All About Ancient Coins  

Since ancient times, coins have been recognized as legal tender, with some of the oldest being traced back to 700 to 1100 BC. A lot of these coins came from Asian dynasties and were typically made in copper or bronze. They were not always round as many were in the form of rods, rings or small ingots. Ancient Roman and Greek coins were circulated during the 1st century BC, many of which can still be found worldwide in private collections.  

The old coins were fashioned out with the use of a hammer and an anvil, striking 2 engraved dies. The modern coin pressing methods were only developed in the early 18th century. 

Ancient coin collecting offers an interesting view of history, and gives a glimpse to the lives of famous people from the past as depicted in the coins like Plato and Socrates. Imagine holding the same coins that may have been held by the hands of the great pillars of Western civilization. 

According to jaded ancient coin collectors, the coins have far more aesthetic value than present-day coins. While this can be dismissed as personal preference, the inclination to antique pieces of the more knowledgeable about the hobby is undeniable, thanks to the amazing variety available – including those depicting political bigwigs, and mythological and war heroes. 

One may think that these coins are quite rare. The truth is, a lot of coins are unearthed yearly in archaeological diggings and construction projects. They are valuable not necessarily for their rarity but for the historical authenticity they bear.  

Ancient coins are categorized into several types, and various dealers and websites cater to each of these types. Biblical coins that were unearthed in the Holy land are of Jewish or Roman origin. These were used during Biblical times. Greek and Roman coins, as well as Persian and Byzantine coins, are popular among numismatists. Historians are divided on which coins are the oldest and first used as legal tender – Greek coins or ones from Asia Minor. 

First time coin collectors should consider starting with Roman coins primarily because of the many available resources that can help identify the coins and appreciate their history and the civilization they represent. Byzantine coins are also ideal but collecting them may be more challenging for the beginner as they come from several eras. Collectors may also find Persian coins fascinating. 

Those who are really passionate about ancient coins should get in touch with the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild. Based on their website, the guild was established for the promotion of independent and free collection of coins from antiquity. They have something for everyone, including children. They have information on legislations that impact the coin industry and a lot of other valuable resources. Membership is at $35 and up a year. 

Long acknowledged as the “Hobby of Kings,” it doesn’t cost much to begin in the hobby. A lot of historical and beautiful coins can be bought for as low as $10 - $20, and these are easy to find to start building your collection. You can visit coin shops, estate auctions, coin shows, or search online for dealers of ancient coins. In no time, you will find yourself immersed in the amazing world of historic and ancient coins.