Numismatic and History Discussions > Roman Coins

Scarce or Rare ?

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Ron C2:

--- Quote from: Virgil H on July 09, 2021, 11:37:04 pm ---Just seeing this thread that has been going on a while. Some great conversation and information. Whether a coin is scarce or rare, when I see that in a description, I assume it is more expensive that a similar coin that is not labeled scarce or rare. I may be totally wrong, but those words are used to justify higher prices on so many things and they imply less supply than demand, therefore a higher price. So, all things considered I will pass on coins labeled this way unless there is another reason I want it. I do not care about a coin being rare. I care that it fits into my collection. I am well aware this does not make sense at all probably, but my warped minds looks at it this way. On the other hand, Athens owls in general are anything but scarce or rare, but are expensive because they are popular.


--- End quote ---

Honestly, if you have a budget, just stick to it. I've seen common coins sell for high prices in average condition and rare coins in nice condition sell for very average prices. 

Rare doesn't always mean high prices. It really depends on how much market competition there is for that coin.

For example, Mark Antony legionary denarii are among the most common denarii in existence, but they are a very popular issue to collect, so even average pieces are selling for inflated prices and lots of fakes are being made to cash in on that popularity.

On the other hand, an obscure denarius issue of septimius severus from Antioch, is likely to not sell at much of a premium over a really common indulgentia/Carthage  coin from the same emperor. In fact, the indulgentia will likely sell higher because a lot of people like the dea caelestis reverse where she is riding a lion.

If you are lucky, you like coins that most of the "herd" is less interested in.

Virgil H:
Ron C2,
Yeah, I agree and pretty much do that, but all things considered it comes down to condition and price and the best compromise between the two, but those words in a listing will cause me to look for others not labeled as such to compare. I have started moving up in budget a bit to get better quality coins, but will grab a coin from time to time that is out of my area because the price is low for a nice coin. Just recently, I bid on a few coins in an auction and got outbid on all, a few went way higher than I expected and I ended up bailing on all. The auctioneer sent out a list of "coins going too cheaply," so I looked at the list. It seems that Elymais coins are not very popular, so I bid on one very low, won it, and it is the least expensive coin I ever bought, not counting per coin cost for a lot. Plus, it is in very nice condition. To the point I am thinking of starting a collection of these coins because I may be able to assemble a fairly complete group at reasonable cost for my budget. So, I may make it my area because it interests me although my focus has been more on what is today Turkey. Although it fits in with my interest in Alexander's conquests (and I have seen his settlement on an island off Kuwait) and could literally see that part of Iran from southern Iraq across the Shatt Al Arab river. The coins are also quite beautiful and have a Parthian/Persian flavor. There seems to be a lot of these coins from such a small country. Sorry, that was quite a ramble.


Joe Sermarini:
We like rambles here.


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