Numism > For the New Ancient Coin Collector

Collection Strategies for the New Collector

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Steve E:
Since you've found this site, you're already far ahead of where I started!
You don't have to start out wasting money on coins you know nothing about (which may be fakes), or to buy expensive books you may hardly ever use.

Here is a huge source of fully attributed, well photographed, and guarenteed coins, both currently for sale and archived from past sales. There are many helpful tools for new and experienced collectors. Including a built-in encyclopedia of most terms you'll run into, hyperlinked throughout the site!

There is a large gallery of coins from the collections of the members. Browse through them and see what you find interesting and see what others like!

The discussion board contains treasures of information (and opinions), and are archived back many years. A search box at the bottom of most pages will take you to topics of interest.

If funds are tight, the layaway program here is the best I've found! 20% down, and 20% per month for 4 more months, on items $50 or more! This way you can snag that special (nicer) coin, that otherwise would be out of reach!

When you are ready to buy some references, again there is a hugh selection here. Most are well described, and they also qualify for layaway if over $50.00.

Many of the members have links to their own specialty sites, which are among the best in their specific fields!

No where have I found people so ready and able to help, and willing to spend much of their valuable time, with someone with an honest question or hard to ID coin!

Be respectful of their time and experience!

Collect what you find interesting and/or beautiful!

All the best! And welcome to a great world of history, art, culture, science, and tremendous satisfaction and friends with passions for the above!

~Steve

curtislclay:
Shawn,

Arousing envy, finding bargains, stimulating studies: no, my list of reasons for collecting has nothing to do with my working for a coin dealer, but with my own experience of collecting and observing other collectors, crystallized by chance reading and a discussion with another collector.

That arousing envy is the chief motive behind all collecting I read about twenty years ago in a German short story about two collectors of modern prints by Eugen Roth, an author chiefly known for his humorous poems on human foibles, all starting "Ein Mensch", i.e. "A person" or "We humans".

"Exactly so!", I thought. When I see a splendid collection of Roman coins formed by one person in a catalogue or in the trays of a museum, my own collection pales by comparison and I am envious!

Much of my first collection is now in the British and Ashmolean Museums, and I hope that future scholars and collectors who examine those collections may be a little envious of my coins, in turn!

A collector in NYC whom I have known since college is about the only person I have ever regularly shared acquisitons with, both in person and through letters. He clearly liked it when I was envious of some of his acquisitions, and I liked it too when he was envious of mine!

Another collector told me about bringing an unpublished sestertius of Caracalla to show at the British Museum, "and I felt lucky to be allowed to leave the premises with the coin, the curators wanted it so bad!" Wouldn't that be the ultimate accolade for many collectors, that a major museum would like to acquire their coins?

When collectors show off their latest acquisitons on the internet these days, quite often a respondent will admit to not only admiration, but envy, and I am sure this reaction pleases most collectors!

I have read that the major grading services allow customers to post their American coins on line and then rank the collections according to how complete they are and how perfect the condition of the coins is. Can there be any doubt that each of those collectors is trying to put together the finest and most complete collection known, in order to earn the envy of the others?

I don't think you have to make efforts to actually show off your collection to be motivated by this desire; theoretically, you hope that your collection is the best, and will be appreciated and envied when it is dispersed, in any case!

When I have expressed these thoughts earlier on the web, some collectors have objected that arousing envy has nothing to do with why they collect, so I certainly admit the possibility that other collectors are different. But wouldn't even they admit, when it is pointed out, that wanting to arouse envy is certainly a primary motive of many or most other collectors?

Of course this motive is not confined to collecting: for the same reason many people seek to acquire the highest salary, the finest house, the most beautiful wife or the richest and most influential husband, the most expensive car or boat, even the most brilliant academic career.

I don't particularly aim for completeness in my collecting of Roman coins, just to get as many of the rarites as I can, in as good condition as I can afford. There are simply too many rarities in any larger series to give you any chance of attaining completeness, even using the BM collection as a base and only acquiring what they lack, as I have been doing for the last twenty years. And even acquiring every known type variety doesn't give you completeness; there are always interesting die varieties or die links still missing, whose acquisition would further enrich your collection.

Skyler:
 My tastes have changed over the years.
Also THERES LAYAWAY? There is a coin here I wish I would allocate a budget for ...https://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=18&zpg=65679

Joe Sermarini:
Layaway is a checkout option.  We ask for 20% down and 20% per month for the next four months. 

Octopus Grabus:
As a new, to ancient coins, collector, I've opted for the "more information" is better approach.  I'm not new to collecting as a hobby, and as such I want to have as much info as possible.  There's no substitute for experience, but one has to start somewhere.  Most of my time and money right now is being spent on books and getting an understanding of the terms, types of coins, mints, etc. rather than buying.  I want my first purchase to be a good one and not something I'll regret in a year's time as my knowledge grows

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