Roman coins reading and dating roman imperial coins klawans

Ancient coins (unlike modern coins) are very closely related to history.

Most collectors feel that by reading about history they are learning interesting things about coins as well.

Libraries often have a few beginners books specifically about ancient coins.

Big public libraries and libraries at universities may have many books about ancient coins -- there are hundreds!

There are other ancient coins in addition to Greek and Roman coins.

The Gauls in France minted coins before the Romans came, the Jews in Israel minted coins, the Parthians in Iraq and Iran had their own coins, and a host of smaller kingdoms around the Mediterranean sea minted coins. Ancient coins were struck by hand on irregular flans from dies engraved by hand.

This lower-grade Probus might sell on e Bay for -.

After all, there is quite a bit of expense involved in photographing coins, writing up their descriptions, having the list printed, and mailing it.

The Calgary Coin Gallery also has a good site on grading. Go to "search" for any key word you like, or just see what has been offered in the last week. Another way is to go to the ancient coin section of e ("coins, ancient") and note a few coins that interest you. But, bookmark them and go back after they close and you will see what coins sell for.

Just be aware that sellers on e Bay often exaggerate the quality of their coins, which may not live up to the professional standards described by these two sites. The prices on e Bay mean nothing until after the auction has closed.

It's not worth it to photograph coins that are all one-of-a-kind!

But there are many other, more common, coins that can be purchased on e Bay or or at a coin show for much less.

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There is a similar Seaby guide to Greek coins, Greek Coins and Their Values, also by David Sear, published in two well-illustrated volumes. There are other price guides to other series of ancient coins, including Guide to Biblical Coins (fifth edition) by David Hendin, for about $75. To learn about the coins and their place in the ancient world I recommend the Seaby books, Coinage in the Roman World (168 pages, 187 photos) by Andrew Burnett (former keeper of coins in the British Museum) and Coinage in the Greek World (154 pages, 304 photos) by Ian Carradice and Martin Price, at about $35 (on Amazon) or less (as I write this (July 2016), there are new copies on at $15).

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