Are you looking for a fun new hobby that dives into history and offers monetary value? If so, collecting ancient Roman coins may be the perfect option.
Coin collecting is a common pastime but choosing coins from ancient Rome has an air of mystique. The Roman Empire was a massive realm spanning a millennium, with holdings from the British Isles to the Middle East. As a result, its coins are varied, and some collectors focus on a particular region or time period, while others try to find examples from each era.
The wide range of coins also means there’s a lot to learn when you first step foot into the wonderful world of ancient coin collecting. Before you start buying, here are a few things to think about.
Why Do People Collect Ancient Roman Coins?
Due to physical wear and gaps in historical records, ancient coins can be hard to identify. However, many collectors consider this a positive because it makes the process like a puzzle. Collectors can spend years or even decades researching a rare coin to determine its era and value. If you love a good mystery, collecting ancient Roman coins is an opportunity to play detective.
History buffs also get a kick out of collecting these coins because they have a chance to literally hold a piece of history. These coins were used by everyday Romans hundreds of years ago, and it’s exciting to think about the journey they’ve had.
What Kinds of Rare Coins for Sale Can You Find?
Before you search for rare coins for sale, you should do a little research to learn what you’re interested in. Is there a particular emperor you find fascinating? Are you intrigued by certain designs? Are you on the lookout for the rarest or most valuable coins? Answering these questions will help you narrow down the kinds of coins you want to collect.
Most collectors consider the following factors when looking at ancient coins:
- Precious metals
- The issuer
Each of these has an impact on the coin’s value. Of course, money isn’t everything, even where ancient currency is concerned. Many collectors are more interested in collecting “sets” or finding a unique coin. As you grow your collection, you’ll develop interests that steer future collecting.
What Is the History of Ancient Roman Coins?
This may come as a surprise, but the ancient Romans didn’t initially use coins for currency, as they didn’t have access to the precious metals necessary to mint them. Instead, Romans used brass weights, which were cumbersome and quickly fell out of fashion once the Republic conquered lands rich in ore.
The first coins were bronze, with silver and gold coins minted later. Bronze was the standard material for about 100 years, but military victories gave the Republic access to silver mines and allowed the large-scale production of the denarius. This event was so impactful that the Republic created an entirely new coinage system based on this common coin.
Gold coins became more common during the rise of the Roman Empire when the system of governance changed from a representative democracy to a dictatorship. However, gold coins were rare compared to silver even back then, so you’re much more likely to find silver coins for your collection.
The switch from a republic to an empire also saw a shift in imagery. Early coins were printed with messages of military victories and images of war. Religious themes were also common, and this trend held through the transition to an empire. However, starting with Julius Caesar, emperors started using their profile on coins as propaganda.
Are you looking for rare coins for sale? Colonial Acres Coins sells a variety, including those from ancient Rome. To find out more, give us a call or contact us online.