Ancient Collector's Blog

20 Oct 2019

America's Greatest Treasure Ship, The Second Treasure-Finding Journey

Coins | Ancient Collector

Once again David Bowers, withthe assistance of Dwight Manley, has produced a marvelous book on the history of coins. The record of the Second Journey to the SS Central Americais a much more manageable book than the first tome on the subject, A California Gold Rush History; the new book being only 210 pages.

08 Oct 2019

Trip to England and Where is the Best Coin Display

| Ancient Collector

After my somewhat disappointing visit to the British Museum, coinwise, I founda display that really caught my eye. In the Museum of the Roman Baths at Bath I saw a set of coins on display that had a nice coin from the Roman Republic and from each of the Roman Emperorswho ruled during the Roman Occupation of Britain. It was a mix of gold, silver and bronze, from Asses and Dupondii through Denarii and Antoniniani up to gold Aurei. All were in nice condition. All these coins were nicely displayed in a sweeping curve in date order. Not a great description of each, but a really memorable display none the less.

26 Sep 2019

Coins in the British Museum

| Ancient Collector

I promised to tell you of my numismatic experiences in Britain during my past visit. I thought I would start with the greatest repository of coins in the world, the British Museum.

22 Sep 2019

Trip to London & the New Bank Notes

| Ancient Collector

Just got back from 12 days in London. Had a great time and say a few of the multitude of sights to visit. My wife needed a wheelchair at many of the venues, but that gave us access to back areas the general public never sees, such as at Buckingham Palace.

10 Jun 2019

Another Long Beach Coin Show in the Rear View Mirror

Coins | Ancient Collector

Well, the doors and closed.the janitors are sweeping up the floors and another Long Beach Coin Show is just a memory. Some changes that were so very apparent and are not (necessarily) good news. The name has been changed from the Long Beach Coin Showto the Long Beach Collectors Show. Nothing really added to the already existing Sports Collectibles and Stamps booths that were already there. Perhaps more of the former. The real scary sight was the number of booths that had clearly displayed signs that said "BOOTH UNSOLD. DO NOT SIT HERE." Booths unsold at Long Beach- that is as unbelievable as that the Sun will not rise tomorrow or there is no Easter Bunny. Already, over the past 20 years the size of the show has shrunk to under half of it original size. Maybe this should be a DEFCON 4 Alert as to the state of Numismatics today and to start thinking what needs to be done to ameliorate the situation.

03 Jun 2019

Guide to Biblical Coins by David Hendin

Ancient Coins | Ancient Collector

Several times I have recommended this book for those interested in the coinage of bible times, but have always admitted that I have never read it. Well, I found a bookseller who had it on "special" so I could no longer resist. Did it live up to my expectations? Has my reputation been destroyed by recommending a dud? Is the book worth $85.00? Stay tuned !!! Or should I say, read on !

26 May 2019

Building a Numismatic Library

Library | Ancient Collector

As I am having more free time, I thought I would start to write book reviews. But before I start, I thought I should put down my views of what constitutes a personal numismatic library, in general terms to make it appropriate for all collectors, but using the titles of actual books in my library to illustrate the different categories of books. I have over a thousand books in my library and more than 250 are numismatic or related to my numismatic areas of interest.

29 Apr 2019

Book Review - Money of Their Own

| Ancient Collector

Since we are talking about books, I would like to slip in a real oldie but goodie. Money of Their Own, by Murray Teigh Bloom is a fascinating book about some prominent forgers of currency. Although prominent, they obviously were not great forgets, because as the author points out, the really good ones don't get caught.

12 Apr 2019

NCG Coins Came Home Graded

| Ancient Collector

This morning I got the last of the three groups of coins I had graded by NGC. You may remember I dropped them off at the Long Beach Show at the end of January. I am glad my pharmacy doesn't take this long to fill prescriptions, or cost as much. The prize I mentioned from the LB Show, an Athenian Tetradrachm came back Ch AU, 5 Strike, 5 Surface. It is a little shy of MS so I have no complaints. My Roman Republics were no bigsurprises. I had already submitted the best earlier, so these at XFs to Ch AUs was actually a little better than I expected, with the Censorinus a full grade better than I had expected. My one bummer coinin the group was an Octavian Imperatorial that came back VF, but even that is better than I feared, having a flat strike on the hair and a tad off-center. The last group to arrive (today) were the US Type pieces. All fairly graded with one surprise being an AU53 on the Flying Eagle (with a planchet lamination) that I had expected to come back XF and the other surprise was that the 1867 Shield with Rays came back as a Mint Error with a die break at 11:00 (it was graded AU Details). The one disappointment was the 1839 Bust Half that came back AU Details - Obverse Scratch. I was hoping for an MS-61 as it is a real beauty and definitely better than the 1832 Bust Half they graded MS Detaila some time ago.

31 Jan 2019

Long Beach Coin Show

| Ancient Collector

Today was the opening of the Long Beach Coin Show, held three times a year at the Long Beach Convention Center. We were promised rain which I must admit is much more acceptable than the blizzards being experienced on the East Coast. The show runs three days, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It used to go through Sunday, but so many dealers left early, that going Sunday was like going to a rock concert the day after the performance. It is always a great show. This one had a Brasher Doubloon on display along with CH XF and better historic New York Coppers from 1786 and 1787. The show has been expanded to include Sports Memorabilia, Stamps and a few other miscellaneous items. If I had a million dollars to spend, I still would not have had enough to get what I would want. There was a Baldric penny for my Anglo-Saxon collection, an Aelia Flacilla gold solidus for my Byzantine Gold, A gorgeous Alexander II Balas tetradrachm from Syria. And on and on. CNG had trays of ultra high quality ancients, both silver and gold. My favorite dealer, Glenn Schinke, had loads of great ancient and medieval material. There are dealers from all over the US and from abroad. A few got caught in the snow and were not able to make it, but some came out a few days early, knowing bad weather was on the way.

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