My Favorite Coins

99 1/2 Selected Coins (Not Necessarily in Order!)

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I really enjoyed reading Harlan J. Berk's The 100 Greatest Ancient Coins (Suggestion: Buy it!) which detailed the author's choice of the finest coins available in the ancient coin hobby. Some of his selections were relatively common and within the grasp of the average collector but most were in a price bracket that little guys like me don't even dream of actually owning. The book did make me think about which coins in my collection I would select as my favorites. This would be no easy task since some of them have been in my collection for fifty years. Not wanting to risk my list being confused with Mr. Berk's 100, I decided to aim lower and name only 99 1/2 of my favorite coins. My list will in no way equal the beauty, rarity or value of the Berk selections. This series of pages is to demonstrate that ancient coins do not have to be up there with the 'Greatest' to be worth studying. The 'rules' for selection also are considerably different. My coins actually belonged to me at the time they were photographed; many still do. I am not a coin dealer; no coin shown here is for sale. If you see something here that you really want, just watch for my obituary.

The Berk list is professionally printed and numbered in order from the top coin to the one that almost did not make the cut. My list is online and carries no order whatsoever. It is possible that my very favorite coins may get low page numbers and it is possible that some subconscious forces may act upon me that will make you think there was more thought put into this project than was the case. My jumbled image below shows coins loosely grouped together with similar coins. I encourage visitors to this page to click on the ones that grab your interest and not worry about whether the coin is my #1 or one that barely squeeked into the image. After several seconds of contemplation, I decided not to try to show all these coins in proportional size. This is partially because the range of diameters here approachs a factor of 10 so showing the smallest in proportion to the largest would make them hard to see. It is also a fact that making them accurately to scale would be a lot of work which I do not see as worth the gain.

Click a Coin

Only one side of each coin is shown above. Clicking on the image will take the viewer to a separate page with larger photos of both sides, a bit of information about the coin and a short discussion on why that particular coin was included in the group. Some selections are representative of their types and their positions in the list could be filled by a thousand other examples of the same or even similar coins. Other selections made the list because of something that made that particular specimen special to me and it is extremely unlikely that you will find an exact match even with much looking. One advantage I have over Mr. Berk is that my online list will allow change if another coin can bump one of these coins and assume list status. I have already identified a few coins that might be in danger of losing their places if I am fortunate in the neverending search for interesting coins. After that, I may have to make some painful decisions. A few pages may have additional photos of other, related coins that were not counted in the talley. Many of the coins have already appeared on my website in other roles. It is hoped that some of those who happen upon this page will find either education or enjoyment. Perhaps it might aid in the decision on what coins a collector might want to add to a collection that is not in the stratospheric range of the Berk selections. These are, for the most part, coins that a collector might be able to find in a lifetime of collecting.

I am a regular participant in the discussion groups hosted by Forvm Ancient Coins and can be contacted there by private message by anyone wishing to set me straight on errors. There are probably several!

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(c) 2013 Doug Smith