Ancient Coins

Ancient Coins Collecting is a challenging task, but it's the best way to enjoy and learn history of ancient civilizations.

As everyone knows, coins are a form of money or medium of exchange. In addition to coins and paper currency as we now know them, a wide variety of items have been used as money at different times in history, both prior to and after the invention of coins.

These items have included, beads, cigarettes, feathers, ivory, cattle, salt, shells, thimbles and wampum.

Ancient Coins

Ancient Greek Coins

The minting of coins spread rapidly from Lydia to the city states of ancient Greece. Around 600 BC , the island of Aegina produced what are believed to be the first Greek coins. These coins were known as silver drachmae and obols and depicted a turtle on the reverse, the symbol of Aegina.

The nearby Greek city state of Cornith soon followed Aegina and produced drachmae coins with the legendary figure of the winged horse Pegasus on the reverse.

The largest of the Greek city states was Athens which around 610 BC began producing very artistic coins often featuring an amphora or wine vessel design.

Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.) established the practice of coinage throughout the Hellenic empires. His successors introduced portraits as a regular feature of their coinage designs thereby recording for posterity many images of ancient kings and rulers.

Ancient Athens Coins
Athenian Didrachm

Ancient Roman Coins

The Romans were the next major state to establish coinage on a large scale.
It is usual to date the first Roman coins from 269 BC when a mint for the striking of gold, silver and bronze coins was established in Rome.

Ancient Roman coinage often depicted a portrait of the then ruling emperor and, in some cases, members of the imperial family as well. These Roman "portrait" coins were skillfully engraved and are wonderful pieces of art and of interest to the historian.

Early Roman coins were often employed to disseminate political propaganda.
The inscriptions on the reverses of the coins frequently proclaimed the emperor's civic achievements or military triumphs. In some cases, very important events, such as the assassination of Julius Caesar, were depicted on the coinage.

Ancient Chinese Coins

It is hard to overstate the problem. The current market is overrun with fakes of ancient Chinese knife, spade, cash, and related cast bronze objects. Since about 1985 forgers in the PRC have developed new techniques in the service of faking bronze vessels and other antiquities of high value.

These techniques are easily applied to coins. Reportedly, dealers will take rare coins to these factories where they are reproduced, with the correct metal composition, patination color and type of soil adhesion proper to that dynasty and type. Traditional methods of forgery detection are impotent against these fakes, and the problem now extends down to some fairly inexpensive items.

Read more here.

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Ancient Gold Coins

Gold SolidusWith the latest ancient coin grading program provided by NGC - NGC Ancients you can finally have a collection of ancient coins with a piece of mind. You can purchase more than one thousand years old coin full of original luster from the online auction site, such as an Ebay at the comfort of your home. This opens new opportunities for ancient coin collectors who would like to have a collection of beautiful golden Roman empire coins.

NGC Ancient uses a new grading system and in the circulated grades strictly describes the amount of wear a coin has suffered; however, in the uncirculated grades it will take into account the overall appearance of the coin to distinguish among Mint State, Choice Mint State and Gem Mint State.

See our Coin Grading section for more information about Ancient Coin grading.

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Ancient coin education

You would need to have a latest information to make sure you are buying something valuable when considering buying ancient or antique coins. Forums are best source of this information, since they constantly get updated and reflect the best the concerns and useful information about coins.
Here are some of the forums, which you can find useful:
FORVM Ancient Coins
AncientsInfo

Ancient Coins News
03/29/2017
Wow! This Ancient Coin Showing a Bearded Man is Reportedly the “First and Only” Portrait of Jesus Christ (Photos)
For hundreds of years, the world has been left guessing what the real face of Jesus Christ looks like, however an ancient coin is now reportedly said to have the real image of the Messiah. A historian has claimed that this coin carries the portrait of ... more info

03/28/2017
Is this the first true portrait of JESUS? Historian claims coin from 1st Century AD is the only lifelike image of Christ
For centuries historians have disagreed about what Jesus Christ looked like, but an ancient coin depicting a bearded man could have the answer, a new book claims A tiny bronze coin, dating from the first century AD, is the only lifelike image ever made of ... more info

03/28/2017
Ancient Coin Found With Face of Jesus?
Has a rare discovery just been discovered that gives us a glimpse of the face of Christ? According to reports, An ancient coin depicting a bearded man with a crown of thorns could be the first and only true portrait of Jesus. The tiny bronze coin, dating ... more info

03/26/2017
Ancient Coin Profiles: Roman Provincial Bronze Dupondius – Augustus and Agrippa with Crocodile
Two intriguing aspects of this coin stand out upon first viewing. By far the most dramatic and alluring of the two is the crocodile and palm tree on the reverse. One's curiosity is peaked: how did a crocodile end up on a coin minted in the south of France? more info

03/29/2017
Was Jesus' portrait minted on ancient coins?
An ancient coin may depict the only accurate portrait of Christ in the world. A 24mm-wide coin from the first century AD may be the only accurate portrait of Jesus ever made. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For years historians believed the face of an ... more info

03/19/2017
Ancient coins from Bryzantine period unearthed in Israel
March 19 (UPI) --Nine rare bronze coins, buried beneath the ruins of buildings that served Christian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, were found during excavations for a highway-widening project in Israel. The artifacts, displayed by the Israel ... more info