Tag Archives: roman coins

The Short Guide to Collecting Roman Coins

Most collectors love ancient coins. There’s something special about being able to hold a coin that’s thousands of years old!

Of all ancient coins, it’s safe to say Roman coins are the most popular. And that’s exactly why we offer a great selection of Roman coins and rings in our store. Today we’ll go into a little more detail about what our most popular Roman coins and rings are really all about.

AE 1&2 Uncleaned Romain Coins (19-32mm Diameter)

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When you see “AE”, it’s identifying the Latin name of the metal. AE comes from the Latin “aes” and stands for bronze or brass. These late Roman coins are extremely rare, and the ones we sell range in size from 19-32mm. Buy them here.

Wearable Cleaned Ancient Roman Rings

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The ancient Romans were known for their jewelry. Rings were fashionable for both women and men, and different rings often meant different things. Be it a gladiator, scholar, nobleman, or centurion — you can now own the ring of someone once in power. Most of our rings consist of bronze, but there are also some silver and copper ones you have a chance of receiving as well. Buy them here.

Uncleaned Byzantine Cup Coins

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The theory behind the Byzantine Cup coins is tough to explain… there’s no clear reason as to why their coins were designed this way. This design dates back to the 11th century under Emperor Constantine IX. These coins are extremely unique in their shape and the way they often have interesting detail. We have both large and small coins. We sell them both in lots.

Emperor Constantine Cleaned & Slabbed Roman Coins

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Speaking of Emperor Constantine, these coins date back to approximately 330 AD. This was around the tail end of Constantine’s building of a new imperial capital at Byzantium, which you may know as Constantinople. Constantine reigned until 337. These beautiful and rare coins come in coin holders, so you don’t even need to worry about buying cases. Buy them here.

 

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on .

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How to Clean Roman Coins

ancientromancoinUnlike certain modern coins, Roman coins have significant intrinsic value. For most of its lifetime, Roman currency consisted of gold, silver, brass, and copper coinage. However, many Roman coins are more valuable than their precious metal content.

Due to their age, Roman coins often have patina, which is a colored layer, usually green or brown that has built up over the centuries. When cleaning your Roman coins, it’s important not to remove the patina. Removing the patina can decrease the coin’s value and you risk damaging the coin.

There are many ways to clean ancient coins. What may work for one, may not work for another. Here’s a list of cleaning techniques that can help preserve your Roman coins:

    1. Let your coins sit in distilled water for 24 hours. Note: distilled water is not the same as tap water. You can purchase distilled water at your local grocery store. After letting them soak, rub them gently with a soft bristle toothbrush.
    2. Next, categorize coins into good, average and worst. The coins that look the worst, or are still very dirty, should be returned to the distilled water. Let these coins sit for another 24 hours or until you start to see a change.
    3. Fill a bowl with olive oil – try not to use Extra Virgin olive oil as the regular stuff often provides better results. For the good coins, olive oil alone should do the trick. However, for the average to worst coins, add half a teaspoon of lemon juice to the mix. The coins can sit for up to 48 hours, or until the oil goes green and thick with muck. Then rinse the coins off with distilled water and return them to a new bowl of olive oil.
    4. After a few days of this process, you should start to see some good results. Once coins look in good condition clean them all off with distilled water and a soft toothbrush. At this point, you can probably pick the dirt and encrustations off with a tooth pick. However, be very careful so that you do not damage the coin.
    5. Finally, store your newly cleaned coins in protective gear. This may include individual coin holders or sleeves. For long term storage, use coin tubes or hard plastic holders. Make sure your coins are fully dry before storage. Dampness and pollution can damage valuable, ancient coins.

There are other extreme methods of cleaning Roman coins such as ultrasonic cleaning and electrolysis. While these are both effective coin-cleaning tactics, they can damage the patina or the surface of the coin. I would only use these methods as a last resort effort. That being said, if a crusty coin cannot be cleaned with conventional methods it may be best to leave the coin as is.

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on 

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