin from a set. Normally, the coins I am missing are the hardest, and most expensive, to find in the set. So when I see one, I go all out. In my MA Legionary series, I am missing two such coins to complete the set. I am already preparing myself to go for the kill when I find one or the other. Woe to my bank account!
    RAGNAROK, Theodosius and 7Calbrey like this.
  6. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    When we say 'find' a coin, some of us mean searching the big online sales using acsearch or the higher priced options. Others 'find' mid-low LRB's in junk boxes where a coin like this could be found at $10 (unidentified). $1 days are pretty much over. So are the days when medium/large shows included junk boxes of $10 coins. 20 years ago, they were not hard to find but, table prices being what they are, we have slab sellers rather than kindly old gentlemen who cater to kids on a budget. Certainly no VCoins dealer will be selling the coin for $1 or $10 because the lowest coin in stock is more than that.

    I miss the good old days when a dealer at Baltimore had bags and bags of pickouts from $2 (AE4's) to $500 (decent looking tetradrachms). He still does Baltimore but no longer offers customers a wet-wipe to clean up after going through his stock. Finding coins was more fun that way.
  7. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Being new here and to coin collecting in general I have a couple of questions with regard to this particular post. I hope you will bear with me as I try to understand the situation.
    -Prices have gone up over the years.. (this seems a given in our world for almost everything - so certainly not surprising to me).
    -From many other posts I have read and discussions I have had the general impression is that coin collecting in general is losing popularity. Younger people have other interests. The collector population is getting older.
    So I guess my question is: are we going to see a drop in ancient coin value over time as demand drops? Older collections are passed down to people who have no interest and we get a lot more on the market? Never mind new finds that turn up adding to the supply?
    I do not purchase my coins as an investment.. but just curious as to see where you think the market will go .. Will the price trajectory change?
  8. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Prices of coins that have gone up have gone up. That's a tautology. Prices of ancient coins in general have not gone up, certainly not relative to inflation. Here is a previous post of mine on why people think prices have gone up, and why they have not really gone up.

    I started that thread entitled "prices can go down" with an example.

    The other posts in that thread are relevant.

    Here is another thought. I am copying this from an e-mail I wrote to a friend a year ago after he wrote me that prices seemed to be going up.

    "Personally, I do not think coin prices have gone up much, if at all. I do think the standards of new collectors go up over time, so the price of an Augustus they want goes up a lot. But is the higher quality that makes it look like the prices went up. Look at any coin in your collection. Check out the price and quality. Then look around and I bet you will find that you can reproduce that quality for about the same price now."
  9. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Good reading.. thank you.
  10. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    B) I only have a dozen or so of the die pairs known. Of the pairs that I have that turn out to be previously unknown I have not paid a premium. This was primarily because I was not knowledgeable enough to spot it and only found out retrospectively.

    C) I have paid much than mort other FTR for a poor Trier example simply as a placeholder
    benhur767 likes this.
  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    If you purchase 15 Falling Horseman coins, one from each mint, I'd expect the total 'value' for the ones from Trier and Amiens could be close to the same for an example from the other 13 combined. I'm throwing out this estimate without full research so I might need to backpeddle a bit but those two mints did not operate in the late period when the coins were small and crude (therefore, cheap). If you specified a set of AE2 beauties, you might expect to pay more for the 13. Finding a Trier and Amiens in mint state at any price will take more looking. Not all rulers are available from all mints and I do not have the list at hand right now. These two are scarce even in the grade shown.
    Trier Constantius Gallus

    Constantius Gallus Amiens
  12. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    I bought the following coin because it had a symbol I wanted. I paid a premium because it was graded high (EF) by the seller. I grade the coin a bit lower because of surface issues, but wanted the plumb bob. I paid a premium for the coin because at least one other bidder wanted the coin. Crawford lists Plumb Bob as one of the symbols for M.VOLTEI.M.F.
    Plumb Bob.JPG
    M. VOLTEI. M.F. Cr. 385.3 plumb bob Art Ast 6.11.16.jpg M. VOLTEI. M.F. Cr. 385.3 plumb bob Art Ast 6.11.16 rev.jpg
  13. Theodosius

    Theodosius Unrepentant Fine Style Freak! Supporter

    The coin was sold as ex: BCD collection with a round tag, hand written in fountain pen saying, "N. Rous., Jan. 1990, 6000 dm". I am not sure how to interpret that other than what I have stated. Maybe I will get a chance to ask BCD sometime. :)
  14. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    He posts here sometimes as @ab initio if you wanna try shooting him a pm.
  15. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Perhaps it was part of a large lot.
    Severus Alexander and Theodosius like this.
  16. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    I know that I will generally value some of the eastern Septimius Severus coins higher than many. This can be a good thing in that I often buy them at what I feel is a bargain price (others might well argue on that one). Sometimes though you see something special (to you anyway) estimated at what you expect to be reasonable market value, bid 50% higher than this (got to have it mentality) and then see it sell for 3 or 4 times your bid value. Others have also spotted as special but valued it much higher than me.

    A few times I have then been approached by the dealer who bought a coin in these circumstances with me in mind as a potential end customer. This dealer asking 50% over their purchase price. They obviously thought that I hadn't seen the coin and had much deeper pockets than I actually have.
  17. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I hate it when this happens to anyone but simply will not, as a matter of principle, buy a coin offered by an 'aproaching' winner when I was the underbidder in a sale. In my case, I only know of this only happening once over 20 years ago. Dealers that know me know I am cheap.

    When it come to specialty 'values' it would be interesting to see how collectors with matching specialties would value the same coins. Martin and I both collect Eastern mint Severans but we have differently aligned sub-specialties. He likes coins of 'Laodicea' more than I do. I like Alexandria. We both like the 'Emesa' coins dated on the obverse with something other
    than COSII.

    Below are five of my coins. Four are my favorites for one reason or another. One is a ringer. I have a favorite in the group but would not expect anyone, including Martin, to agree and would be surprised if anyone other than Martin to be able to explain what these coins might have going for them. Should I mention that it was no accident that these are not my five highest grade coins? Play if you wish.






    Attached Files:

  18. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Is it the someone standing reverse, C?
  19. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    I would give all 5 a home in a heartbeat. I have given up the thought of owning a B they all go too high for my lowly means.

    I would rank them in terms of their market value as B, A, E, C, D.
  20. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My faith is restored. We did not agree on all. There was a high grade B on eBay a couple years ago for $700. I almost bought it. I wish I had. C is my favorite not because it is a great rarity but because it is a die duplicate of the British Museum coin listed as VICTOR IVST AVG. Museums should know better than to assume they know what is missing. There are other dies that do read AVG but this die is clearly AVS. That does not mean anything to most people but I like the coin more because of it. E is the highest grade and a nice example of the die break on the V of SEV but relatively common. A and all coins with IICOS on the reverse are worth gathering. It is not the best IICOS but it is the legionary. D is the ringer. I tried to sell it through JA in his auction last year and it failed to achieve a bid yielding less than the $82 I paid years ago. I have a better die duplicate so thought it was expendable but both will be mine long term. It is not a coin for someone who wants just one Septimius. None of these are. Also, none of these are in my five favorite Septimius coins. There are just so very, very many. C, A, B, E, D.
    Theodosius likes this.
  21. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    I may undervalue the IVST AVS because I am very familiar with the reverse die.

    Same die pair as yours? Just much worse condition.


    Same reverse die but with AVG II C obverse.


    Yes the IVST AVG exist too fromvmultiple reverse dies.
    AVG obverse
    Same reverse die with II CO obverse
    AVG II C obverse

    There's also IVST AVG II COS (I have a double die match pair)
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