World Coins

Harlan Berk updates ‘100 Greatest Ancient Coins’ book

The expanded third edition of Harlan J. Berk’s “100 Greatest Ancient Coins” is now available.

Images courtesy of Whitman Publishing.

The third edition of 100 Greatest Ancient Coins by Harlan J. Berk is now available from bookstores, hobby shops and online. This gives collectors the opportunity to add the previously elusive volume to their library, as the first two editions of the classic book are out of print.

American Numismatic Society vice president and adjunct curator David Hendin, who wrote the book’s foreword, offers his comments on the latest volume:

“The greatest thing about Harlan Berk’s 100 Greatest Ancient Coins — aside from the coins! — is that even family and friends of collectors will appreciate the fabulous photos of these treasures and Harlan’s concise historic explanations. Collectors fear not, however, since Harlan has also provided current scholarly information to satisfy them as well. He also gives us a book that covers Greek, Roman, and so-called Byzantine coins in a single, impressively entertaining and informative volume.”

Hendin also notes, “In this third edition, Harlan has paid special attention to updating his text on Tyre shekels, coins with portraits of Cleopatra VII, Athenian owl tetradrachms (a significant summary that updates dating theories and suggests that some later Athens types, once believed to be Athenian in origin, were actually struck in the ancient East), the Horseman staters of Tarentum, Brutus’s Eid Mar coins, Nero’s Port of Ostia sestertius, Titus’s Colosseum sestertius, Constantine IV folles, and the Judaea Capta sestertius. Photos of these coins and others have been upgraded to be even more fabulous than in previous editions.”

Berk is known as a serious collector with the qualifications to share the expertise. As a Chicago-based coin dealer, Berk maintains an extensive numismatic library at his office, entertaining collectors, researchers and scholars.

Berk notes that ancient coins “have been collected almost since they were issued. There is evidence that the leaders of some great cities issued wonderful artistic coins made by recognized artists so that future generations would know what height they reached.”

For those not as familiar with the fascinating area of ancient coins, the book includes a brief but excellent illustrated glossary of terms, locations and mythological and actual names. Detailed photography assists in coin recognition, and Berk explains how the values of the coins have evolved from the mid-20th century forward.

The book features additional information from previous volumes, including a section on cave paintings.

The 152-page hardcover coffee table book has a retail price of $34.95.

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