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It has arrived, my very first


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It is finally here, nearly 1,900 years old and a wonderful, warm feeling of History in my hands. Excuse the images, it is a bit different to Proofs and mint sets, LOL. A whole new learning curve coming up.

 

 

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Edited by expat
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55 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

Great first

Yes!

55 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

great emperor

No!

56 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

with a great provenance 😁

Yes!

1 hour ago, expat said:

t is finally here, nearly 1,900 years old and a wonderful, warm feeling of History in my hands. Excuse the images, it is a bit different to Proofs and mint sets, LOL. A whole new learning curve coming up.

Don't worry - it's just for fun. Congratulations on your first coin. A beautiful piece of history. Have fun with this more than interesting hobby.

PS: Do you have a wife? Girlfriend? A few tips for the start. Set up a prepaid account in Iceland or Latvia that only you know about. Always put aside the same amount of money that the coin costs automatically to be able to pay your partner for wellness holidays, massages or other expensive gifts. And start casually mentioning over and over again at your dinners that the euro/dollar is an uncertain thing and that you have considered investing some money in coins as an investment. Of course, only in the sense of a joint partnership and financial security. You don't have to tell her that you buy 2000 year old copper discs 😄

 

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Be careful with those Antoninus Pius coins lest you get addicted to coins issued for his wife and daughter! 😉

Here are some Antoninus Pius coins featuring Annona:

[IMG]
Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.
Roman AR denarius, 2.88 g, 18.0 mm, 6 h.
Rome, AD 149.
Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XII, laureate head, right.
Rev: COS IIII, Annona standing left, holding two corn-ears in right hand over modius and resting left hand on anchor.
Refs: RIC 175; BMCRE 657-60; Cohen 284; RCV --; Strack 191.

Antoninus Pius COS IIII Annona denarius Modius right.jpg
Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.
Roman AR denarius, 3.31 g, 16.2 mm, 6 h.
Rome, AD 152-153.
Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVI, Laureate head, right.
Rev: COS IIII, Annona standing left, holding two corn-ears in right hand and resting left hand on modius set on prow.
Refs: RIC 221; BMCRE 786-88; Cohen/RSC 290; RCV --.

[IMG]
Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.
Roman orichalcum sestertius, 23.16 g, 29 mm.
Rome, AD 142.
Obv: ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right.
Rev: ANNONA AVG S C, Annona standing right, between modius and prow, holding corn ears and out-turned cornucopiae.
Refs: RIC 597; BMCRE 1228; Cohen 37; RCV 4147; UCR 502.

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26 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:
1 hour ago, John Conduitt said:

great emperor

No!

I was going for one per emperor until Antoninus Pius came along...

Antoninus Pius As, 154-155image.png.d761c8fcf114aaa6edcbc2c086f50cec.pngBritain or Rome. Bronze, 8.63g. Laureate head right; ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVIII. Britannia seated left on rock, resting head on hand; arms in background; BRITANNIA - COS IIII around; SC in exergue (RIC III, 934).

Antoninus Pius Denarius, 158-159image.png.6c1485cf0a4324e1ebb6568001b19dbc.png

Rome. Silver, 16x18mm, 3.11g. Head of Antoninus Pius, laureate, right; ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P. Antoninus Pius, veiled, togate as a priest, standing left, sacrificing out of patera in right hand over tripod-altar left, holding roll in left hand at side; beside altar, a prostrate, slain bull; VOTA SOL DEC II; COS IIII ([RIC III, 291). From the Westbury Sub Mendip (Somerset) Hoard of 188 denarii, found in 2016 by a metal detectorist.

Antoninus Pius As, 154-155image.png.d81cfada1117d45a305338a211c908e0.pngRome. Bronze, 26mm, 10.41g. Laureate bust of Pius right, no drapery on left shoulder; ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P XVIII. Felicitas standing left, holding corn ears and winged caduceus; FELICITAS COS IIII / S C (cf RIC III, 937). 'Coin of British Association'.

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Absolut fantastic coins... but Antoninus Pius was a boring emperor. It would not be noticeable if there was a gap there. No scandals, no animal baiting. No slaughtered senate. No intrigues. No affairs. He disgraced no one in the family. Whew... 😄 😄 😄 

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37 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Absolut fantastic coins... but Antoninus Pius was a boring emperor. It would not be noticeable if there was a gap there. No scandals, no animal baiting. No slaughtered senate. No intrigues. No affairs. He disgraced no one in the family. Whew... 😄 😄 😄 

I sense the sarcasm... but that's what makes him one of my favorites. He was a statesman, a gentleman, a man of moderation. A "first citizen"-style emperor that hardcore republicans like Cicero maybe could have accepted, even ... and who might have even fit in as a prime minister or president in 2022. 

Plus he didn't die by murder or suicide! that puts him in rare company among his emperor peers... haha

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My Antoninus Pius sestertius 

82b8528b111746ba886a6ac6cea4fda4.jpg

Antoninus Pius, Sestertius - Rome mint, AD 140/144
ANTONINVS AVG PIVS P P TR P COS III, laureate head right
PROVIDENTIAE DEORVM, winged thunderbolt, S - C in field
25.86 gr, 31 mm
Ref : Cohen #682, RCV # 4208, RIC III # 618

Q

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Nice start! @expat...A.P. is one of my favourites...Here's my Annona.

normal_1-20190803_1-Pg5LT9Bj4Kqkoe2DmRK76fLb4H8bY3.jpg.dfee76476934812055a73b7f7bc80606.jpg

Antoninus Pius. 138-161 AD. AE As (9.86 gm, 25.5mm). Rome mint. Struck 140-144 AD.
Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PI VS PP TRP COS III, laureate head right.
Reverse: ANNONA AVG, S-C, Annona standing right, holding grain ears over modius in right hand, cornucopia in left; at feet to right, prow right.
RIC III 675. VF.

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9 minutes ago, Spaniard said:

Nice start! @expat...A.P. is one of my favourites...Here's my Annona.

normal_1-20190803_1-Pg5LT9Bj4Kqkoe2DmRK76fLb4H8bY3.jpg.dfee76476934812055a73b7f7bc80606.jpg

Antoninus Pius. 138-161 AD. AE As (9.86 gm, 25.5mm). Rome mint. Struck 140-144 AD.
Obverse: ANTONINVS AVG PI VS PP TRP COS III, laureate head right.
Reverse: ANNONA AVG, S-C, Annona standing right, holding grain ears over modius in right hand, cornucopia in left; at feet to right, prow right.
RIC III 675. VF.

Very nice!

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3 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

I’m beginning to think you have a harder choice of what to get next 🤣

To be honest I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have deliberately been taking my time until this first one arrived, not wanting to rush into stupid purchases just for the sake of it. I really don't know whether to stay with a theme or have a random collection. So many nice coins on here it blows my mind.

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6 hours ago, expat said:

To be honest I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have deliberately been taking my time until this first one arrived, not wanting to rush into stupid purchases just for the sake of it. I really don't know whether to stay with a theme or have a random collection. So many nice coins on here it blows my mind.

I'm also pretty new and what helped me a lot was to just read up on Roman history. I knew some, but only broad strokes

I listened to the Great Courses lectures on the Roman Emperors by Garrett Fagan and read a few books. It really got me excited about certain emperors/certain periods of history ... made me appreciate my existing coins more and helped me develop a sense of what to get next 

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8 hours ago, expat said:

To be honest I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have deliberately been taking my time until this first one arrived, not wanting to rush into stupid purchases just for the sake of it. I really don't know whether to stay with a theme or have a random collection. So many nice coins on here it blows my mind.

Dear Overwhelmed Expat,

Hey! Welcome to the hobby, and congratulations on your first ancient coin!  

As someone who knows what it means to feel overwhelmed in ways big and seemingly small, your comment made me want to give you some friendly advice.

First, remember the cliche about "the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."  You bought this coin for your own enjoyment, so don't sweat and stress over what to do next. 😉 Maybe you become the next very famous collector of ancient coins.  Maybe you decide just one is enough for you.  Or, more likely, you acquire a collection of coins that interest you--somewhere in the middle.  Whatever you decide is right for you.

Maybe it's best if you imagine a baby.  Now imagine if this baby were quite prodigious, and was exposed to sports like hockey, cycling, basketball, water polo, and so on.  Now imagine our little friend getting stressed out because they don't know what they want to do!  Fortunately, what babies actually do is take baby steps; they become toddlers.  They toddle up and fall down and eventually learn to get back up again.  They crawl and walk and eventually in due course they become children and then hopefully adults who enjoy moving and doing.

The way I see it, you are an ancient coin collector baby.  Don't worry.  You don't have to get everything "right" immediately.  Just take your baby steps, at your own pace.

I do have some suggestions, of course.  I think I'll put them in bullet form:

  • remember the adage "buy the book before the coin."  I don't mean this literally or in an absolute sense, but your purchases will be better informed by reading--whether history, or about ancient coins
  • look at pictures of coins.  Look at how much they cost.  Learn what attracts you.
  • don't spend enormous sums of money now (unless you are Warren Buffet or something!)
  • do spend modest (or perhaps very modest) sums now and then, and see how you feel about your purchases.  You will learn more about what you like in this way, and that will make you wiser for future purchases.
  • spend a bit of time thinking about what interests you. It's ok if this takes time. 
    • For some collectors, history is foremost. 
    • For others, it's numismatic grade. 
    • For still others, it's the designs themselves.
    • And of course, there are others who collect around themes.  You might decide you want to collect bronze coins of a particular emperor or city.  You might have several themes you collect around.
    • Or, like Johnny Worricker when he shows his neighbour into his home, you might have an apparently random collection of beautiful artworks based on one simple principle: you buy what you like. At this stage, it's far too soon to pick a specialization, which eventually is what many collectors end up doing.  But bear in mind you don't have to! 
  • buy one or two books that offer an introduction to the hobby.  Or, find some websites that offer something along the same lines.  As you learn more, you will find that new ideas present themselves to you as avenues to explore.  Similarly, you may find that some areas don't do anything for you at all.
  • Follow people on this site whose writings interest you.  They might be experts.  They might be humourists.  Or, they might be just a few steps ahead of you.  I enjoy reading @thenickelguy.  He is relatively new to the hobby, but he gets a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of some very modest purchases (meaning no disrespect, as the ratio of emotional value to cost is an excellent one).  Then he posts pictures of them here, so he gets not just the enjoyment of the coins themselves, but the enjoyment of sharing them.  He's learning about presentation, about photography, about how to talk about coins, and about how to make friends (and I mean that as someone who looks up to him for this accomplishment rather than the reverse).  In short, I admire pretty much everything he does here. I think he's an excellent example of someone newer to the hobby who is getting a lot of enjoyment out of it, and who is learning a lot about it without such learning being burdensome.

As an aside, when I started to get interested in ancient coins, for many, many, many months, I had only one ancient coin in my entire "collection."  (It was all I could afford at the time, and it is still the most expensive coin I have ever owned (my avatar).  But I got a lot of mileage out of that coin! I used it to learn about culture, about history, about ancient coinage, trade, diplomacy, and so on.  And then, eventually, I bought another, only about 20% of the value of the first one.  Now, I can pick up small coins for less than $20 (in any currency) that still manage to bring me a lot of joy.  And, at the same time, I have longer-term collecting goals that I am slowly working towards.  Not having the money to buy everything I want now isn't ideal, of course, but it's a necessity that I have turned into a virtue of sorts as I learn more between purchases, and get more pleasure out of the ones I do make.  That's a path I recommend, although it may not work for you.  But whatever does: you'll be fine.  Good luck!

--

UPDATE: I realize that my advice contradicts my experience of buying my most expensive coin first.  I actually don't recommend you do that.  In my case, I actually had a goal of buying this coin for more than a decade before actually buying it.  (Coincidentally, I, too, was an expat when I first decided to buy this type of coin.) But all that time, I was outside the hobby, of course.  I have no regrets at all, but I think for most people it's better to spend small at the beginning, and learn about the field, before dumping less modest sums into it.

--

One last update: one thing I do strongly recommend is buying coins with eye appeal.  That doesn't mean they have to cost a fortune.  Let's say you want to buy a coin that is so utterly common you could buy a cheap and largely worn one for $5.  But you could buy a much better coin for only $25.  And you'd get even more eye appeal for $50.  My advice is to refrain from buying coins that are too cheap but which lack eye appeal.  Find your happy medium, whether that be $20, $40, or $75, or whatever.  But it's always worth spending at least a few extra dollars to get a coin that looks significantly better, and that you will not be regretful of at a later stage.

Edited by NathanB
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Thank you for those kind words NathanB and I am flattered.

I think you gave expat some excellent advice and something I hope to remember as well. I have a dew (edit few) new purchases on the way. They are not the greatest examples by a long shot but I am going to photograph them and try my best to identify them.

Edited by thenickelguy
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I agree, sound advice. Research into coins I have been doing with great enjoyment. As an Englishman now living in another part of the Roman Empire, Spain, these are the areas that would have the most attraction to me at the moment. I am beginning an ancients collection because of my like of history and the feeling of holding in my hand, something that was an intrinsic part of life and commerce. I will be ordering two books shortly, A History of Roman Coinage in Britain and The Romans who shaped Britain. These should, for starters, give me some background info. As a new collector of ancients, I will of course be posting images and descriptions of potential acquisitions, in order to get some good, honest and down to earth opinions. Although, as long as it is genuine and I like the look of it, and it is within my budget, then I would seriously consider it.

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