Rare Ancient Coins Fetch Modern Prices
While some of them may be acquired from disreputable sources, legitimate private collectors hold the vast majority of ancient coins. This has actually helped to open up quite a market for collectors. Numismatic dealers are often trained to spot fine examples of historical currency, and this also helps to increase the value that people will pay for a piece of interesting coinage.
Depending on the era a specific coin is from the price could really be through the roof. A gold 8-Aureus piece from around 308 AD once fetched well over $1.4 million. The coin depicts the Roman Emperor Maxentius, and was minted at a time when the Roman Empire was starting to experience serious problems.
Constantine defeated Maxentius in 312 AD, which makes coinage from his reign particularly valuable as very little was made. Pieces from late antiquity are equally as important, however. In fact these pieces may be even more valuable due to the uprisings that ransacked the Middle East and much of Europe during this time period.
A few year ago an Umayyad dinar from around 723 AD sold for over $6 million at an auction in the United Kingdom. This was one of the most rare of all coins from this particular time period, and probably struck to coincide with the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. In addition to this, a coin of archaeological interest from the Sultanate of Oman cast in 709 AD sold at the same auction. While it failed to capture the same price, it still fetched a good deal of money.
While these might be fairly extreme examples, there are plenty of cases where slightly more common ancient coins fall into collector’s hands. For instance, archaeological artifacts from ancient Egypt that were legally exported from northern Africa before the 1970 UNESCO treaty regarding antiquities are often considered fair game. Coinage cast in the late Ptolemaic period can often fetch around $300. Coins cast with the image of more famous rulers like Cleopatra VII tend to attract more attention from collectors.
That being said, no one should have to go out of his or her way to visit some exotic auction house. By selling to a buyer of rare ancient coins as HNEX.com, it’s actually possible to make a decent profit. Many of these coins sit alongside more modern proofs in portfolios, so looking over an old coin album might be a great idea.