When in Rome, Collect Roman Coins

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What Roman coins can I start my collection with?

When in Rome, Collect Roman Coins

The year 2000 gave us "Gladiator." ABC gave us "Empire." HBO gives us "Rome." Sad to say, Greek and medieval-themed epics haven't fared as well (think "Troy," "Alexander" and "Kingdom of Heaven.") What is it about the Greeks? Caesar is undoubtedly proud.

If you're a budding antiquities collector and a lover of world coins and foreign coins, what Roman coins can you collect? Some of our Roman recommendations and prices quoted on our favorite antiquities sites:

* Emperor Vespasian Sestertius (the basic Roman unit of money), 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., often sold for $390
* Silver denarius (another basic Roman coin) created in honor of Centurion Annius, 82-81 B.C, in Very Fine grade with a female bust, scales and a caduceus on the obverse and a chariot with horses on the reverse $135
* Marcus Porcius Cato, Republic/Imperitorial coin, silver denarius with Bacchus' head wreathed with ivy on the obverse, seated Victory goddess on the reverse, 89 B.C. Very Fine/Fine, $60
* From the decline: Valerian I, c. September 253 - April, May or June 260 A.D., draped bust right on obverse and ROME AETERNAE on reverse, Fair, $35

Let's not forget the coins with Antony and Cleopatra...but those are valued at $800-$1150 after the dealer collects the imperial overhead. And if an ancient Roman coin looks like it's been cleaned, take a grade off, but don't send the seller into the arena with the lions. Ancient Roman coins are an investment that won't "Rome" away.



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