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A Guide To Buying Ancient Artifacts Online

Updated on November 2, 2011
Byzantine Bracelet
Byzantine Bracelet | Source

A lot of buying of ancient items begins and ends with knowledge. Many people don't even know they can purchase ancient artifacts and antiquities online and at a good price. Ever since the advent of the internet the world in general has changed and been pulled together as a unified place. The saying "it's a small world" truly applied to this coming together. The world of buying and selling is no different now with the entire planet being able to sell to one another things that would be impossible to find locally are now easily purchased. Due to the availability of many such items the benefit to the buyer has become much lower prices.

With any purchase whether it is ancient in origin of simply an everyday item there is always the chance that what you are getting is not necessarily what is advertised. So one must thoroughly educate themselves before making a purchase. This is especially true when purchasing ancient artifacts or coins.

If buying on Ebay steps should be taken to seek out a reputable seller. Check to see if they are a power seller, how long they have sold on Ebay, how many negatives and positives they have this will tell you if they are safe to purchase from. You can find all this information by clicking on the sellers name in any Ebay auction.

Most of the pictures from this article are from a single auction currently running on Ebay from a seller who has been there since 2002 and is a power seller with 4725 feedbacks. If you are in the mood to bid check the link for it below.

Roman Rings(one with a key
Roman Rings(one with a key | Source

Another best practice is to educate yourself on artifacts that were used during the period that are being sold. For instance if someone is advertising an iron sword supposedly made during the era of the Minoan Civilization (2700 - 1500 BC) you will know it is a fake. The Minoans were a bronze age culture and iron was not smelted in that part of the world until hundreds of years later.

Items from the Roman era are often crude today as they have undergone varying degrees of rust throughout the centuries. A lot of their tools were simple from firestarters, daggers, rings, buckles, brooches and of course coins.

Byzantine / European Crosses
Byzantine / European Crosses | Source

With Byzantine or medieval European artifacts and antiquities you will find a lot of detail and intricacies and since these are younger much less degradation. Common items from the Byzantine era include crosses, Christianity was huge in the Byzantine Empire for nearly a thousand years and many households has several or more crosses and other christian adornments. Bracelets, rings and other types of jewelry for both men and women were also quite common.

Medieval Europe was influenced heavily by the Byzantine Empire during the centuries adopting Christianity as well. Crosses were still a common item but many more types of items appeared.

Overall the bottom line is to know what you are buying to take the guesswork out of it. You can if you read up. Happy hunting.

Roman Firestarter/Striker
Roman Firestarter/Striker | Source


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    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      James Lengi - well if you read the article it should help you too :)

    • profile image

      James Lengi 5 years ago

      I have artifacts for sale ...any help?

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      lionel1 - hope it helps, buying artifacts online is a great past time :)

    • lionel1 profile image

      lionel1 6 years ago

      Great guide terrektwo, a really informative post. Thanks.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      terrisani - your right you should really know that dealer you buy from for sure and I think ancient cultures would be very pleased yes :)

    • terrisanzi profile image

      terrisanzi 6 years ago from illinois

      it's amazing that you don't have to leave the comfort of your home to reach out and get a slice of history delivered to your front door. Since the beginning of time people were selling relics and there were some unsavory characters cheating their customers. I think it's extremely important to do your research and knowing your dealer is important as well. Its amazing that these objects can hang in your home as decoration. I think the ancients would be pleased. very interesting!

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Most coins and artifacts come from eastern Europe a lot of wars were fought in that region and a lot of over lapping borders have existed from kingdoms and empires over time. From the greeks, Romans, Byzantine, Ottoman Empires and others. I have a feeling that even in England not everyone that runs into a large clay pot in their garden filled with Roman coins worth a million dollars would tell the authorities. As there are no laws in North America or Europe prohibiting the sale of such items it would be an easy task to sell them on Ebay.

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

      Where do people get these things from? In England if you find something very old like this, then it is treasure trove and must be reported to the authorities even if you find it on your own land.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Well things to consider in that respect is that any accredited organization that verify and draw up papers can charge hundreds of dollars for a single item. It isn't worth it to any Ebay sellers to do this when the item they sell if normally sold for less than it would be to have them authenticated by the proper professionals. This said one really needs to simply educate themselves. It is fairly easy to tell what is fake and what isn't. Many Ebay sellers offer what they call a "certificate of authenticity" but keep in mind that is just a piece of paper from the seller saying it is what it is (which is what was already said in the listing) these are not legal documents and are worthless. Just gives novices a peace of mind.

    • rick combe profile image

      rick combe 6 years ago from USA

      Do these things come with paperwork? It seems a little risky to order artifacts online on a faith basis. Still an interesting article.


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