Collectors of U.S. coins will sometimes turn to ancient and world
coins when they feel that they’ve exhausted their collecting options.
The introduction of U.S. collectors to this field is often by chance.
Perhaps they have seen a coin in a dealer’s case that interests them,
or maybe they stumble across a lot in an auction catalog. That there
is third party grading for these coins gives U.S. coin buyers
confidence. Here are three fascinating old gold coins from ancient
cultures that might appeal to U.S. collectors, from Heritage’s recent
Chicago International Coin Fair auction.
Circa A.D. 65 to 695 Byzantine Justinian II gold solidus, Mint State
Gold coins from the Byzantine Empire are often a gateway ancient
coin for U.S. collectors in that handsome, common examples can sell
for less than $500. Like all coins, there are more exceptional
representatives that bring many multiples of this, but even great
Byzantine coins can sell for less than a modestly circulated 1907
Saint-Gaudens, High Relief double eagle.
For example, Heritage’s April 9 CICF auction saw this gold solidus
from the first reign of Justinian II (A.D. 685 to 695), graded by
Heritage in the catalog as lustrous Mint State, bring $5,170 against
an estimate of $4,000 to $5,500. It’s notable as being the first
numismatic representation of Jesus and the obverse image of Christ was
possibly based on the image in the apse of the Great Palace of Constantinople.