Numism > For the New Ancient Coin Collector

Common Mistakes for Beginners

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--- Quote from: Jiminey on February 02, 2012, 11:48:04 pm ---As a beginner, the one "mistake" I know I made and 1 rule I have.....


You will get a surprise in the mail 1-2 weeks later (and a pissed off spouse to go along with it).

--- End quote ---

I find that my taste is still quite good while drinking, but my budget expands considerably. 

My advice to new collectors is to learn to listen to the coin.  A coin that should be yours speaks to you the moment you see it.  Your heart leaps a wee bit when you see it and your pulse quickens.  If it's an auction, step away from the catalogue for a few days.  When you go back through it online or in hand and your heart jumps when you run across "that" coin again,  you know it's speaking to you.  I've never regretted owning a coin that speaks to me.  I've winced at what I've paid for them (especially after using a wine infused budget), but I've never regretted owning the coin.  This goes for dealers stock, coin shows, etc.  If you listen to the coin at first sight, it will speak to you every time you take it out of your case and hold it in your hand.

On coins that have spoken to me that I haven't purchased, I have regretted not buying it...or at least attempting to buy it.  Those coins still reside in my minds eye and I look for them every time I open a catalogue, rarely finding that our paths cross again. 

Don't be ashamed to be a beginner.

With 36 years of assorted numismatic experience, you'd think I could call myself an expert in something.  

Not so.

Coming to this site after collecting Roman coins for five years, I very quickly realized how out of my depth I was.  I've been a numismatic hobbyist for a long time, and I'm passionate and reasonably intelligent, but I will never be the devoted scholar so many folks are here.  

I guess I'm more of a dabbler. I sample little sips of knowledge from a pretty wide variety of sources, and seldom drink very deeply from any one glass.  On one hand, this makes me "well rounded" as a numismatist, but on the other, it means I am a little bit shallow- the proverbial "jack of all trades and master of none".  I'm guess I am a generalist and not a specialist.

What I'm getting at here is... don't be afraid to be yourself, and give yourself time to learn and ask questions without being embarrassed about it, even after you have years of experience.  

We can't all be scholars.  Or wealthy, elite collectors.  Or bigtime dealers.

But there's a niche for everyone.  Don't be discouraged, and give yourself time to find yours.

Joseph F3:
Thanks for the tips guys. I'll have to read as many books as I can in all areas and focus on one. I think Greek coins maybe and as far as a more pointed interest I'm getting there.

Lucas H:

--- Quote ---Thanks for the tips guys. I'll have to read as many books as I can in all areas and focus on one. I think Greek coins maybe and as far as a more pointed interest I'm getting there.
--- End quote ---

Hello and welcome!  

Make sure you read this at Numiswiki if you have not already:
Ancient Coin Collecting 101 Coin Collecting 101

For books, you may want to read this:
It covers some good books, but also points out the availability of online resources before you start buying books.  

Read a lot of threads and resources at the Forum.  Their are also good websites.  For a beginner, I highly recommend Doug Smith's pages: hosted here at the Forum.  For a resource hosted outside the Forum, I also recommend Warren Esty's site:

The resources above should provide hours of reading and get you well on your way.  

my biggest misconception was thinking that because something is ancient it "just has to be worth a lot of money" and i think it is a common one as well.


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