updated June 14th, 2016
This website represents a philosophy of collecting coins so as to illustrate critical points in mankind’s history. Coins which represent or which were minted during particularly interesting or transitional periods in history are emphasized.
De-emphasized are collecting coins so as to complete a set, purchasing condition consensus, the finest known types of coins, or coins strictly for investment. Also de-emphasized are US coins. While these can be interesting, their cost basis compared to their historical importance is too high for me to make a meaningful collection.
The areas this website specializes in are:
1) Ancient Coins from the Greek City States, Ancient Empires (Egypt, Persia, Carthage, etc) and Rome (both Republic and Empire). These coins span an era from the mid 7th century BCE until almost the 5th century AD. While I have few Greek coins, the Roman collection is far enough along to illustrate some of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.
2) The Early Republics of Latin America and Brazil. There is some overlap in time periods. For example while Latin American countries began their revolutions for independence in 1810, Brazil did not until 1889. Nonetheless most of the coins discussed here are of the period from 1810 until about 1900, including Brazil.
Regarding Latin American I am particularly fond of the early designs struck soon after Declarations of Independence. For example with Mexico, the Revolution started in 1810, with Argentina it was 1813, and with Chile it was 1818. After centuries of having to strike coins with the Spanish Pillars (& later the King), upon Independence, the new countries really went wild with designs featuring Volcanoes (on the silver), Two Volcanoes (on the gold), Eagles Eating Snakes, Radiant Sunfaces, many different portraits of Simon Bolivar, Quetzals, Lions, and more. Another characteristic of Latin American coins is that there is a very strong preference by collectors for “the crowns” (e.g. large silver and gold coins approximately 36 to 38 mm in diameter). From a historical perspective it was the minor coins that actually circulated in the countries of origin and which were used by the people. The crowns often were made simply to export silver bullion to Europe with the large gold used to pay for foreign exchange. Often the minor coins, both silver and gold, are far rarer than the crowns, particularly in high grade, yet are cheaper.
Colonial coins are really not a part of this collection and were not avoided by intention but I’ve not had much luck in obtaining many specimens: except for Brazil. There are a few Spanish (and Portuguese) Colonial coins as pieces such as Pillar Dollars and Bust 8 Reales which are of such historical background they beg to be included. I’d like to get an exemplary “cob” 8 reales (also known as a macuquina), however, have had not had luck in this endeavor.
With the Roman my collection is less significant compared to the others around simply because quality Ancients are far more expensive and I’m limited financially. While a wise move would be to concentrate solely on Latin American, I find the Ancients very interesting as they portray mankind’s infancy and our early civilizations. Collecting here is different in that one has to be careful of hoards as there are some types which have become very common even in high grades. Even when a popular type, some of these common hoard coins (such as the Athenian tetradrachms) can still be slightly pricey in high grades. With the Roman specifically I have gotten enough types to illustrate:
1) The Republic
2) The breakdown of the Republic, starting with Sulla, known as the Imperatorial Era
3) The Rise of Imperial Rome and the Golden Age
4) The “Military Crisis”of the 3rd century AD, when the Roman Empire almost fell apart
5) The Recovery and the Rise of Christianity (Age of Constantine)
6) The Final Decline and Fall
If you have any info to contribute or questions to ask, please contact me using the contact form in the sidebar. This is contact form-7.
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