Jump to content

A personal chronology of the eras in my collecting life


Recommended Posts

I have been collecting coins and banknotes since the 1990s but only in the 2000s with the rise of ebay and online merchants did I realize that 'ancient' coins are also available to collect and are often cheaper than modern coins. I'm writing this post now for 2 reasons:

1. I have found I have less and less time to actually dedicate to the study of numismatics and to the search for stuff to peak my interest, and that comes from more work plus a fuller personal life with the kids growing up, for which I am very grateful. At this point comes also the dwindling funds that I find myself willing to spend on coins.

2. During the many relocations during the pandemic and after, during the hassle with moving around, furniture, appliances, fixing the current house et al, I have lost a number of coins that I'll probably never find again. By now I have given up all hope that they'd turn up in some moving box that we or the moving guys have been carrying around to different addresses between 2020 and 2021. I don't know how I managed to lose them, but I did.


So, to the main course, these are the periods that I found compelling in my collecting life, ordered in my personal chronology, each represented by at least one coin:


1. The 2000s -- I was very into the Constantinian age, mostly went after coins of Constantine I -- the source(s): ebay, Noble Roman Coins and Jerome Holderman from FORVM. It was the time that I discovered that ancient coins can be bought online and that they are mostly cheaper than the modern coins I had been interested in until then. Paying for my purchases was difficult back then, I used Western Union wire transfers and even sent dollar bills through airmail to the US. Eventually I opened a dollar account tied to Visa USD and used it for purchases after ebay and other venues started accepting credit card payments from overseas.

And the coin that best symbolizes this period is:


It's an AE reduced follis of ca. 308, minted for Constantine I as Caesar at Antioch, very likely after the meeting at Carnuntum, that tried to save the Tetrarchy as a governing system. As time would tell, they messed up by not recognizing Constantine as a full emperor. Antioch was of course way beyond Constantine's control, so a small issue of coins in his name was minted there for him as Caesar. This one is unlisted in RIC and either a transitional phase in Antioch's copper coinage in 308 or 309 or an error in the catalog. It should go around RIC VI Antioch 104.


2. The 2010s -- Constantinian and a broader interest in the late empire, mostly post 313 -- the source(s): mostly ebay, Vcoins, Pecunem, individual non-affiliated European collectors. By this time Paypal had made things much easier as far as payment goes and the free movement of goods inside the EU made it cheaper and more hassle-free to buy European rather than from the US, although I still bought from the US until 2014. This was also the golden age of FEDEX inside the EU, where I'd pay for my items on Monday and have them Tuesday evening or at the latest Wednesday morning.

Two examples to represent this period, at about the same overall price of ca. 150-200USD:

- a reduced maiorina of Constantius II from Trier under Poemenius(?) from Lanz:



- and an incredible Constantine II bust type with spear and globe from the BEATA TRANQVILLITAS series from Trier, from @Victor Clark:


(I don't think I've seen another of this type since)


3. Around 2014-15 -- radiates from the late 3rd century, especially the Smyrna SPQR series for Claudius II and incredibly rich coinage of Tacitus-Florian-Probus -- the source(s): mostly ebay, Vcoins, Pecunem:


Florian AE22mm radiate LV 2933, not listed in RIC, RIC Online #4520 scarce, Serdica mint, August 276AD, from Lanz


4. After 2015 -- feudal European coinage and Crusader coinage, mainly the denier tournois but mostly all European coinages, with an emphasis on French and Levantine crusader domains -- the source(s): ebay, CGB, catawiki and biddr.


The c. 1220 or 1221 coinage of Damietta for Jean de Brienne during the Fifth Crusade, with a very important provenance from the Erich Waeckerlin Collection.



A possible denier tournois for Philippe V, possibly minted with the Ordonnance of March 1st 1318, because the gros tournois known for this issue has the same privy mark and letter shapes. Philippe V is not recorded in any general literature for coining the denier tournois. This specimen is ex-CGB.


5. 2017-19 -- late Byzantine, mostly Latin Empire and Palaiologan coinage, but with some foray into Thessalonica -- the source(s): ebay, biddr:


Provincial coinage of either Andronikos II with Michael ca. 1295 or Michael IX with Andronikos III ca. 1315+, somewhere in western Asia Minor S.2464, from Savoca


6. 2020-21 -- a return to late Romans with a lot of branching out: Crimea, late radiates, imitations, etc. -- the source(s): ebay, ma-shops, biddr:


A siliqua of Magnus Maximus from the UK, before Brexit concluded.


7. 2020-2023 -- 'provincial' Roman coinage, with no particular focus -- the source(s): ebay, biddr.


Gordian III from Marcianopolis, struck under the governorship of Tullius Menophilus as legatus Augusti pro praetore in Moesia Inferior. A former consul -- he had to be of consular rank to be governor of Moesia Inferior -- Menophilus served between ca. 238 and 241, when he fell victim to a plot, either from the change in the emperor's entourage once Timesitheus became praetorian prefect or from his own involvement in the Sabinianus revolt in 240. The pairing of young emperors with Serapis on the 'provincial' coinages of Moesia Inferior is also interesting and you can follow it not just for Gordian III but also for Philip II.


And this pretty much brings it to the present. It was a wild ride and as Bob Dylan says: I've just reached a place where the willows don't bend.

Edited by seth77
  • Like 21
  • Clap 1
  • Thinking 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...