Ancient Greek Coins of Macedonia – A guide to Collecting Them

Ancient coins of MACEDONIA Greece from the Greek & Roman Times Collection and Guide

Learn about the types of ancient Greek coins from before Alexander the Great to the Roman control of the region

This video is designed for the people that may be interested in collecting ancient Greek and Roman coins from Macedonia, either as a Kingdom, Region or Province. Explored in this article and video above is a selection of various cities and kings from Macedonia that I have in my collection available for sale in my eBay online coin shop. My goal is to cut years off the learning curve in collecting ancient coins by making informative videos, and when people learn about the wonder, I can help them get the coins they want, being a win win for everyone. Please share this article, thumb up the video when you watch it as it will help others find it, as the artificial intelligence of search engines picks those things up. Enjoy!

Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom on the northern periphery of Classical Greece and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. It was ruled during most of its existence initially by the legendary founding dynasty of the Argeads, the intermittent Antipatrids and finally the Antigonids. Home to the Macedonians, the earliest kingdom was centered on the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south. Read more here: 

The Roman province of Macedonia was officially established in 146 BC, after the Roman general Quintus Caecilius Metellus defeated Andriscus of Macedon, the last self-styled King of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia in 148 BC, and after the four client republics (the „tetrarchy“) established by Rome in the region were dissolved. The province incorporated ancient Macedonia, with the addition of Epirus, Thessaly, and parts of Illyria, Paeonia and Thrace. This created a much larger administrative area, to which the name of ‚Macedonia‘ was still applied. The Dardanians, to the north of the Paeonians, were not included, because they had supported the Romans in their conquest of Macedonia. Read more here:

The Ancient Coins from Macedonia

ALEXANDER I, First King of Macedonia 495BC Ancient Silver Greek Coin Rare i36780

The Macedonian Kindom
Alexander I – King: 495-454 B.C.
Silver Light Tetrobol 14mm (1.51 grams)
Reference: Sear 1484; B.M.C.5.,p.160,10
Horse pacing right; A on exergual line beneath.
Crested helmet right in linear square within shallow incuse.King of Aigai, Alexander enlarge dhis kingdom after the retreat of the Persians in 479 B.C., and was the first of the Macedonian rulers to place his name on coinage.

ALEXANDER III the GREAT Pella Antigonos II Tetradrachm Silver Greek Coin i46302

Greek Coin of
Macedonian Kingdom
Alexander III the Great - King of Macedonia: 336-323 B.C.
Struck under Antigonos II Gonatas: Macedonian King: 277-239 B.C.
Silver Tetradrachm 27mm (16.80 grams) Pella mint, circa: 275-271 B.C.
Reference: Price 621; Müller 230; SNG Copenhagen 713; Mathisen, Administrative VI.6, dies A19/P44
Head of Alexander the Great as Hercules right, wearing the lion-skin headdress.
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ AΛEΞANΔΡOY, Zeus Aetophoros seated left, holding eagle and scepter; Macedonian helmetin field to left; OK monogram below throne.

AKANTHOS in MACEDONIA 480BC Lion Authentic Ancient Silver Greek Coin i46281

Greek city of Akanthos in Macedonia
Silver Tetrobol 15mm (2.11 grams) Struck circa 480-470 B.C.
Reference: SNG ANS 18-21
Forepart of lioness right, seen from above; acanthus above.
Quadripartite incuse square.

OLYNTHOS in MACEDONIA for CHALKIDIAN LEAGUE 432BC Apollo Lyre Greek Coin i49241

Greek city of Olynthos in Macedonia
Chalkidian League
Bronze 15mm (3.51 grams) Struck circa 432-348 B.C.
Reference: Sear 1433; B.M.C. 5.31; Cf. Robinson-Clement Group M; SNG ANS 552
Laureate head of Apollo right.

PERDIKKAS III brother of PHilip Kingdom of Macedonia 365BC Greek Coin i49479

Greek coin of the Kingdom of Macedonia
Perdikkas III – King: 365-359 B.C.
Bronze 18mm (3.34 grams)
Reference: Sear 1515; B.M.C. 5.2,3
Head of young Hercules right wearing lion-skin headdress.
ΠΕΡΔΙΚ / KA above and below lion standing right, holding broken spear in his jaws.

Amphipolis in Macedonia 410BC Apollo Torch Authentic Ancient Greek Coin i49256

Greek city of Amphipolis in Macedonia
Bronze 20mm (8.18 grams) Struck 168-149 B.C.
Reference: Sear 1390 var.; SNG ANS 87 var.
Laureate head of Apollo left.
ΑΜ / ΦΙ above and below race-torch; all within linear square.

Eion in Macedonia 475BC Goose & Lizard RARE Ancient Silver Greek Coin i26077

Greek city of Eion in Macedonia
Silver Diobol 13mm (0.92 grams) circa 475-450 B.C.
Reference: SNG ANS 284; SNG Lockett 1320
Goose standing right looking back, lizard above, H behind.
Quadripartite incuse.

Alexander III the Great Bucephalus Ancient Greek MACEDONIA KOINON Coin i30608

Alexander III, the Great: Macedonian Greek King: 336-323 B.C.
Roman Era, Olympic-Style Games Issue
Bronze 25mm (12.19 grams) from the Koinon of Macedonia in Thrace under Roman Control
Struck circa 222-235 A.D. under the reign of Roman Emperor Severus Alexander
AΛЄΞANΔPOV, Head of Alexander the Great right with loose, flowing hair.
KOINON MAKЄΔONΩN NEΩ, Alexander the Great on his legendary horse, Bucephalus, galloping right with cape flowing behind him and holding spear.* Numismatic Note: Leaders like Julius Caesar and the Romans and the Greeks alike had immense respect for the great accomplishments of Alexander the Great. Macedonia, being the kingdom of Alexander the Great’s birth, this coin featuring his likeness heralds the Neocorate status of the area, along with the Olympic-style games that accompanied it. Highly-coveted type.

Akanthos in Macedonia 470BC Authentic Ancient Silver Greek Coin w Bull i36765

Greek city of Akanthos in Macedonia
Silver Tetrobol 16mm (2.36 grams) Struck circa 470-390 B.C.
Reference: SNG ANS 35
Forepart of bull kneeling left, head right, two laurel branches above.
Shallow quadripartite incuse square.

Thessalonica in Macedonia 187BC Ancient Greek Coin Athena War Magic Horse i33502

Greek city of Thessalonica in Macedonia
Bronze 18mm (4.50 grams) Struck 187-31 B.C.
Reference: SNG ANS 770
Head of Athena wearing Corinthian helmet.
ΘEΣΣAΛO / NIKHΣ above and below horse prancing right.

Thessalonica in Macedonia 88BC RARE Ancient Greek Coin Centaurs Janus i40946

Greek city of Thessalonica in Macedonia
Bronze 24mm (6.59 grams) from the ancient Greek city of Thessalonica in
the Province of Macedonia 88-21 B.C. under the control of the Romans
Reference: Moushmov 6607
Laureate head of Janus
ΘEΣΣAΛONIKEΩN, Two Centaurs prancing, back to back, each holding branch.

URANOPOLIS in MACEDONIA 300BC Aphrodite as Uranus Earth Globe Greek Coin i42118

Greek city of Uranopolis in Macedon
Bronze 17mm (3.47 grams) Struck circa 300 B.C.
Reference: Sear 1475; SNG Cop. 455; SNG ANS 914;SNG Evelpidis 1363; BMC 2
Eight-rayed star, representing the sun.
OYPANIΔΩΝ ΠΟΛΕΩΣ, Aphrodite Urania seated facing on globe, holding sceptre.

AMPHIPOLIS in MACEDONIA 158BC Shield Helmet Ancient Silver Greek Coin i30137

Greek city of Amphipolis in Macedonia
Silver Tetrobol 14mm (2.48 grams) Struck 158-149 B.C.
Reference: Sear 1387 cf.; B.M.C. 5., p.9,11 cf.
Macedonian shield, at center of which MA / KE above and below club right.
Macedonian helmet left, with cheek-pieces.

PHILIP V King of Macedonia 180BC Rare Greek Coin HERO O PERSEUS Flute i21960

Greek King: Philip V - King of Macedonia: 221-179 B.C.
Bronze 18mm (4.04 grams) Uncertain Macedonian mint. Struck circa 180/79 B.C.
Reference:  Mamroth, Bronzemünzen 28; Touratsoglou, Macedonia 24; SNG München 1194
Head of hero Perseus right, wearing winged Phrygian helmet.
B A / Φ above and below harpa within oak wreath.

PHILIPPI Macedonia 357BC Hercules Tripod Bow QUALITY Ancient Greek Coin i275088

Greek city of Philippi in Macedonia
Bronze 18mm (5.80 grams) Struck 357-330 B.C.
Reference: Sear 1452 var.; B.M.C. 5.8 var.
Head of young Hercules left in lion’s skin.
Tripod; ΦIΛIΠΠΩΝ to right, bow in case to left.  

KASSANDER king of Macedonia 319BC Hercules Lion Ancient Greek Coin i49232

Greek coin of the Kingdom of Macedonia
Kassander - King: 319-297 B.C.
Bronze 15mm (2.94 grams) Struck at Pella or Amphipolis
Reference: SNG Copenhagen 1154-5; Cf. SNG Alpha Bank 937-41 (monograms).
Head of young Hercules right, clad in lion’s skin.
BAΣIΛEΩΣ KAΣΣANΔPOY, Lion walking left, broken spear in jaws; monograms below.

AMPHAXITIS Macedonia 196BC Hercules & Club RARE Ancient Greek Coin i30661

Greek city of Amphaxitis in Macedon
Bronze 21mm (6.51 grams) Struck 196-168 B.C.
Reference: Sear 1376; B.M.C. 5.1,2; AMNG III 73; SNG Copenhagen 36 var. (monograms)
Head of young Hercules right, in lion’s skin.
ΑΜΦΑ / ΞΙΩΝ abow and below club right, within oak-wreath; monogram beneath.‘Autonomous issue in the time of the Macedonian kings Philip V and Perseus. 

Macedonia 288BC Ancient Greek Coin Shield w Gorgon’s head Helmet i30222

Greek – Macedonia during the Interregnum period 288-277 B.C.
Bronze 15mm (3.82 grams) Reference: Sear 6781
Macedonian shield with Gorgon’s head at center.
Macedonian helmet dividing B – A ; in lower field to left, caduceus; to right, monogram.

TRAGILOS in MACEDONIA 400BC Hermes & Rose Ancient Greek Coin i31186

Greek city of Tragilos in Macedonia
Bronze 17mm (4.52 grams) Struck circa 400 B.C.
Reference: Sear 1472; SNG ANS 911; SNG Copenhagen 452
Head of Hermes right, wearing petasos.
TPAIΛION, Rose; crescent in field to right.

Roman Republic Caecilia 29a Conquest of Macedonia Shield Elephant Coin i45456

Roman Republic M. Caecilius Q.f. Q.n. Metellus moneyer
Silver Denarius 17mm (3.78 grams) Rome mint, circa 127 B.C.
Reference: Caecilia 29a; B.M.C. 1147; Syd. 480a; Craw. 263/1b
Head of Roma right, ROMA downward behind, star below chin.
M. METELLVS. Q . F around Macedonian shield with elephant’s head at center; all within laurel wreath.

Roman Protectorate of Macedonia 168BC Roma Authentic Ancient Greek Coin i40774

Greek city of the Roman Protectorate of Macedonia
Bronze 25mm (11.47 grams) Struck circa 168-167 B.C.
Time of Aemilius Paullus. Gaius Publilius. Quaestor, circa 168-167 B.C.
Helmeted head of Roma right.
MAKEΔONΩN / TAMIOY ΓAIOY / ΠΟΠΛΙΛIΟΥ in three lines, all within oak wreath.* Numismatic Note: Very rare, possibly unpublished coin from the Roman Macedonian protectorate with the name of the famous consul of the Roman Republic!

AUGUSTUS 27BC Edessa in Macedonia Authentic Ancient Roman Coin i33917

Augustus - Roman Emperor: 27 B.C. – 14 A.D.
Bronze 22mm (9.83 grams) of Edessa in Macedonia
Reference: Sear GIC 28; B.M.C. 5.39,16
ΚΑΙΣΑΡ ΣΕΒΑΣΤΟΣ, Laureate head right.
ΕΔΕΣ / ΣΑΙΩΝ in two lines within laurel-wreath; Θ above.

Tiberius 14AD Philippi Macedonia City Foundation Scene Ancient Roman Coin i30519

Tiberius - Roman Emperor: 14-37 A.D. -
Bronze 18mm (4.18 grams) mint of Philippi in Macedonia 14-37 A.D.
Reference: RPC I 1657; BMC 89
TI AVG, Bare head of Tiberius right.
Foundation scene, two priests (pontiffs) plowing with two oxen right.

Claudius 41AD Province of Macedonia Ancient Roman Coin Macedonian shield i32126

Claudius - Roman Emperor: 41-54 A.D. -
Bronze 24mm (6.87 grams) from the Province of Macedonia 41-54 A.D.
Reference: RPC 1612; SGI 425.
TI KΛAVΔIOΣ KAIΣAP, bare head left.
ΣEBAΣTOΣ MAKEΔONΩN around the Macedonian shield.

TITUS & DOMITIAN CAESARS 77AD Stobi Macedonia Roman Coin Dionysus Temple i28335

Titus & Domitian as Caesars
Bronze 25mm (5.10 grams) of Stobi in Macedonia Struck 77-78 A.D.
Reference: RPC 311; Boric-Breskovic, Stobi, p. 29, Type 3; AMNG III –; Varbanov 3805
T CAESAR IMP DOMITIANVS CAESAR, Laureate and draped bust of Titus right vis-à-vis bare head of Domitian left.
MVNICIPI STOBENSIVM, tetra-style temple on podium with two steps; inside, Dionysus standing left; clipeus in pediment.

DOMITIAN 81AD Amphipolis Macedonia ARTEMIS Ancient Roman / Greek Coin i29397

Domitian - Roman Caesar: 69-81 A.D. Emperor: 81-96 A.D. -
Bronze 19mm (5.99 grams) of Amphipolis in Macedonia
Reference: RPC 341; SNG Cop. 100
AVTO KЄCAP ΔOMITIANOC, Laureate head right.
ΑΜΦΙΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ, Artemis Tauropolos standing left, holding long torch and branch, shield at her feet.

MARCUS AURELIUS 161AD Macedonia Koinon Shield Ancient Roman Coin i48742

Marcus Aurelius - Roman Emperor: 161-180 A.D. -
Bronze 18mm (5.58 grams) of Macedonia Koinon
Reference: Varbanov 3046 var. (head laureate), Moushmov 5890 var. (same), AMNG 283 var. (same)
Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
KOINON MAKEDOΔΟΝΩΝ around Macedonian shield.

Ancient coins of Macedonia

Ancient Macedonia Greek Roman Coins Guide and How-To by Numismatic Expert Dealer for Sale eBay

Ancient Roman Camp Gate CoinsDownload this article by right-clicking here and selecting save as

Article by Ilya Zlobin, world-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine coins and beyond.

For more great articles and videos on ancient coins, visit, or Click here to see all of my EDUCATIONAL COIN VIDEOS

How to Manage Store Display and Keep Track of Large Coin Collection & Supplies

How to Manage Store Display and Keep Track of Large Coin Collection & Supplies

Guide to staying Organized, getting Maximum Pleasure and even Showing Your Collection to Others

I am writing this article as an ancient coin expert, dealer and enthusiast of many years. I have worked with over 53,000 ancient coins. I have some simple techniques that make coin collecting fun and organized. This is geared for those that want to  manage their small to large coin collection with effectiveness and professionalism. I cover topics such as where to buy, how to keep records and how to organize and display your coin collection.

Shop with Reputable Coin Dealers

Certificate of Authenticity for Ancient Coins by Ilya Zlobin

Shop with a reputable ancient Greek and Roman coin dealer. It is best if he/she has a great track record and provide a guarantee of authenticity. Also a beautiful certificate is also an added bonus. A reputable seller would be happy to give a refund or exchange should professional coin grading companies or people such as David R. Sear or NGC find a coin is other than described.

Keep Records

When you buy coins, get the certificates of authenticity keep them in a standard vinyl binder in sheet protectors which you can get an any place they sell office supplies. You can also print out a receipt of the PayPal payment you sent and possibly the contact details of the seller you bought from. I have had personal experience when I purchased a coin from another dealer and since I did not keep the receipt at the time, it left a sour taste in both of our mouths when I had to return the coin, I knowing that I bought it from them and having no proof. So this would facilitate an easy return and refund as you kept a record of the item. This way you can buy from many different dealers, and also remember how much the item cost, should you want to sell it in the future, plus you have the description right there, should you want to place it on eBay or another venue. Another helpful technique is to write a little item number of the coin and write it on the little slip of paper that coin in the coin flip and having a list where you write the number where you kept it. Think also about this, a lot of collectors don‘t keep records and if they pass on and nobody in the family ever got involved with the coins, nobody knows how much they paid, so they may not got the price the original collector paid. Something worthwhile to think about. Keeping score is very important.

Keep Your Coin Collection Organized

I recommend keeping your coins in boxes that are of standard size a 2X2 inch standard. The coins themselves I recommend in non-plasticized coin flips, I recommend getting the package with the little papers so that if anything you can write info on those, such as how much you paid or corresponding to your record keeping system. If you want to display your coins, you can put them on a tray and enjoy their beauty. So below are the coin flips, trays and boxes I use everyday for storage and display of my coins:

These double pocket coin flips are available in 1 1/2, 2 × 2 and 2 1/2 inch sizes, some include paper inserts.Non-Plasticized flips are slightly more rigid than regular vinyl flips. They are considered safe for long term storage of your coins.

Organize and display your coins with our felt coin display trays, designed to be used with our Aluminum coin display case (above) or as a stand alone item. Measures 16 1/8″ x 10½“Our display trays are available for storing cardboard coin holders in 1½“ x 1½“ and 2″ x 2″ sizes and for slab coin holders in either a horizontal or vertical arrangement; or a full flat tray to use any way you like!

A plastic coin storage box for 2×2 cardboard or plastic coin holders.Features:

  • Triple Compartment Design
  • Blue color
  • Made with durable plastic
  • Measures 2¼“ x 9¼“

how to manage coin collection vide

How to Manage Store Display and Keep Track of Large Coin Collection & Supplies

Ancient Roman Camp Gate CoinsDownload this article by right-clicking here and selecting save as

Article by Ilya Zlobin, world-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine coins and beyond.

For more great articles and videos on ancient coins, visit,

The Types of SILVER Ancient coins of ROMAN REPUBLIC

Guide to Collecting Coins of the ROMAN REPUBLIC

The silver Roman coins before the emperors, prior to 27 B.C. Video presentation with how-to article

For almost 500 years (510-27 B.C.), Rome was a Republic and not a dictatorship as it turned into after Julius Caesar and the civil wars that followed. Over it’s evolution, Rome had many different coin types issued. This guide is to the silver coins of the Romans from the time of the Republic. Watch the video above for a great explanation on the topic and how to start collecting, along with examples of types available. All of the coins from the Roman Republic have a reference to a standard book on the subject, Roman Silver Coins Volume 1 by David R. Sear which is a must for any ancient coin library that is interested in the topic. Quite frankly it is the only book on you really need on the silver coins of the Roman republic, along with those of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Lepidus and even Augustus. The author, David R. Sear, adopted the standard that Ernest Babelon arranged them in 1885 for the quickest reference purposes.

This area of collecting is one of my personal favorites. There are many important coins dealing with historical events, great generals, important personages, the gods, the goddesses, festivals, architectural works, stories and so much more. However, just like with any topic, it is good to have a guide that will help you learn that it is more simple than you even thought to pursue the collecting of these types. The video you can watch , shows you many types and gets you familiarized with the subject. The list below, allows you to quickly search my store and learn more about the various types of coins according to what I have available at this time.

The coins shown on the video and much more can be seen here:

The List of the Moneyer Names

This part of the guide is designed to give you an easy way to search my eBay store with advanced search parameters, which search for the specific moneyer names below with the description that are in line with the book: Roman Silver Coins Volume 1 by David R. Sear. As you click each, you will be able to see any examples of that specific moneyer I have available. The goal of this list is to make it easy and fun to explore, learn and even put together a very comprehensive collection of ancient Roman Republican coins.

You can also do a search yourself in my store for by checking off the box that says „in titles & descriptions“ and then typing in specifically in quotes „“, the parameter like this: „reference: moneyernamehere“. This way if you are already proficient in the types and are looking for specific examples, you can find them yourself also without having to refer to this guide.

Guide to the Coins of the Roman Republic Video

Ancient Roman Camp Gate CoinsDownload this article by right-clicking here and selecting save as

For more great articles and videos on ancient coins, visit,

„Show me the money“: A look at investing in rare coins

„Show me the money“: A look at investing in rare coins

Having collectibles as an investment can be a great way to diversify your investment portfolio and minimize risk. The general rule of thumb is to invest in what you love when it comes to collectibles so that if your collection doesn’t realize a return, you still get to enjoy your collection.With uncertainty ever present in the public and private markets coupled with recession and other economic ups and downs, tangible assets, also known as hard assets, present a variety of options for investors who want to put money toward areas of their personal interest.

These may include income producing assets such as timberland, farmland, and commodities of all kind.  For more general information on investing in tangible assets, click here.

Collectibles are fast becoming a popular investment vehicle for those who have lost trust in the public stock markets or are tired of fluctuations. Tangibles allow an investment to appreciate in value over time, which appeals to investors; however, personal interest in a tangible asset remains the number one reason people choose to invest in collecting them. Rare coins are considered to be a commodity-like investment where sentimental value may exist, but coins are one tangible that can also produce attractive financial returns.

Note that there is a distinction between coins as bullion and coins as numismatics. Bullion has a higher ‘melt value’ – the value the metal would be worth if melted down. Numismatic coins, because they are often much older and made of various metals and components, have a lower melt value and are worth less when melted then they are in coin form. The general rule of thumb is to buy bullion for business, numismatics for fun.

This is the second in an AIMkts® series providing an introduction into various subclasses of antiques and collectibles.  This installment:  rare coins.

Why rare coins? 

People collect rare coins for the same reason people collect art, says Ilya Zlobin, ancient numismatic coin expert, dealer and enthusiast of “Rare coins, especially of the ancient Greeks and Romans capture the feel and the art of the time period [like] statues and architecture that have long been lost to history…” Also, says Zlobin, there is a very high upside resale potential should investors make the right buy for the right price.

“…Stories of exponential growth understandable stoke investor interest in the world of collectibles,” according to a 2012 Barclay’s report. However, “Relatively few wealth individuals own treasure solely for its financial characteristics. Investors that do seek financial returns on insurance from their treasure typically favor commodity-like items, such as precious metals, coins and jewelry.”

Once nicknamed “the hobby of kings“, collecting coins has become an everyman’s game thanks to a rise in numismatic scholarship, education, access to information and a growing sophistication of the general public over the last 500 years and is popularly referred to as “the king of hobbies”. For the average person, owning coins make possessing a piece of history remarkably accessible, and for those with an interest in antiquities, coins are more accessible, in general, than larger, tangible asset investments.

For beginners, collecting rare coins may seem daunting. Experts and experienced collectors offer this advice:

  • Specialize – Choose a particular emperor, denomination, theme or time period and use it to guide how you invest. Stay focused on a particular concentration and build within that. Financier Louis E. Eliasberg did just that and his collection got him listed among the world’s most famed collectors.
  • Scrutinize – Don’t just pick randomly from your choices. Know what you’re looking for and examine coins carefully to make sure they fit with the direction you’re taking your collection.
  • Study – Collectors shouldn’t just take the opinions or advice of sellers. Collectors should become experts themselves, studying up on values, denominations, rarity and other aspects of the area in which they intent to collection so as to make an informed decision when investing. Read trade magazines, talk to other collectors and learn what questions to ask. Never buy what you don’t understand. Study up on some coin collecting lingo here.
  • Start Small – Buying small will allow investors to start collecting without betting the farm. Buying large quantities of coins or buying high priced coins should only come with experience. While buying rare coins or coins minted with historically importance is ideal, amateur or inexperience collectors should never spend large amounts of money on coins they don’t understand. Collector and numismatics mentor Susan Headley notes, “If you can’t afford to shell out $2,000 [per] coin to buy…high grades, then buy common coins in the finest grades you can.”


Adding to that advice, we caution all coin investors to know their dealer. Investing in rare coins is as much as investment as putting money toward any asset class – trust is key. As a purveyor of rare coins, Zlobin notes that the grading scale is subjective one, with Good (G) being the lowest, to Very Good (VG), then Fine (F) followed by Very Fine (VF), followed by Extra Fine (EF) and finally, a perfect mint-state called Fleur-De-Coin (FDC).

The overall appearance of a coin and its appeal to buyers and sellers alike are all highly subjective matters and grading standards may vary. Well-known houses like Heritage Auctions provide some guidance and the Professional Coin Grading Service, among others, can give a point of reference as well, but keep in mind that very fine distinctions between coins will make a big difference in its worth, even thousands of dollars’ worth of difference for the smallest distinction. Subjectivity is considered to be one of the risks in rare coin investing.

“With many dealers and collectors, the coin’s state of preservation and aesthetic beauty are of paramount importance. In other words a beautiful coin is more desirable, and also much rarer in that state of preservation,” says Zlobin. “There are other things that are important for ancient numismatic coins, too, such as centering, the artistic beauty of the strike and its sharpness. Ancient coins were struck by hand, so a coin in fantastic preservation that is nicely centered and of an interesting historical character, period or city would have higher value.”

Speaking of risk…

“Caveat emptor” says Zlobin. “Deal with people that provide a guarantee and a good track record with their coins [and] with people you know and trust. Always ask for the best possible price.”

Just like any investment has inherent risk, coin collecting is no different. Are the risks any greater or less than investing anywhere else? Not if you invest in what you love, say collectors. “There are many reputable dealers out there,” says Zlobin “It is a very big advantage to deal with them, as many have knowledge and experience, and know that it’s just good business to sell only authentic coins.”

However, the Federal Trade Commission has issued warnings to help protect consumers from fraud. Read the warning here. False claims about grading, current value and buy back options are the most common ways investors lose money when collecting coins. “Examine coins in person. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to make a practical decision about buying a particular coin based on a photo or a conversation with the seller,” advises the FTC. “Check out any coin dealers in a search engine online. Read about other people’s experiences. Try to communicate offline if possible to clarify any details. In addition, contact your state Attorney General and local consumer protection agency.” And always get a second opinion.

Zlobin’s risk advice to investors is:

  • Always try to get the best possible price – Investing in rare coins doesn’t have to break your bank. Some dealers can give you breaks as the margins are often-times sufficient for everyone to be happy.
  • Be detached about the outcome of the deal – Do your best to secure a great deal, but be an investor that can also think as a collector. This way you win either way.
  • Keep records of how much you paid for a coin, and all receipts – This will give you a record of the coin’s grade, and purchase information.  Also, if you want to sell these investments and realize a profit, you’ll need to be organized.
  • Work with dealers willing to prove themselves – Some dealers provide a lifetime guarantee of authenticity, and some will issue certificates of authenticity.

Return on Investment

In general, investors can expect rare coins to have an investment horizon similar to most other investments – one that will last for a few months to many years. “I have seen ancient coins sold at one major auction house, to be sold just several months later and for more money at another auction house,” says Zlobin. “Yes, it is possible to make money rather quickly with intimate knowledge of the market [but] the money in ancient numismatic coins is made during the purchase of the item. A good rule of thumb is to always do your research and know that you can at least get what you paid for the coin back… With uncertainties about the valuations of all the global currencies, it is a good idea to hedge your net worth with this being a great avenue for storing wealth. Numismatic coins especially may carry a higher resale value than gold or silver bullion, as they are not as prone to those specific market fluctuations.”

There are professional numismatic reference sites, where investors can trace the price trends of many different coin types going back many years and get an idea of how certain coins will fare on the resale market. Although any investment carries risk, and although almost all dealers of any investment will tell you that “past performance is not an indicator of future results”, investors can make informed decisions about their coins by taking a look at how the pros have traced them through the years.

Is collecting rare coins for you?

So, who are the buyers of rare coins? For the most part, they are anyone who is interested in owning a tangible piece of history. “For ancient numismatic coins specifically, the historical value is very important,” Zlobin says. “For example, a Julius Caesar coin sells in any market in practically any condition. Another well-known name would be Alexander the Great.”

Coin collecting, known as “the king of hobbies” is an investment almost anyone can make. For serious investors, coins are a tangible asset that will provide diversity in an investment portfolio and help hedge against inflation as the value of rare coins is generally stable. “A lot of people don’t know this, but ancient coins are actually quite abundant,”according to Zlobin. Some celebrities and many other famous individuals are known to be avid coin collectors such as J.P. Morgan, the Hunt brothers hockey great Wayne Gretzky, Buddy Ebsen (aka “Jed Clampett”), and Nicole Kidman.

“Coins, especially numismatic coins, are a beautiful asset to have,” says Zlobin. “Think about how tough it would be to fit a huge painting or a statue or another heavy work of art in your pocket, but an ancient coin can be placed in your pocket, yet be worth quite a lot of money. So you can say the reason why coins are so popular is that they are the original form of money and will always have some sort of value, whether intrinsic or numismatic, or both.”

By Alicia Purdy, Contributing Editor, Accredited Investor Markets

Reprinted with permission from Accredited Investor Markets (

Ancient Roman Camp Gate CoinsDownload this article by right-clicking here and selecting save as

For more great articles and videos on ancient coins, visit,

CHARIOTS as shown on Authentic Ancient Greek & Roman Coins

Ancient Greek and Roman Chariots on Coins

Biga Ancient Roman Chariot Coin

See the different types of chariots depicted on coins of
ancient Greece and Rome

The ancient Greeks and Romans used the chariot for war, racing, processions and travel. On ancient coins, the chariot was featured being driven by emperors, important personages and even gods and goddesses. They were usually pulled by horses, but on ancient coins sometimes even by flying serpents and goats. There is a certain excitement associated with the chariot that is almost archetypal. The Latin word „carrus“ is the root of the English word „chariot“. Imagine the excitement the ancient spectators would feel as they saw chariots racing around the Circus Maximus in Rome or even other parts of the empire. Chariots are a fascinating topic of study and collecting. See the sights and feel the feeling with these authentic ancient coins depicting the chariot here.

Click here to see all coins with a chariot.

Biga Ancient Roman Chariot Coin
Triga Three Horse Chariot Ancient Roman Coin Triumphal Quadriga Four Horse Chariot Roman Coin Sol the Sun God in Four Horse Drawn Quadriga Chariot

Biga, Triga and Quadriga chariots on ancient ancient Roman coins. Biga means a two horse, triga means a three horse and a quadriga means four horse chariot.

A chariot pulled by goats!

By winged serpents, with this depiction of Triptolemus.

By even elephants! There is even a story about Pompey the Great who tried to use a chariot pulled by elephants for his triumphal march through Rome. It couldn‘t fit through the gates though, so he had to get on a regular chariot pulled by horses. There was a Greek general who had a battle on the streets of one of the Greek cities he tried to conquer. One of his commanders tried sending an elephant through the doorway into the city. However, the elephant got stuck and the re-enforcements could not come for the battle. Also it was Seleukos I of the Seleukid kingdom, who traded the territories Alexander the Great won in northern India for 500 War elephants. Hannibal also apparently used the war elephants. Alexander the Great battled elephants in India mounted by archers. Interesting and exciting creatures elephants are!

Interesting type issued for Constantine, for his deification, where he is pictured taking a quadriga (four horse) chariot up to heaven with the hand of God accepting him.

See also related:

Download this article by right-clicking here and selecting save as

Article by Ilya Zlobin, world-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine coins and beyond.