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.
India’s Kushan Empire gold dinar, Choice Extremely Fine
In contrast to Greek, Roman, and Byzantine coins, the various coins
of India’s Kushan Empire are not in the mainstream with U.S.
collectors. That is a shame, because this represents a fascinating
collecting area with expressive and interesting designs, and many
different gold types available at less than $1,000.
This gold dinar was issued by Vima Kadphises circa A.D. 100 to 127
or 128. It features a virile bust of the issuer, arising from the
clouds. The reverse depicts the Hindu god Siva (more specifically an
Ithyphallic Siva) standing, facing the viewer with his head turned
left, holding a trident and a he-goat skin. Heritage notes that it is
well centered and sharply struck, grading it Extremely Fine. It sold
for $3,525, below its estimate of $4,500 to $6,000.