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Guide To Buying Ancient Coins Online

Updated on October 16, 2013
Roman Coin
Roman Coin | Source

The availability of ancient coin, Roman, Greek, Chinese and medieval European coins have become wide spread online. Previous to the advent of internet selling ancient coins were more of a dream for most something that could be procured for sure but each coin costing a few hundred dollars or more. Due to the worldwide network created by Ebay large amounts of ancient coins are sold each week much of it excavated by average people that live in those areas.

A good deal of these coins come out of eastern Europe where times are tough and if you have found such things which is quite common in these areas it is best to sell them to feed and clothe your family as opposed to holding on to them as keepsakes. In eastern Europe over the past few thousand years there has been a never ending overlap of empire borders from the Greeks, Romans, Byzantine, Islamic, Ottoman and other smaller kingdoms. Many wars were fought in these areas and fortunes gone missing just waiting to be found. It isn't uncommon for someone to be digging in their garden and run into an old box full of Roman coins.

When buying any sort of ancient coins it is always good to be very thorough in choosing. There are occasionally fakes that circulate and are sold alongside true coins. If you have a keen eye though it is easy enough to pick out said fakes.


When buying Roman coins you will find that there are very common ones and others that are very rare. You will find primarily bronze and many will be of AE3 scale size. The most common rulers are from the Constantine Era: Constantine I the great, Constantine II, Constantius II, Constantius Gallus, Constans, Julian, Valens, Valentinian and a few others. During this period there was a very high amount of coins minted.

Below you will find some excellent low priced Roman coins that would make excellent gifts. These below are on currently on auction and this is continually updated.


Greek coins are available on Ebay but do keep in mind coins from Greek kingdoms and others from this period are well over 2000 years old and as such are not extremely well detailed. Those that do have discernible details will often be very expensive. You will find fewer greek coins available than Roman because of the larger size of the Roman empire.

Below you will find some excellent low priced Greek coins that would make excellent gifts. These below are on currently on auction and this is continually updated.

Half Follis Byzantine Coin
Half Follis Byzantine Coin | Source


When the Roman Empire had conquered most of Europe it expanded even further and took over much of the middle east. When the western half of the Roman empire fell to the germanic peoples of Europe the remaining middle eastern empire became what was known as the Byzantine empire. Byzantine coins are almost as readily available as Roman coins as the Byzantine Empire lasted for a thousand years. Most of these coins stamped with a large M, K, I etc. are thicker and larger than roman coins, often have a lot more weight to them.

Below you will find some excellent low priced Byzantine coins that would make excellent gifts. These below are on currently on auction and this is continually updated.

Spanish Colonial Era Maravedis Coin
Spanish Colonial Era Maravedis Coin | Source


Many of these are at least as rare as medieval coins if not more so. The coins represent the era in which European countries such as Britain, France, Spain and others attempted to establish colonies in North and South America. Over time the french and Spanish would take a back seat to the British in North America while Spain would dominate Central and South America.

Many coins from New Spain, New France and early New England are available for purchase on Ebay.

Late Medieval Coin
Late Medieval Coin | Source


After the fall of the western Roman Empire during the 4 - 5th centuries Europe splintered into many different kingdoms. Some of these were as small as a single city or region others several cities or whole country size all minting their own coins. Many are very rare and even more sought after than Roman or Greek due to the rarity. Some of these I find to be the most enjoyable researching and trying to figure out where they were minted.

Below you will find some excellent low priced Medieval coins that would make excellent gifts. These below are on currently on auction and this is continually updated.

Hopefully this guide has helped. To anyone considering getting into collecting or selling ancient or medieval coins or just learning more about history through coins good luck to you.


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    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Peter Allison - hope it helps, I really enjoy roman coins and collecting in general. This should get you started for some low priced roman and medieval coins for sure.

    • Peter Allison profile image

      Peter Allison 5 years ago from Alameda, CA

      Awesome post. I don't collect coins but kind of aspire to it. I bought a cool Roman Claudius era coin from an auction and have wanted to expand. This is a good primer!

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      glad you like it, I really enjoy the history of fallen civilizations as well so I don't think it's weird. Hope the guide helps you :)

    • OutsideTheLines profile image

      OutsideTheLines 6 years ago from Tulsa, OK

      This is FANTASTIC! It couldn't have come at a better time. I have a huge thing for ancient artifacts from fallen civilizations (weird niche. I know.), and genuine tribal pieces and this week I have been looking in to buying some genuine artifacts and I stumbled across some sellers selling things like this. The only reason I didn't buy on the spot is because I was unsure of the authenticity, but one that I can use this as a guide I will definitely be purchasing some in the near future! Thanks :)