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I wonder, just how old is coin collecting?


thenickelguy
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I sometimes see stories of unearthed coins in large numbers, hoards and such. There are stories of many coins from the same era or basic type in a clay jar or dug up in a field.

But has anyone ever discovered an actual Ancient Coin Collection?

An organized collection put together and stashed away in one place for hundreds of years by someone of ancient times and found in one place?

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10 minutes ago, Ancient Coin Hunter said:

Yes, Augustus collected greek coins and I have heard that the emperor Caracalla collected coins of Alexander the Great. He actually struck a medallion with Alexander and featuring himself on the reverse.

 

 

 

 

alexander_medallion.jpg

caracalla_medallion.jpg

We know that Caracalla was a massive Alexanderboo. He, among others, tried to recreate the phalanx for his Persian campaign and notoriously plundered Alexander's tomb.

But are there any sources that he also collected coins?

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I remember reading somewhere that, later on in the empire, Romans would collect fourrees and pay greater prices for them than the genuine issued coin of that type? Anyone know if this is true? If so, that's pretty interesting in my opinion...

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22 minutes ago, AncientNumis said:

I remember reading somewhere that, later on in the empire, Romans would collect fourrees and pay greater prices for them than the genuine issued coin of that type? Anyone know if this is true? If so, that's pretty interesting in my opinion...

I have no idea if it's true (not having been there!) But its definitely the case that one of the Roman historians reported this. I also remember reading about a Greek hoard consisting of all different types, implying at a minimum that the hoarder actually looked at what he was saving.

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3 hours ago, ominus1 said:

...that's what i am and now i have a name for my collection....ominus1's hoard...^^ 😛

Wow, I was renaming my collection to ominus1’s hoard.  You are stealing my brand name! 😄 

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Posted · Benefactor
Posted (edited)

The Mint in Rome must have had some sort of collection of old coin types or coin dies; otherwise the "restoration" issues of earlier types would not have been possible for types long out of circulation. For example, the Trajan restorations include Roman Republican types that were well over a century old. And those restorations certainly suggest an interest in historical coins.

Edited by DonnaML
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I don't think that Augustus was a collector; old and foreign coins were mentioned among a list of trinkets and novelties that he enjoyed giving out for Saturnalia.

There was, IIRC, an actual collection found perhaps in ancient Judaea? If memory serves, it presented as a hoard of Tyrian shekels, but there was exactly one coin of every date present, with little to no duplication and very few years missing - that sort of thing doesn't just happen as a randomly accumulated hoard.

Likewise, I remember seeing some hoard breakdowns where rare rulers/types were conspicuously abundant, indicating a preference for saving unusual types. Also, there was a hoard found at Pompeii that was the daily change from a bar or restaurant, and I recall in the breakdown that despite many rare personalities represented, coins of Livia were totally absent, indicating that they had perhaps already been pulled from circulation in the early 80s.

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2 hours ago, Alegandron said:

Wow, I was renaming my collection to ominus1’s hoard.  You are stealing my brand name! 😄 

...haha!...well, that's ok, go ahead an use it..they'll be callin' mine something else after i'm dead and gone anyway  😛

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On 5/30/2022 at 8:53 AM, Ancient Coin Hunter said:

Yes, Augustus collected greek coins and I have heard that the emperor Caracalla collected coins of Alexander the Great. He actually struck a medallion with Alexander and featuring himself on the reverse.

 

 

 

 

alexander_medallion.jpg

caracalla_medallion.jpg

That is a masterpiece of artistic engraver's talent! Where's the picture from?

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On 5/31/2022 at 11:29 AM, DonnaML said:

The Mint in Rome must have had some sort of collection of old coin types or coin dies; otherwise the "restoration" issues of earlier types would not have been possible for types long out of circulation. For example, the Trajan restorations include Roman Republican types that were well over a century old. And those restorations certainly suggest an interest in historical coins.

Also the series of Consecration antoniniani issued by Trajan Decius in the name of each deified emperor. (yes, even Commodus). The portraits closely crib off of the portrait design of earlier coins, so I agree with your point.

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