Buying Ancient Roman Coins On Ebay
First published April 19, 2010
at Hubpages.com as
'Ancient Roman Coins on Ebay'
There are many points to cover regarding the finding and winning of ancient
Roman coins on Ebay. Without a doubt, the most important point is
whether the coin is an authentic ancient coin that was stamped during the
reign of Caesar, Caligula, Constantine or the like. Is it the real
thing made by romans and their slaves centuries in the past?
Regarding coins, Fraud is an attempt at selling something as authentic
without it being so. It is a lie.
Ebay is a fair market platform where dishonest and despicable sellers might
seek an opportunity to steal and cheat. I believe that Ebay is doing
as good a job as can be expected while trying to maintain a free market
Reid Goldsborough at reidgold.com,
in the article titled ‘Coin Fraud', but linked on a previous page as
'How to Avoid Coin Fraud on eBay' states ‘The FBI, on the other hand,
has contended that the figure is much higher. As a part of its "Operation
Cyber Loss" project, it determined that the rate of online auction fraud
is about one in a hundred, or 1 percent. This is a very high rate of fraud,
a whopping 400 times higher than what eBay contends.’. I must say
in defense of eBay, that the FBI was concerned with 'online auctions...',
not eBay in particular. As often is the case, the truth most likely
lives between the two data.
I have never received a counterfeit coin that I am aware of, and only once
have I failed to receive the coin I won. In this case, I failed to
follow my own guidelines. Do your research, and findout who is, and
is not, a reputable, and trustworthy seller. Don’t let counterfeits
scare you off, or stop you from enjoying the wonderful feel of an ancient
coin in hand that might have been spent, seen, or touched by history and
history makers. Rg.ancients.info is
a great place to begin your education. Knowledge emancipates and
empowers more than any other single thing.
Once the coin has been determined to be authentic, you must figure out
what the coin is worth, what you are willing to pay for it, and how to
increase the chances that your bid will be the winning bid. First
set the price you are willing to pay for a coin, and stick to it.
I mean this. I try.
It is important that you know how to search for ancient coins on Ebay.
Coin finding strategies, for my part, are important and add to the fun
Finding the coin you are seeking can be a treasure hunt. If you are
lucky, you might find a coin poorly listed that gets little attention.
In this case, a low bid might be enough. I have acquired coins at
a 10th of their market value. Not often, but a few times, and with
that said, be aware that a 10th of the market value is a third, or half,
of what you might be able to get if you try to sell it. That is a
profit, but are you going to sell it; most likely not. Those who
successfully, and honestly acquire coins to sell at a profit do so by way
of years of experience, broad knowledge, networks, and finacial resourses
that do not describe me or the average collector. More power to them.
They make it possible for amateur collectors to build collections worth
handing down to their kids, family, and friends.
I started collecting in 1957. While building my collection, I always bought
coins with the intention of never ever selling them. Never!! Ever!!
With that said, I confess that I sold 90% of my collection in 1965 in order
to finance my move out of my parent's house, pay rent and deposit, and
begin my university education; and be on the beach in order to surf.
It took decades to get over my feeling of loss., but I did; for the most
part. (It is wiser to prepare for your next mistake, than brooding over
My strategies and bidding on eBay:
How should a collector bid on a coin? The most widely know strategy
is to open a tab to view a listing by way of constant refreshing of the
page, and have another tab with the same listing, but with your greatest
bid ready to submit. You watch the progress of the listing on the first
tab, and click you max bid on the second tab. Clicking in your bid on that
second tab is about timing. With that said, it is very important
to have a very fast computer, or two, and, even more important, to have
an internet connection that has a very fast ping, and delivery.
I seldom pay more than than the market value for coin. However, desire
is very influential. When I find ‘that’ coin, and, if 'that' coin is
in a condition that will increase the average quality of my collection,
my desire takes flight. I’m usually willing to go as high as 25%
over my estimation of it’s market value.
I often bid on coins in poorer and worn condition for many reasons.
They are rarely counterfeit, less expensive, and show and convey the actual
touch of history in their wear, patina, dirt, and scars. For years,
I carried a dupondius issued by Hadrian in my pocket as a talisman.
It is worn smooth, can only be identified because Hadrian’s profile is
so easy to identify, has the goddess Moneta on the reverse, and is beautiful
to look at, and a pleasure to wonder about. It is a wonderful large
chunk of history that only cost me $8 in a coin store in San Francisco.
So how are the prices on Ebay compared to the prices you might expect in
the larger world market? I believe they are at fair market value
for the extremely coveted coins in gold, or the very rare favorites in
or near uncirculated condition. The popular and common coins are
bargains, but not at an insignificant cost for many of us. I’m
talking about a coin like Caligula’s ‘Vesta & Livia’ issue that
is very common in all conditions, but so popular that bidding can sometimes
send a coin out of the bargain category. But for me, the real runaway
bargains are the coins of the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. These coins
are very old, often in great condition, common to the extreme, and filled
with history. Emperor Probus, Aurelianus, Constantine the Great,
and Licinius are fine examples where coins in nearly mint condition can
be acquired for the value of a dinner, or a tank of gasoline; and not nearly
as fattening or polluting.
Probus, Rome, AE Antoninianus AD 278
Obverse: IMP PROBVS AVG, Radiate bust left, wearing
imperial mantle and holding eagle-tipped sceptre.
Reverse: SOLI INVICTO, Sol driving quadriga left.
Mintmark R-dot in crescent-B
Ref: RIC 202
By: Anthony Ballatore
Roman Emperors & their Coins
Ancient Roman Coins On Ebay
When, where & why were coins first made?
The Story of Romulus and Remus & The Birth of Rome
The Roman Republic
Julius Caesar and the Death of the Republic
Augustus Caesar: The First Roman Emperor
Tiberius Caesar: The First Julio-Claudian Heir
Caligula: The first really crazy Caesar
8) Claudius: A level headed Caesar?
9) Nero: The Last Julio-Claudian Heir
Websites worth knowing:
By far the single best location for identifying, evaluating, and touring
ancient coins. This link will direct you to their seach engines. Enjoy.
Along with WildWinds, this is a site of the highest regard, accurate
information, and ethical policies; 'AUTHENTICITY GUARANTEED FOR ETERNITY'
says it all.
Frank S. Robinson is a unique individual. I have more respect for Mr.
Robinson than any other coin dealer. His book 'The Case for Rational
Optimism' (2009) will most likely leave you with this same perspective.
If his book doesn't, dealing with him will. He is often mistaken for Neil
J. Berk, Ltd.
Located in Chicago, Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. is an excellent location for
both common and rare coins; often of
Reid Goldsborough's web pages are well written, educational, the first
site to read regarding counterfiet coins. This site is hosted for free
A commercial coin and information site established December 3, 1998.
Their code of ethics and years of operation speaks loudly.
Another commercial coin and information site.
One of our sites dedicated to pens, ink, quills, books, writing, reading,
history, and anything else that envolves language, art, and ideas.
Here are my guidelines for judging the authenticity, value, and significance
of a coin, and how to bid in a way that increases your chance of winning
Everything about coin collecting orbits around authenticity. Above all,
the experience, reputation and credentials of the seller is a strong indicator.
An Ebay seller’s time with Ebay, feedback percentage & number of
sells is a good indicator to judge honesty and ethical conduct. It is no
easy job selling to hundreds and thousands of individuals, and maintain
a percentage above 97%. Make sure that a guarantee of authenticity is stated.
NEVER bid on a coin when the seller says they can not guarantee its authenticity.
This is against Ebay rules, but not aggressively enforced by Ebay.
Ebay rules state: 'Sellers should make sure that their items are authentic
before listing them on eBay. Sellers may not disclaim knowledge of, or
responsibility for, the authenticity or legality of the items they offer
in their listings. If a seller cannot verify the authenticity of an item,
it can't be listed on eBay.'; (Statement located at LINK).
I see many coins listed with this statement, and move on immediately. What
clients say about a seller is extremely valuable. And what is written about
the coin you are considering is also valuable. As you read what collectors
and experts have said about a coin, you will start to gain confidence that
you understand if it is authentic or not. Is the coin valuable enough to
Determining the value is where the fun really takes off. As you do your
research, you will learn about the coin’s history, popularity, significance,
and, of course, value. There are many ways to determine what a coin is
worth, but to my mind, the best source of information is Wildwinds and
Forum Ancient Coins. Both Wildwinds and Forum Ancient Coins links to archives
and sellers with sound information, and ethical standards of practice.
They are easy sites to use, educational, and are an all around effective
tool. I have gotten lost in curiosity and pleasure studying one coin and
then another; following links and enjoying the hunt; the education.
Reading about emperors and events; heroes and villains; watching videos,
movies, and TV series about the history that is the coin in your hand is
satisfying, and very educational for the kids. Another possible source
for value of a particular coin, and a great source for values and images
of coins in general, and books, is Frank Robinson’s auctions. Links to
these site are on most of the pages of Vrbs Roma.
I don’t have a lot to say on this point. Most people already know how
to ‘snipe’ an auction. Sniping, described above, is to place a bid
in the last few seconds of an auction so no counter bid can be placed.
Often a swarm of bidders are doing this, so good luck.
Good luck, and happy collecting!
Books are a great way to gather information about coins and emperors. Wayne
B. Sayles & David R. Sears are two of the most respected authors on
coins, emperors and history, and Frank S. Robinson's book on collecting
coins is an insightful and interesting read with very good advice for beginners.