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My first ancient coin!


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Over the weekend I received my first ancient coin that was part of a giveaway over at CU.


It is described as "Gordianus III, Roman Empire, 238-244 A.D." Very cool coin and it still has a lot of detail for its age. Love it love it love!




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I bet they are.


With this coin I like how it's kind of "moving" but it really isn't. The coin is in focus, just kind of cool looking. I'd call it "metal flow", not sure what the technical term is. :ninja:

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Good piece! The Gordian III and Philip II Antonianii are IMO among the best pieces to start a Roman collection with. They're larger (nickel sized versus cent or small sized late roman bronze), silver, and reasonably priced, usually $30 will get you an decent mid-grade example.

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most gordian III coins like these are rather cheap, I bought mine for 40 bucks or so.


now this coin is another story:




price varies by type and time period...early empire is far more expensive than mid to late though you will get the rare ones in late that cost a fortune as well.

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oh, and might I ad a fun way of collecting romans is uncleaned lots...sometimes you get a lot of dudes but then sometimes you get a pretty nice coin...and its fun to clean them and be the first person in a few thousand years to see it. I have found some nice one in uncleaned lots....




found this nice little Gallienus in an uncleaned lot...I like the portrait and the reverse is nice as well (not a super valuable coin)




found this nice Constantius in an uncleaned lot as well, I like it a lot. Great patina...again, not very valuable.

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I take it you get your lots from Ebay?


Those are some nice examples. I never see any ancients at the coin shows I attend unless they are gold.


No...I dont get them on ebay, I can send you a link, if you choose to try it out, to a great uncleaned coin seller. I bought from him several times now on another collectors advice and always I get a few nice ones but beware...if you go for completely uncleaned its a total crap shoot, you could end up with a bunch of duds...you could end up with some nice ones as well...I recently saw a guy who found a very rare probus worth over a thousand dollars...that wont happen most likely but when they are completely crusted over, there is less of a chance that the good ones have been pick out and it should go without saying that gold will never be in any uncleaned lot and silver is very rare though I have found a silver Siliqua once...


I dont even own a gold roman coin, I would like to but they are so expensive...maybe one day. That Claudius As is my most expensive coin.

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I find that the majority of the time ancients on eBay fall into the following classes:


Fake ~ too many to count

Fraudulent auction ~ quite a few

Low Grade, but authentic About 75%

And very rarely, nice original authentic coins.


For better ancients try Vcoins.com


Agreed. Anything else is pretty much know-your-dealer. (But not to worry - there ARE good dealers out there, but they're far and few between, and stock isn't always available)


The quality of uncleaned on the market isn't as good as it once was. A recent sampling I tried resulted in mostly junky* AE4s for $2-3 apiece.


* 5% larger than AE3 (ie. early 300 reduced folli, late 200s ants)

* 10% F-VF AE3/4 or AE3

* 35% VG-ish attributable AE4

* 30% needs cleaning, unlikely anything good

* 20% not worth bothering to attempt cleaning or attribution


If you like the fun of uncovering something, uncleaned are great. Actual return is okay to poor depending on the dealer and the lot concerned. It's kind of like buying lottery tickets. But as for value, it'd be best to buy cleaned coins.

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As an added note for buying uncleaned, if you don't know the dealer, it may be best to buy a bulk lot (ie. 50 or 100) where you get a pic of the actual coins that you'll be getting rather than getting a generic "stock" picture that won't resemble what you actually get.

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without doubt if you are buying a single coin worth more money I would recommend






Many great ancient coins, many great dealers, experts, and collectors at the forums that can truely help you out, I wont buy anywhere else save the rare e-bay find and I wont buy unless I get a thumb up from the majority of those experts.



I have found this place to be a rare good uncleaned dealer, you can buy cleaned, partial cleaned or fully uncleaned and many of his lots are not your typical constantine, constantius....I have found Probus, Claudius Gothicus, Aurillian, Gallienus and others, some in rather good condition but the best ones I got had serious cleaning to be done, many are still soaking in oil. His uncleaned are VERY uncleaned but some clean up nice.


Just remember you pay less for the completely uncleaned but you may get less (but you MAY get more)...that is where who is selling comes in.

If you get a person who is doing heavy picking before hand then you will get a much worse lots. I have bought lots that I did not get anything I felt was worth my time and thats saying something because I think THIS is a great little coin:




I DID buy from a dealer who I think was in the balkans who sent pretty nice coins in an unclean lot of 100 though out of 100 coins I got maybe 15 I would post on my site.. maybe 50 attributable, the rest slugs.

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I've been checking out some of those pages. At less than $2 per coin completely uncleaned, that's pretty tempting. I'll probably just get a handful of completely uncleaned ones next month, just for fun and practice.


Another thing to add to my Christmas list. :ninja:

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