Sunday, November 09, 2003

A Guide to Collecting Ancient Coins - Part 2

This is a continuation of my series on collecting ancient coins.

Some Essential Coin Books

A good library is very important in ancient coin collecting. The books are vital in giving information to help you identify and catalog your collection and typically provide a great deal of information not only about the coins, but about the history of the Nation/City/King/Emperor/Usurper/General that struck the coins. The books can aid you in developing your own collecting style and interests. The books will also help you decipher the inscriptions upon the coins and even assist you in dating your coins.

I would recommend, depending on the area of interest that you want to collect, the following books:

For Roman Coinage
David R. Sear. Roman Coins and Their Values. This is the Bible for Roman Coin collecting. Packed with information in a nice sturdy hardcover for years of use.


David Van Meter. The Handbook of the Roman Imperial Coins: A Complete Guide to the History, Types and Values of Roman Imperial Coinage. ( This book costs less than Sear but has somewhat less coverage and is a softcover. However is does have excellent historical information, but Sear is still the collector's standard).


David R. Sear. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values: The Local Coinages of the Roman Empire is an excelent reference if you decide to collect coins of Greek and other cities under the Roman Empire.

For Greek Coinage
David R. Sear. Greek Coins and Their Values. ( A Two Volume Work, and the volumes can be published sepearately. Volume 1 covers Europe and Volume 2 Covers Asia)

For Jewish/Biblical Coinage
David Hendin, A Guide to Biblical Coins. As I've noted before, this is the "Bible" for Jeiwsh and Biblical coin collectors. Order it right from Amphora Coins and David Hendin will personally autograph it for you.

For Egyptian Coins struck by the Ptolemies (The sucessor dynasty to Alexander the Great in Egypt that ruled there until the death of Cleopatra)
Richard Hazzard. Ptolemaic Coins: An Introduction for Collectors.

For Byzantine Coinage
David R Sear. Byzantine Coins and Their Values.

In General

A subscription to The Celator is a must. It has excellent articles, advertisements from the leading coin dealers, and it keeps you on top of what is going on in the world of ancient numismatics.

Also good introductory reading is Michael F. Miller. Classical Greek and Roman Coins: The Investor's Handbook. The investment advice it contains is a bit dated. But the advice about collecting, grading, research and care for your coins, as well as some exquisite coin photographs and descriptions make it a valuable starter text.

Part Three will cover The Grading System used for Ancient Coins.

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