Michael Bugeja

Online Coin Auctions

Michael Bugeja

Michael Bugeja, a coin collector since childhood, is a professor at Iowa State University and also a former member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. He is a nationally known author, journalist and educator.

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Bidding on Ancients in Online Estate Auctions

In a recent online estate auction, I was fortunate to snare several ancient coins at good discount, primarily because the audience was less knowledgeable about the worth of some of these treasures.

I won 12 ancients, including a Corinth stater and a rare Marc Antony and Octavia Cistophoric tetradrachm. (Later in his life Antony would divorce Octavia and pursue the famed Egyptian queen Cleopatra.)

Both of these coins were extra fine and rare. I paid about $500 for the two, but on the market, they sell for hundreds more.

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These and other coins were sent to NGC for authentication, which is essential whenever you purchase raw coins online. 

Here's an example of an NGC-slabbed Corinth stater selling for close to $3,000. Never pay that amount for an uncertified coin as there are counterfeits of ancients, too.

Corinth is known for two things in modern society. The Apostle Paul made missions to the city and Pegasus metamorphosed from mythical beast to Western Civilization icon, usually associated with poetry.

The winged stallion is one of the most recognizable figures from ancient myth.

The stater that I won with a bid of $250 (or $295 with buyer's premium) also features the goddess of wisdom, Athena, on the reverse.

Some hobbyists collect Corinth staters not only for their beauty but also for the different images of Pegasus and Athena. You can find dozens of them on this page of the ancient coin database wildwinds.com. 

Watch for an expanded Home Hobbyist column in Coin World when NGC returns my ancients.