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Tedious types, apathetic ancients & numbing numismatics: Coins I wish I could but just can't


Ryro
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Tedious types, apathetic ancients & numbing numismatics: Coins I wish I could but just can't  

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  1. 1. Least desirable ancients to you



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Posted · Supporter

Not to, yuck anyone's yum, but after half a decade or more of ancient collecting there are a few types that I just can't get down with. 

Initially I was going to ask where those that browse auctions start and stop. Ie, I start at the beginning with Celtics, archaics, Greeks and whatnot. Check out all the offerings through provincials, which I used to skip over (what a fool I was). And once I get to Rome I'll usually stop after the Severans.

Don't get me wrong I still collect the occasional LRB right up to Arcadius or so but then stop once I get to the...

Boring Byzantines: Artistry as bad if not worse than the limp rulers? What more needs to be said😉

Screenshot_20200921-084527_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.ead298820714228af4497fdacdffbb2a.pngScreenshot_20200921-085106_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.0f04c5355dca9e14c10a1ed0b015579b.png

(I've spit out chewed up bubble gum that had more artistry)

Chinese checkers: Time to flex my ignorance muscles with this statement; they all look the same! Thousands of years of picture less, pointless coins that's only difference is the writing. I might as well collect CVS receipts. Though, I must admit being from the west I do lack the knowledge and stories of the great men and women that made that empire flourish to the present day that may make the coins palatable for some. 

2547140_1643946006.l-removebg-preview.png.da079aaa3944c10390447cd27a580627.png

(Ooh, wow. Look at the way they put a square in the middle, insert face palm here)

So, there are a couple of mine. What about you?

ps, This is just for fun, so please show other collectors of these atrocious types respect while explaining why their favorites ain't so favorable. 

Edited by Ryro
Removing mediocrity
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Often thought the same @Ryro..

I tried Medieval, decided to focus on Spain as they are plentiful here and also I'm reasonably ofay with the history...But this has faded away, long cross, short cross, lion, castle etc. I just can't get into them..I will keep this one in my collection as a sample...The rest I will sell on..

normal_20190201_image00003.jpg.c741565be2905d61ed3edd83cf613f43.jpg

Jaime II Aragon 1291-1327
Dinero (Billon) Approx 18mm diameter - 1.17gr
Obverse - Crowned portrait facing left..Legend around ARA - GON
Reverse - Double cross..Legend around IACOBUS REX
Mint Jaca...Cru-364

I only own one Chinese coin and again this will stay as an example of the type but no more....

981013265_CHINA_TOGETHER_WHITE(3).jpg.cded09d1a6e4fdd6f2122f39764ee4d7.jpg

CHINA. Xin Dynasty.
Emperor Wang Mang AD 9-23.
AE Cash, 23mm, 2.8g.
Fifth reform, with inner rim; struck AD 14-23.
Obv.:(wealth coin).
Rev.: blank, as made.
Reference: Hartill #9.32.
Ex-Alex Fishman

I own zero Byzantine coins at the moment but will add one big plus 30mm bronze as an example but who knows when...

My main focus is ancient India and my Roman direction has changed drastically over the last couple of years, preferring Eastern and Provincial mints...

Also Celtic and Iberic coins have now come to the forefront...

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I get the impression that most collectors start more general and go specific over time, but I've done the opposite (over ~30 or 35 years). I started with biggish Greek AR, saving up and buying one coin per year for about 5-10 years. With more exposure, though, I've found something to appreciate in a much wider range of coins (some Celtic, all Greek, E. Greek, RPC, RRC, RIC, Byzantine, some Byzantine contemporaries incl. some Islamic). Of course, that means I don't have highly specialized knowledge in any one specific area.

Now, if there's a narrow focus in my collection, it has to do with the "modern object biography" or "history of knowledge" behind a coin. I look around for coins with potentially interesting backstories and try to find out as much as I can about what others have said about or used the coins for. Sometimes for types I knew almost nothing about beforehand. Used to be, I'd have thought someone was crazy to pursue coins like these. Now, I'll spend hours reading on a topic when deciding on which 3 or 4 coins to bid on, and then maybe win one or not (either way, I keep the knowledge and apply it later, and if I lose, it was free):

image.jpeg.724091ba605f0eecd92dd67c59e95aa9.jpeg  image.jpeg.4df6292b246968a86abc3bc1f858d030.jpeg

For example, at one time I didn't care much at all for Roman Provincial Coins. But I've found those ones have the highest ratio of published literature-to-known coins (at least within my budget). And the more I've read up on them and found out what others find interesting in them, the more I enjoy them too. It's been similar for certain kinds of Islamic coins, though my lack of Arabic still keeps me away. The type below is one I'd have never been interested in if I hadn't read the references first:

image.jpeg.53baa9b1b8a0dd08bc3a07ebd59a9c1e.jpeg

Those ones above are pretty attractive for their types, but I can go for unattractive coins too, if I like their story enough:

image.jpeg.6b0e1ad8607719967408517cd5a00227.jpegimage.jpeg.0b254e0073303fa1440b7b928011f8bc.jpeg

Most Medieval coins haven't yet interested me (aside from Byzantine and related). Chinese coins I've never been into at all, though maybe some day. (Chinese was my answer.)

Edited by Curtis JJ
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It's funny - today I checked about 5 auctions as I wanted to buy 3-4 coins. Bad news is that a lot of coins start to look boring for me (I seem to see them as variations on the same theme). I still like reading about and checking ancient coins and in a way I am "forced" to do so because I have an extra activity involving ancient coins - but buying is a different story. Even if I don't have a large collection (327 ancient coins and nothing extremely out of the ordinary) I feel I covered almost all the targets I had in mind, from those that are affordable of course, and I keep wondering if I really want new ones.

So it's probably time for a break in buying coins.

From your categories, I was never a big fan of Byzantine coins. Although I have 2 anonymous follies (I wanted these in my collection) and a Teophilus follis I bought once, in a galaxy far away, from a numismatic show. 

I am not interested at all in Islamic, Indian, medieval (but I would like some coins from the territory of my country - pretty difficult to find though) and Chinese coins. The reason is simple - I am not attracted to them, never felt the desire to start studying them  and I prefer to concentrate on the categories that I liked since I started this hobby - Imperial, Provincial, Republican and Greek (in my personal preferences order). 

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Oh, btw @Ryro, I would consider that first ugly Byzantine overstrike to be very fascinating! Ugly and inartistic to be sure, but I find ugly coins (and anything revealing of the minting process, its flaws & errors) fascinating. 

I really wish I liked fewer types!

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Posted · Supporter
2 hours ago, Ryro said:

Boring Byzantines: As someone who has no love for religion and believe that it is the worst "evil" on the planet today, what's for me to enjoy? Symbolism made for an antiquated way to rule the masses? Artistry as bad if not worse than the limp rulers?

 

🤔 Why single out the Byzantines? Do ancient Roman or Greek coins have any less religious symbolism? If it's bad, then it's all bad. Or maybe your bias is a little more specific?

However, I do agree with you on the lack of artistry. I much prefer the vivid realism of the early-middle Roman Empire. I only have one Byzantine coin - Justinian I - and it's cool in a historic way, but as a numismatic object it leaves some to be desired IMO.

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Late Roman bronzes-  no variation in the cookie cutter busts, they're the Lincoln cents of ancient world.

Epigraphic only coins (that includes Chinese and Islamic coins, although some early Islamic ones have some images). I just find them not exciting.

Ptolemaic coins? I mean I'd love to have one of those hockey pucks, but most of them have either the bust of Zeus or Ptolemy with eagle on the reverse, I mean they literally ruled the oldest settlement of their period with rich history, they even adopted native Egyptian art and religion in their architecture and statues, just imagine how beautiful their coins would've looked if they included native elements and hieroglyphs on their coins, so much wasted potential! although some Roman provincial include them!

 

Edited by JayAg47
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6 hours ago, CPK said:

 

🤔 Why single out the Byzantines? Do ancient Roman or Greek coins have any less religious symbolism? If it's bad, then it's all bad. Or maybe your bias is a little more specific?

However, I do agree with you on the lack of artistry. I much prefer the vivid realism of the early-middle Roman Empire. I only have one Byzantine coin - Justinian I - and it's cool in a historic way, but as a numismatic object it leaves some to be desired IMO.

...Right, and to @Ryro's initial point, it boils down to the question to what kind of Chistianity you're referring to.  For people who think it's reducible to the prevailing, flagrant heresy of the American religious right, there's this.

  https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/24/us/white-christian-nationalism-blake-cec/index.html 

Thank you, there are alternatives, some of which at least aspire to follow what Jesus --and the prophets of the Tanakh, who he frequently quoted in (wait for it) the canonical Gospels-- were about in the first place.  Not to mention their being, communally, across any number of confessions, more literate in the Bible (...or the Constitution, as an easy parallel) than these people will ever have the inclination to be.  Forget the requisite equipment, on any level.  Theological Minute: ever since George W, I've been saying, 'Only Satan Wants You Stupid.'

...But more broadly, for that many of us who collect ancient and medieval, the primary criterion is the historical context, rather than the esthetics. 

In a world stinking of false dichotomies, this Ain't one of 'em.  Apologies are due to anyone who's ever heard me say this before, going back to the other forum.  But only most emphatically in the case of series like early, clunky Byzantine and western medieval --which, often enough, defy comment-- the primary function of this stuff is as miniature historical documents.  If you aren't that deeply invested in the history, on its own merits (more often than not on a cautionary level), you're just not likely to get it.

Anyway, that's where I come from.  If something I wind up with has esthetic value, it's really icing on the cake.  Always yummy; as such, never a prerequisite. ...But that's with a wall of books on medieval history.

(Edit:)  ...Except, back to the whole esthetic criterion, I have to love Chinese and other cash coins, precisely for the endless variety of the calligraphy.  Thank you, I can't read a word of it, but it's beautiful anyway. 

Maybe, being Autism spectrum, it's harder for me to compartmentalize esthetics and historical significance, especially when my acquaintance with the latter is effectively nonexistent.  But from here, it's really fun to know just enough that I don't know fava beans about this ...but, even hypothetically, Could, one day.  

Same with all of the variations of Arabic lettering on Islamic coins.  I kind of need all of it.

Especially on the esthetic level, once what you don't know ceases to be your starting point, it's no longer a barrier.  ...Another reason why we have, for one Western instance, nonrepresentational abstract art.

Edited by JeandAcre
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I love Greco-Roman mythology and art, so that translates into an interest in paganism and Greco-Roman history. I prefer Roman coinage to Greek -- so much more variety and historical tie-in. And Roman coins are much more affordable as a rule. I love Roman provincial coins -- always have -- and I'm fascinated by the numerous cities that produced them.

For this reason, I'm not too interested in epigraphic coins, such as Chinese or Islamic. Celtic coins are cool, like a "migraine art" coffee table book, if you get into that sort of thing. Persian coins are similar to Roman and Seleukid ones; I just don't get into them. I have enough on my plate as it is.

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3 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

Bad news is that a lot of coins start to look boring for me (I seem to see them as variations on the same theme). I still like reading about and checking ancient coins and in a way I am "forced" to do so because I have an extra activity involving ancient coins - but buying is a different story. Even if I don't have a large collection (327 ancient coins and nothing extremely out of the ordinary) I feel I covered almost all the targets I had in mind, from those that are affordable of course, and I keep wondering if I really want new ones.

Literally how I feel now after collecting ancients for nearly 3 years, I think I've hit a plateau! some coins are bound by cost, like even if I have the money, I can't bring myself to pay 100s on a silver denarius (except a Caesar), or 1000s on Greek tetradrachms, and in regards to gold I don't want to break the $1000 mark, which is hard given the Byzantines are the only option! on the other hand, south Indian coins, especially Pandya and silver/gold issue of Cholas are extremely rare, that I given up on hunting for them and hoping for one to just come my way in the future. I keep browsing Vcoins, eBay, and other vendors, and couldn't bring myself to buy even cheap coins that I would've done a couple years ago. But on the flip side, this year however I started saving up for bigger purchases, and buying them once or twice in a full moon gives me much more satisfaction!

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I voted Chinese

1775to1781ChineseEmpQianLongCashCoinGallery.jpg.49670ee3a67d5a9f98a99bbf687c452a.jpg

I have one cheap old coin in this category. There are people who love them but this one Cash Coin is enough for me. To me they all look the same.

Not dated but struck (1775-1781)
Hartill #22.221 Type F2; middle stroke protrudes from radical 用 in 通 (West branch)

Obverse
Four Chinese ideograms read top to bottom, right to left.
Script: Chinese (traditional, regular script)
Lettering:
 乾
寶 通
 隆

Translation:
Qian Long Tong Bao
Qianlong (Emperor) / Circulating currency

Reverse
Two Manchu words (read vertically) separated by the hole.

Script: Mongolian / Manchu
Lettering: ᠪᠣᠣ ᠴᡳᠣᠸᠠᠨ
Translation: Boo-chiowan

This info came to me from a guy named Sap on another forum a long time ago.


"It's in the name of the Qian Long emperor (1735-1796), cast at the Board of Revenue mint.
Cash coins do not bear dates, so narrowing down the date any further than "sometime between 1735 and 1796" requires careful attention to detail, particularly the writing style. If my reading of my Hartill catalogue is correct, this type dates from roughly 1775-1781.

It also tells me that at the time, the Board of Revenue mint was divided into four "branches", and this coin comes from the West Branch.

Hartill reference number is 22.221. On the rarity scale which Hartill uses where 1 is extremely rare and 16 is extremely common, your coin is rated at 16, I'm sorry, so despite it's age, it's not going to be worth very much. A very typical "Chinese coins - $2 each" type of coin."

Qianlong Emperor
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qianlong_Emperor

1775to1781ChineseEmpQianLongCashCoinArt.jpg.3564541b85e82160acbb747884cae319.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I currently own (or will, when my coins from the recent Leu auction arrive) about 375 ancient coins. About 20 are ancient Greek; all the rest are Roman Republican, Imperial, and Provincial. I own none from any of the other categories listed above, and have no interest in acquiring any.  I won't call Byzantine and Western European medieval coins crude and ugly, but they just don't have any visual appeal for me -- as interesting as I often find the underlying history. (I do have a small handful of English hammered coins, but none before Henry VIII, and nothing from the Continent before some early milled Saxon talers from the mid 1500s. I don't consider any of those to be medieval, let alone ancient.)

In fact, I gave up about a year or so ago on buying any more LRBs, even though I'm still missing a number of easily-acquired 3rd and 4th century emperors. They started to bore me.  I do still have an interest in late Roman solidi, siliquae, and argentei, but only rarely feel justified in spending what's required to buy more. 

Even for earlier Roman Imperial and for Roman Provincial coins, my tastes have narrowed quite a bit from the rather broad range I once purchased. I would guess that when I look at VCoins or MAShops, I scroll through about 1,000 coins for every one I see that says "buy me," and has a reverse that isn't just "someone standing there."  Perhaps the ratio isn't quite that high for auctions.

And even with Roman Republican coins, the early denarii look too much alike to me and the bronzes don't interest me. So my 77 Roman Republican coins all date from the 100-year period beginning around 140 BCE, only a few of them from the Imperatorial period (generally too expensive). Therefore, in looking at additional Republican coins from that 100-year period to buy, it's a question of finding types I don't already have that are in nice enough condition for me to buy (visual appeal is important to me; call me a snob if you like!), that aren't prohibitively expensive, and that have reverses I find interesting. (Not just ordinary Victories in a biga or quadriga; I have enough of those!) There aren't so many left. 

The good news is that if my tastes hadn't narrowed over the five years or so I've been actively collecting ancient coins, I'd be bankrupt by now!

 

Edited by DonnaML
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@DonnaML, you have always been more seamlessly fluent in combining the esthetic and historical dimensions --forget, for one minute, your command of the numismatic literature, and its interpretation-- than anyone I can think of, from this or the previous forum.

That's why, having been too lazy to 'follow' you on the website (yet --along with lots of other people), it's always a joy to run into another of your posts.  Your methodology is a joy to behold, independently of the subject.

...Why (along with that, um, minor detail about bankruptcy) you get no blame from here for not being into Byzantine and medieval!  Nope, Not Happening.

Edited by JeandAcre
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I find that all coins have a taste or interest that can be acquired. The one I have never caught yet is Islamic except for pre-reform coinage and Turkomen figural bronzes. I just haven't gotten into the script types, don't know why.

I do find disassociated collections help maintain an interest in numismatics. I get bored with all sections I collect, usually due to no material on the market then, so rotate through them based upon availability. Sometimes I can go years without seeing areas for sale like Parthian bronzes, then a lot hit the market and I buy a lot of them. This keeps me from getting bored like I am sure I would if only collecting a narrow hobby. But, I am also a hoarder. My latest purchase was actually a stone, lapis lazuli weighing 6.3 pounds in the black hills, so I guess I will always find something to buy lol.

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7 hours ago, Ryro said:

Not to, yuck anyone's yum, but after half a decade or more of ancient collecting there are a few types that I just can't get down with. 

Initially I was going to ask where those that browse auctions start and stop. Ie, I start at the beginning with Celtics, archaics, Greeks and whatnot. Check out all the offerings through provincials, which I used to skip over (what a fool I was). And once I get to Rome I'll usually stop after the Severans.

Don't get me wrong I still collect the occasional LRB right up to Arcadius or so but then stop once I get to the...

Boring Byzantines: As someone who has no love for religion and believe that it is the worst "evil" on the planet today, what's for me to enjoy? Symbolism made for an antiquated way to rule the masses? Artistry as bad if not worse than the limp rulers?

Screenshot_20200921-084527_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.ead298820714228af4497fdacdffbb2a.pngScreenshot_20200921-085106_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png.0f04c5355dca9e14c10a1ed0b015579b.png

(I've spit out chewed up bubble gum that had more artistry)

Chinese checkers: Time to flex my ignorance muscles with this statement; they all look the same! Thousands of years of picture less, pointless coins that's only difference is the writing. I might as well collect CVS receipts. Though, I must admit being from the west I do lack the knowledge and stories of the great men and women that made that empire flourish to the present day that may make the coins palatable for some. 

2547140_1643946006.l-removebg-preview.png.da079aaa3944c10390447cd27a580627.png

(Ooh, wow. Look at the way they put a square in the middle, insert face palm here)

So, there are a couple of mine. What about you?

ps, This is just for fun, so please show other collectors of these atrocious types respect while explaining why their favorites ain't so favorable. 

I suppose we all collect for different reasons

κύριε ἐλέησον!

F82676BE-07F6-4C82-BA55-3C35760C5139.jpeg.43d07e8b00113247c05aacaf2a8201d1.jpeg

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@Ryro, Ryro, Ryro!!  You are missing out when it comes to Byzantine, my man!  It is absolutely chock-a-block with comedy gold!!

image.jpeg.d80eb32e05536a56842c34ec2711509a.jpeg

Since the main driver for my collecting themes is history, and every broad area of coinage includes interesting history, I'm pretty much with @Curtisimo:

6 hours ago, Curtisimo said:

I voted “All coins / I am a virgin”... my wife has been very understanding in both regards. 

Except, by contrast with his apparently, my wife is extremely hot. 🙃

Still, I chose "something else" because there are certainly areas I haven't been able to get into.  If the history is fairly "inconsequential," then I'm less likely to be interested, along with some other frequently-mentioned factors above (same-ish, ugly, etc.).  A large proportion of medieval bracteates, issued by local feudal lords or clergy who didn't really do anything of note, fail to grab me.  But there's not very much that doesn't hold interest for me!

In defense of non-western coinage without imagery, I would direct people to the excellent thread on calligraphy:

Along with the history, I found it doesn't take too long to get into the beauty of these coins!

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

@Ryro, Ryro, Ryro!!  You are missing out when it comes to Byzantine, my man!  It is absolutely chock-a-block with comedy gold!!

@Severus Alexander, one hardly needs to expand one's interests to Byzantine coins to find comedy gold! Look at this Trajan provincial from Syria (not mine, I'm afraid):

image.jpeg.a3678a4b8049916a5e8ce78e241c3f97.jpeg

I have it on good authority that this is what Trajan actually looked like. The usual portraits are just Imperial propaganda.

Edited by DonnaML
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I voted Chinese. I have a couple coins I purchased just for the type, but otherwise have no plans to continue collecting them. The biggest issue for me is the perception that:

  • The rarest coins often differ in subtle ways from the more common ones
  • The market is so saturated with fakes that it's extremely difficult - even for the experts - to tell the difference

As for the other categories:

Archaic - I have very few archaic coins, but there are some stunning ones out there. Main issue for me is price, not desire.

Celtic - Very cool looking coins. I have one, though I doubt I'll add more in the near future.

Persian - depends on the time period. I have little interest in Sassanian, but the earlier Persian coins are interesting from the post-Alexander kingdoms.

Classical - I've recently begun a small collection here. Still adding coins before I present it.

Hellenistic - This is my main area of collection.

Roman Republic - depending how you count, I have one coin. I definitely intend to add more, but for budgeting purposes I'm not adding them now.

Provincial - In general I'm not too fond of them, but I do admit they have some of the most intriguing reverses. At some point I may be tempted.

Roman Imperial - my second largest collection after Hellenistic

LRB - this is an area I've shored up a bit lately

Byzantine - I have none and have no immediate plans to add them. However, when my Imperial and LRB collections are filled out, I'll consider them. The stories tend to be more intriguing than the designs IMHO.

Medieval - I have one. Further in the future I may add more. It's too late in history for me right now.

Islamic - my wife is from this area, so there are coins of interest. The main reason I haven't picked any up is budget.

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De gustibus non est disputandum

Chacun à son goût.  Or, to each his own.  It would be an unhappy world if we all desired the same few coins.  I remain blind to the beauty and variety of Chinese coins, and that is doubtless a defect in me that I do not appreciate their subtle differences and their history.  Still, it pains me to see Byzantine bronzes dismissed as beneath notice.  I know many of them resemble a sacrificial anode after a voltage surge.  But in an effort to argue the contrary, I present the following new acquisition.   There is definite beauty and majesty here.  IMHO.B26B2784-D991-4E83-B6E3-2ED5AC589BE0.jpeg.ef6b99a87db3be8ad0447775ba445db7.jpeg

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I love Byzantines, although I do admit my interest wanes considerably when the anonymous types and the trachies start.

I am basically like @Severus Alexander. Historical interest is the main driving force of my collecting. If I am not really into the history behind the coin, then I don't want it. This is what helps me be into less visually appealing stuff like Islamic and Byzantine. Of course, there's the other factors such as design, eye appeal, condition, etc. I don't mind collecting "uglier" coins as long as the history is cool. For example, Indian coins are the perfect example for me of an area that is both not historically or visually appealing to me. I'd sooner collect Chinese because at least the history there is somewhat more interesting to me.

I like Roman history as a whole, but I find Rome's rise a lot less interesting than its decline and fall, so Republican coins have a low appeal to me in general. Since everyone and their mother seem to like Republican coins, I feel like the only one not into them. I've had a few over the years, but ended up selling practically all of them. Although, I do currently have one nice denarius that I'm not going to part with anytime soon.

Persian coins such as Parthian and Sassanian is another area I have not been able to get into. Same story here; lack of historical interest.

Roman provincial I've learned to appreciate more over the years due to the larger size of some of them, some interesting designs, and when well-preserved look very nice. But there are a lot of ugly/boring ones though, IMO.

High medieval stuff such as feudal French and English I can't get into either. Unimpressive/unappealing both visually and historically for me. Although I do like coins from the Crusader states.

And as I mentioned, Chinese is higher on my collecting hierarchy than Indian, but its still practically at the bottom overall. For the obvious reasons.

 

Edited by ValiantKnight
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With no disrepect of any kind intended to people who do collect these fields, these are just my personal likes/dislikes.

The little to no interest section:

Judean: high in history, but they're small (not a small coin fan) and most don't have portraits, or designs which catch my fancy.

Islamic; mostly ditto (except for the small), but there are notable exceptions. I'm actually becoming more interested in these as time goes on.

LRBs/Constantinian coins.  My interest goes way down after the 310's. However, there are exceptions; AE1/2's, Julian, Magnus Maximus, Eugenius and coins of the 5th century.  Coins of Constantine and family with neat obverse designs are also notable exceptions.  I can collect the silver (and if I had the budget, the gold).

Celtic:  I have little or no desire to collect the very abstract ones.  Some of the closer to original ones can be very cool, however.

Chinese coins (the designs and the load of fakes).

Byzantine AE coins of Constans (except for the western mints) and the very late Byzantines.

Yes, I do have areas which I like better than others but I'm an omnivore of whatever catches my fancy. 

While not up to Hellenistic standards, the following portrait of Heraclius isn't bad, and certainly no worse than contemporary states.

 

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Apsimar the admiral also isn't too bad.

It's good to branch out and try new things. At one time I despised dixieland music.  I still despise bad dixieland music, but I've grown to love the genre, especially Eddie Condon, Kid Ory, etc.  The Tin Roof Blues, done correctly, is a gorgeous song. People at the time referred to the genre as jazz.

I'm currently on a Byzantine kick (and my mom called Byzantine AE 'slag heaps' when I was starting out) but my first love is the Roman series of  Sulla to Nero.  My favorite Byzantine numismatic periods are 539 to the 710's and 1071 to 1204.

That being said, there are exceptions and I could see myself picking up an example from almost any of the 'dislike' categories if something really catches my fancy.

 

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