What's your best bargain been?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Harry G, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Hi all! Just wondering what everyone's best bargain has been.

    Mine has to be my Vabalathus as Augustus antoninianus, AЄTЄRNITAS AVG reverse.

    Vabalathus ant.png

    (seller's pics)

    This was an eBay buy. I was checking the site just before Christmas, and saw it described as an 'Unresearched Roman Coin'. The seller, who has over 15,000 sales and 100% positive feedback, normally sells very common coins (Constantine AE3s, Aurelian antoniniani etc.) in relatively poor condition.

    I guess this one just slipped the net of the seller, and, as it was Christmas, not many buyers were checking eBay enough to notice it.

    I was very surprised and pleased to be able to buy it for £31! Looking on coinarchives, most examples in worse condition tend to go for £600 - £800, so I think I scored with this one. It is now the gem of my antoninianus collection :)

    What's your best bargain buy been?
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Not sure, but I think my best bargain had to come from this Augustus which I bought off a business associate while I was in Croatia several years ago. We were comparing our collections when I asked if he would like to sell one of his examples of this coin. He ended up agreeing to sell it to me for $20. I tried to offer more, but he insisted since we were working on a project together and he had several more in his collection. He said he discovered them all metal detecting at different times and places in Croatia. He lives in Pula which has major Roman ruins.
    Augustus 5.jpg
    AR Denarius
    REVERSE: AVGVSTI F COS DESIG PRINC IVVENT, C L CAESARES below, Gaius & Lucius standing front with shields & spears; in field above, a simpulum & lituus (in "Pd" formation)
    Lugdunum 4-2 BC
    3.5g, 18mm
    RIC 210

    Images from Pula
    Croatia Italy Vacation 046.jpg Croatia Italy Vacation 081.jpg Croatia Italy Vacation 042.jpg
  4. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter


    £161 very, very,very late NewStyle. None, I believe in coin archives pro. Sometimes ebay is a winner!
    Theodosius, Volodya, Limes and 19 others like this.
  5. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    I think my best bargain is this one.

    Trajan AD 98-117. Rome
    Quadrans Æ
    20 mm., 3,01 g.
    Ric II Trajan 693
    Type: Head of Trajan, laureate, right
    Reverse Legend: S C
    Type: She-wolf walking right

    I got this as I wanted some Trajan coins.
    My problem was that I couldn't find a similar example (with the same obverse legend) - the explanation was this is only the 4th known example.
    Theodosius, Volodya, Limes and 16 others like this.
  6. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    My best bargain from Heritage Auctions/ Europe
    Regnum Francorum/ Merovingian Regal Issue
    AV Tremissis ND Brivate Mint (Unique)
    Theudebert II 586-612
    King of Austrasia and Auvergne
    Only one other gold type coin known from him.
    Merovingian Royal Issues are exceedingly rare/ even the Civic AV coins are rare.
    Stole this one for 3K euros.
    First coin is mine/ second coin photo the only other gold issue from Clermonte Mint. 9631-l.jpg 440px-Tiers_de_sou_de_Théodebert_II_frappé_à_Clermont.png
  7. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    That's an incredible find, congrats!! I wish I had the patience to troll through all the overpriced junk on ebay.

    My best bargain wasn't an ancient. I bought this from Frank Robinson as an ordinary 1859/8 cent for 25 bucks, but it turned out to be a rare variety with inverted dies.

    Screen Shot 2019-10-26 at 11.14.26 PM.jpg

    The auction funds have now been converted into ancients. :D
    Theodosius, Curtisimo, Limes and 15 others like this.
  8. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Well-Known Member

    My best find wasn't an ancient it was a 1888/7 indian head cent that I got in a coin lot on ebay for less than £1 per coin and I had no idea what it was till about 4months after getting it. Ended up selling it for £5200
    -jeffB, Curtisimo, Ryro and 12 others like this.
  9. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Whoah!! :jawdrop: And I thought mine was hard to beat. I can't imagine that you're not going to win this thread! :D
    Harry G, Di Nomos, Egry and 1 other person like this.
  10. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Well-Known Member

    I don't think I'll ever get that lucky again, would be nice though :D
    Harry G, Di Nomos, Egry and 2 others like this.
  11. potty dollar 1878

    potty dollar 1878 Florida girls have to love walking there sharks.

    $4.25 sellers pics 20210220_174615.jpg 20210220_174627.jpg Coins in person. 20210220_175603.jpg 20210220_175619.jpg 20210220_175509.jpg 20210220_175450.jpg
    DonnaML, Curtisimo, Harry G and 6 others like this.
  12. jdmKY

    jdmKY Well-Known Member

    80208014-3DED-488F-99B2-61FE3EB9E003.jpeg 41418F56-DDDA-4582-B7D4-70FFA6CDB958.jpeg $12,005 in 1984
    ($5 for shipping and handling)
    Shea19, Theodosius, kazuma78 and 40 others like this.
  13. Alegandron

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

    Harry G and jdmKY like this.
  14. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    That's a tough decision to make for me. Since I am old, and the time-space continuum has taken on weird proportions, I will limit my "best" buy to recent memory, since the long term memory (all of those coins, dealers, shows, auctions, and price lists of yore) has long since become socially dysfunctional for me.

    I would say that one of the best buys over the past year, or so (an excellent qualifier for anyone my age), was the purchase of the Faustina sestertius for $100, from an eBay seller. This coin came slabbed as a choice Fine, and I suppose it is, all things considered.

    D-Camera Faustina II, sestertius, PVDICITA seated 20.1 g,  11-29-20.jpg

    What makes this coin special is that Pudicita is seated and not standing, which is quite rare, I understand. In terms of overall condition, the coin is so-so, with the reverse better than the obverse.

    I really have no idea what this coin is worth, since we're talking about a rare variety, which would appeal to Roman specialists, but not necessarily to your average Morgan dollar collector.

    So, there you have it. It's time to rest the last function brain cell now, nighty night....
  15. Egry

    Egry Supporter! Supporter

    My best bargain wasn’t ancient. It was a 1797 British pence. Listed on eBay incorrectly with an absolute potato fo a picture. I decided to take a punt and purchased it for $100. It ended up being uncirculated with a value of about $1,500.
    Theodosius, -jeffB, DonnaML and 4 others like this.
  16. Clonecommanderavgvsvs

    Clonecommanderavgvsvs Well-Known Member

    67EE3CD1-E663-4D97-AC89-E0E4DA9C3345.jpeg 2BE6370E-B9D1-425E-A47B-C660845531BA.jpeg Won this pretty ugly yet very cool nummus of the vandal king Hilderic for $4 in a bid!
    DonnaML, Curtisimo, Limes and 6 others like this.
  17. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I don't have any MEGA budgets that I was able to make any money off of. Here is a selection.

    Aelius Caesar for $40
    Aelius As RIC 1071v.JPG

    R5 Ant Pi AE egyptian for like $0.80 or so
    Antoninus Pius Emmet 1916 22.JPG
    Commodus denarius for $0.78(?). So encrusted it looked bronze. Not anymore. Probably my most (potential) monetary gain on this one.
    IMG_E7044 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
    Beautiful C-Gall for $10
    Constantius Gallus Nicomedia RIC VII 85 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG

    Elagabalus provincial for $0.73
    Elagabalus Mouch 636 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
    Leo I for $0.95
    Leo I RIC X 701.JPG
    Plautilla for $4.00
    Plautilla (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG

    I WISH I could make it big with a 2 buck coin valued at thousands. I'm never good at winning the lottery. A few weeks back with the GME and AMC boom, I went from +$1,800 to -$70 in two days. RIP

    Attached Files:

  18. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    In terms of a TRUE bargain. Maybe 5 years ago, I bought a clarinet on eBay advertise as a "NEMO" clarinet for $23.

    "NEMO" referred to NEMC - North Eastern Music Company which stenciled Vandoren 5RV hard rubber mouthpieces. That mouthpiece sold for over $25 by itself. It was probably closer to $40 but it was so long ago.

    The clarinet itself, after close inspection, turned out to be a rather nice Buffet E11 clarinet. I sold that clarinet for around $400.

    After all was said and done (minor refurbishment, oiling, adjustment, the works), profit margin was around 1,600%.

    It's NOT common at all to get a deal like that, as in coins. It takes an incredibly well-trained eye, "cojones," and a stomach for risk to make it in the "cherry-picking" business.
  19. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    One thing I can say in my very limited 6 months experience in ancients is that for bargains you need 1. some knowledge 2. some luck.
    I was incredibly lucky when I bought my first lot, 34 coins - 100 EUR. Although not truly spectacular, the coins value is MUCH bigger. But it was pure beginner's luck, I had no idea what I was buying, I just wanted some coins to start my collection.

    But you need some knowledge as well. And I am not talking about forgeries (on some, I don't have the right experience to distinguish them). There is still the popular belief that all the ancient coins are very expensive and very rare.

    If I got 1$ for every coin I saw described as RARE, EXCELLENT CONDITION etc I would be writing now from my personal island in Bahamas area.
    Orfew, Egry and panzerman like this.
  20. Di Nomos

    Di Nomos Well-Known Member

    Not sure it's a bargain necessarily, but compared to previous sales it was a good buy. Then again, maybe they overpaid?

    Sold at Heritage (Northern Californian Collection) for $11,000 USD plus fees., ($13,200 total)

    Then sold at CNG for $8,500 plus fees, ($10,200 total).

    I purchased in an Australian auction for $7,735 AUD including fees. That equates to about $6,000 USD at the current exchange rate. Or in US auction terms, 5,000 plus1,000 fees.

    Was very happy to acquire at that price, as I think it is worth more. It's far more attractive in hand than in the photo also.

    Selinus tetradrachm. c. 430 BC.
    Orfew, Theodosius, kazuma78 and 18 others like this.
  21. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Got this sestertius sized piece of Herennia Etruscilla for $15.

    erennia Etruscilla, (249-251 A.D.)
    Wife of Trajan Decius

    AE 28 of Viminacium, 14.2 grams

    Obverse: HER ETRVSCILLA AVG, draped bust right, in stephane

    Reverse: PMS COL VIM, female figure (Provincia Moesia) standing, facing left, between bull and lion, AN XII in exergue

    Reference: BMC 32


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