Description and Cleaning Instructions - Ancient Coins
Treasure hunting is often the envy of most collectors and finding that one special coin is often the reason for the hunt. The charm in collecting uncleaned coins is that it gives the enthusiast the opportunity to discover, restore and collect Ancient coins that were once LONG LOST gems and unveil the"Diamond in the Rough"
It is truly a fascinating hobby which combines numerous areas of knowledge such as numismatics, ancient history and a feeling of treasure hunting (you never know what is under the dirt); learning new things, training mental agility, discovery (there are so many different types to discover including types and variations previously unknown) and handicraft (cleaning the coins).
Cleaning these coins is a fun process described below. Instructions will be included with each order. I guarantee that these coins are absolutely genuine! The coins are at least 1500 years old or OLDER!
Value of Ancient Coins - RARE
Many of these coins are scarce or rare and are sought after by the rich and by museums, as well as private collectors. Ancient Coins are ‘witnesses’ to the past and have aesthetic value as well. Only a certain amount of each of any kind of them were made, and there will never be any more of those original coins. The population of the world in ancient times was much smaller, and, therefore, less coins were minted. This automatically makes them much more rare and valuable than later coins.
Quality of the Ancient Coins
The coins are good quality. I guaratee that All uncleaned coins lots are unpicked by myself....what you will receive is what I received direct from the excavators in Europe. Nearly all of our coins are from the Roman Imperial era. (approx. 100 B.C. to 450 A.D.), a few are from earlier or later times. There are no broken coins in the lots, but small edge damage is of course possible.
The lots include all sizes coins from 10mm to 30 mm (Ases, Folli, Sestertii, Antoniniani, Maiorine, Denarii etc….). Very large coins over 27 mm are rare but have been distributed in these lots. The lots often includes silver and very rarely a gold coin but most of the coins are bronze. Gold coins are extremely rare.
In ancient times the coins were designed and struck by hand, every coin being struck using a die on white hot metal. As a result, all the coins are unique, because of the die and its amount of wear, the temperature of the metal, the centering of the die on the metal and the strength applied to the actual striking.
They make great gifts, interesting history projects, and an inexpensive introduction to ancient coins. Cleaning instructions for these coins can be review below. Additional I will included a copy of the cleaning instructions with every order.
HOW DO I CLEAN ANCIENT COINS?
Following is a list of cleaning methods:
General Cleaning- Your best friends in cleaning coins will be toothpicks, toothbrushes, soap, water, and patience. For cleaning in between letters, toothpicks work great, as do bamboo skewers. For the more seasoned cleaner, metal dental picks can be used also, but these run the risk of scratching a smooth patina. Plastic pointy objects (disposable utensils) also work, these take more time, but the patina is not scratched nearly as easily. Often, brass-brushes are needed. These should only be used to get rid of crud that is completely caked on, as the brush can destroy the patina as well.
Olive Oil - This one is simple enough. Place the coins in a container of olive oil (preferably not virgin) and allow them to soak for a while. How long depends on how dirty the coins are. This can take anywhere from a few weeks, to a few years. Over time, the oil penetrates the crud, and breaks it off of the coin. Any type of penetrating oil will work (i.e. WD-40). Have patience, the result is often worth the wait.
Distilled Water - This method is somewhat quicker than the olive oil, but it takes more effort. Place coins in distilled water (available at any grocery store) and allow them to soak for a day. The next day, change the old water out with fresh, distilled water. Repeat this for as long as you feel it is necessary. The distilled water ions attach themselves to the crud and break it off gradually. Many people have great success with this method.
Gringgotts Coin Cleaner - Invented by a friend of mine, this product has proven itself a valuable tool in cleaning coins. Follow the instructions on the label, and you can practically dissolve tough mud, or at least loosen it substantially. Completely safe for patinas.
Ultrasonic Cleaner - Some people have success with these, while others do not. It all depends on the model you get. The made-for-home-use types don’t do almost anything, while the industrial types will clean your coins by shaking the crud off of them.
Electrolysis - The plans for this are on the web. This method should only be used if everything else has failed totally. It will strip the patina off the ancient coins in no time, although occasionally it reveals a nice coin. This cleaning method only takes a few hours, but is generally frowned upon. A quick note about this- always use sodium bi-carbonate, never salt. This may take slightly longer, but it will be easier on the coin.
Glue Gun - This should be used only if the coin doesn’t have a flaky patina, or silvering. Simply apply the glue to a spot on the coin and allow it to cool. Peel the glue away. Some dirt may come off (this is good), or the glue may tear a sections of patina away (this is bad). Be warned: this is a quick way to really ruin a coin, and, like electrolysis, should only be used as a last resort.
Lye - Once again, a last resort method. You can buy lye under the name Red Devil drain cleaner. Be VERY CAREFUL- lye can blind you. Always wear gloves when handling lye. Follow the Instructions on the label, and put the coins in the solution. Cleaning can take a few weeks, but the results are often worth your patience. Lye will, more times than not, kill any patina and replace it with a brown/golden layer. Watch your coins very carefully for signs of pitting caused by the solution.
Rock Tumblers - Generally a no-no. A Rock tumbler may help to knock off some dirt, but it will also destroy patina, any details, and a possible attribution, just as quickly.
Silvered Ancient Coins
Soap and Water - This is generally the only way to clean silvered and silver-plated coins, without damaging the silver.
Ammonium - Windex works fine. This will clean the ancient coin without damaging the silver.
Lemon Juice - This works great on hard to clean silver coins. Simply leave the coin in the juice until the desired amount of crud has been removed. It’s recommended that you the give the coin a quick scrub every now and then, and rinse it off with fresh water.
Lye -Works as is stated above. Lye can clean silver coins better than almost anything except hand cleaning. It will leave luster, and toning intact. Once again, BE CAREFUL!
Renaissance Wax - Follow the instructions on the label. Ren-Wax can preserve a coin indefinitely and protect it from Bronze Disease. Many of my friends have found it extremely effective.
A note about Safes - If you have a valuable collection you may consider buying a safe. Research this topic carefully! Many safes keep documents safe during a fire by sealing in moisture. Moisture can cause bronze disease, and often other things that could destroy your coin.
This is caused by chlorine reacting with moisture in the air to form Hydrochloric acid. BD usually appears as a green powder on the surface of coins. Over time, BD will destroy the coin, and needs to be treated aggressively. Treatment is as follows:
Brush away the green powder and then boil them in distilled water with sodium carbonate (washing soda, but Gringgotts works well too). Allow them to soak and cool overnight. Repeat this process three times. Dry them out using either rubbing alcohol or low heat, or both, and seal with wax if you can.
How to Identify Ancient Coins/Market Value
After cleaning, the coins can be identified , a book (e.g. by David Sear or David VanMeter) or using auction catalogs which can often be bought quite cheaply on ebay. There are literally thousands of different coins from over 200 Roman emperors. Some types of coin have over 1,000 different variations. Every emperor and empress issued his or her own coins in numerous values and variations. The general value, or value class is often given in books, as well as on Wildwinds.com although the values given in books older than 3-4 years old (which gives values from $15-$10,000) can no longer be fully relied upon, due to the number of hoards currently being found. Normal values these days are between $15 and $200 for nice, not over-cleaned examples.
Why Ancient Roman coins are a good investment
Roman coins have been collected for about the last 100 years. Before 1960 there were very few found and these were mostly sent to museums, and so it was extremely difficult for collectors to get hold of them. But once electronics came to the assistance of detectory, the export began to grow. At first they came from Yugoslavia, the Lebanon, and, as Communism ended and borders were re-opened, also from Eastern Europe, where they were found in huge numbers and exported. The prices at first were lower than they are today because of the sheer numbers being found.
During that time there were a few people who earned a lot of money by buying millions of coins on spec, as it were and simply putting them into storage. Amongst these people were some US soldiers serving in Bosnia after the civil war there who smuggled huge numbers of cheap coins into the US when they returned home.
The past few years has seen a slight increase in price (also in view of inflations). Recently there has been the threat of a shortage because less and less coins are now being found and so the prices are going up. There will always be a demand for Ancient Roman coins but it is very likely that soon there will be no more large numbers available. When that time arrives the prices will rise sharply because there is no longer the supply to fill the demand. That is when the hamsters will begin to draw from the coins they have feretted away and sell them at high prices. And when those have been sold, the price will take another jump upwards.
You still have the chance of buying uncleaned Roman coins at a sensible and acceptable price. The assurance that these make a good investment comes from the fact that their value will increase faster than inflation.
Shipping within the Continental US: Ancient Coins
1-10 Coins $9.85 11-30 Coins $18.85 31-60 Coins $24.95
61-100 $34.85 101-250 Coins $50.00 250+ Coins (All orders must be emailed FIRST)
We delicately pack and handle all of our items. We take pride in how we handle our items....we guarantee secure and delicate packaging. Items are shipped between 4-6 days from when payment is received. Overnight shipping can be purchased upon request (you must email us before ordering for overnight packages).
International Shipping: Ancient Coins
1-10 Coins $14.85 11-30 Coins $23.85 31-60 Coins $29.95
61-100 $39.85 101-250 Coins $55.00 250+ Coins (All orders must be emailed FIRST)
International shipping takes longer then shipping within the Continental US. We delicately pack and handle all of our items. We take pride in how we handle our items....we guarantee secure and delicate packaging. Items are shipped between 4-6 days from when payment is received. Overnight shipping can be purchased upon request (you must email us before ordering for overnight packages).