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100 Greatest Ancient Coins


SKU: 1350002
MODEL: 0794846327
ISBN 13: 9780794846329
ISBN 10: 0794846327
EAN: 9780794846329
BARCODE: 9780794846329
Regular Price: $29.95
Sale Price: $22.49
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Emperors and assassins, owls and turtles, gods and goddesses, brave heroes and villainous rogues—all of these and more await you among the 100 Greatest Ancient Coins. In this beautifully illustrated second edition of his award-winning book, Harlan J. Berk, one of the world’s best-known ancient-coin dealers, takes you on a personal guided tour of the numismatic antiquities of Greece, Rome, the Eastern Roman (so-called Byzantine) empire, and other parts of the ancient world.
The first edition of 100 Greatest Ancient Coins earned the Numismatic Literary Guild’s prestigious award for “Best Specialized Book on World Coins.”

New in the second edition:

  • a foreword by British numismatist and author Italo Vecchi, who calls the book “a remarkable catalog of 100 exceptional coins” and “invaluable for all serious ancient-numismatic academics, historians, dealers, and amateurs alike”
  • coin-by-coin essays updated with the latest research
  • many improved photographs
  • new narrative on “How to Collect Ancient Coins, and What to Avoid,” written in Berk’s engaging style, with real-world guidance from his 55-plus years of experience
  • a three-page image gallery of denominations of ancient coins, showing 55 Greek, Roman, and Byzantine coins—gold, silver, bronze, and copper—ranging in size from the tiny 4.5 mm obol to the hefty 47 mm silver dodecadrachm
Collectors will be immersed in the fascinating world of ancient coins:
  • how to get started
  • where to find ancient coins
  • how to specialize
  • wise long-term decision-making
  • storage and insurance
  • buying online
  • how to authenticate ancient coins
  • grading, with illustrations from perfect Fleur de Coin (FDC) to worn Good condition
  • assigning value to ancient coins
  • the importance of artistic quality
  • numismatic organizations
  • recommended books, both general and specialized
Coffee-table-size, Hardcover, full color, with enlarged photographs and stories for every coin.

Edition: 2nd
Publication Date: March 2019
Size: 10x15
Pages: 144

CoinWeek Says:

Classical numismatic study goes hand-in-hand with the study of antiquity and the classics. It is hard to find a collector with a passion for one without a similar passion for the other. And because the scope of ancient collecting is so broad and details within a given area of study so granular, one seldom expects to find the type of presentation that Harlan J. Berk provides readers in this significant work aimed at a mass audience.

In this book, Berk not only details the importance of these 100 coins from the perspective of circulation, culture, technological innovation, and beauty but also provides the reader with a clear picture of what circulating money would have looked like in the ancient world and how each of the denominations fit in. Whitman’s visual layout continues to stand out, and the pages devoted to the denominations of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine coins are reference worthy and would make a great poster for the ancient coin obsessed.

In addition, the book’s front matter lays out in clear English many important aspects that one must consider before indulging in the collecting of ancient coins. Berk is a seasoned collector and dealer and his insights go beyond the typical dealer platitudes and bromides. There is good advice to be had here, from getting started, to buying online, to dealing with authentication of ancient material (a tricky subject), and which reference websites and books are essential to collectors starting out.

Each of the 100 Greatest coins listed in the book is featured with top tier photographic enlargements. These photographs are on par with Andreas Pangerl’s amazing Portraits: 500 Years of Roman Coin Portraits (2017). Both works provide serious eye candy and insights for the devotee, but Berk’s book spans the great coinage of the entire ancient world and costs considerably less. We’d go so far as to recommend the Berk book first and then if your appetite is not sated, pick up a copy of Pangerl.

Another wonderful bit of presentation is provided in the appendix, Where Whitman illustrates Berk’s entire 100 Greatest list in order to scale. Viewing these coins side-by-side adds tremendously to the presentation and leaves us feeling that after reading the book’s 138 pages that we’ve got a much richer appreciation and perspective on what would otherwise be one of the most difficult and impenetrable branches of numismatic study.

It is for these reasons and more that we give Harlan J. Berk’s second edition of 100 Greatest Ancient Coins our Editor’s Choice Award.

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