Here you can see one of our complete Hoards that we cleaned that was around 28KG in weight. It is fairly typical in proportion and contents to the other ancient Hoards that we offer for sale. It took around a year to do using the cleaning methods listed on this site. Patience is definitely a virtue in this hobby, you can get a clear example of what types of coins are usually found in our lots as well as an idea of the sizes and quantity and the amount of junk. None of these coins have been attributed as we just enjoy cleaning them rather than researching them. For this reason there may well be pictures or coins in different pictures, but it will give you an indication of condition as well as varieties etc.
Fractional Greek coins
These are personally certainly some of my favourite ancient coins. They are truly tiny often no more than a few mm in width but are also often a few mm wide so they have a quality “Greek” feel to them. A lot of people believe that larger Roman coins are more impressive than the fractional Greek ones, based on size alone. But Greek coins are far more collectable and valuable and you can keep a whole collection of these amazing tiny coins in a very small space. The detail on a lot of them can be really good and it astonishes me how much detail can be found on something so small in a lot of cases.
Later thin Roman coins in Fine Condition
As you can see these are found in our Hoards after cleaning, but not in huge numbers compared to the medium and low grade ones. To me someone who classes a coin as “Fine” condition means that it has very sharp detail on both sides and easily attributable. Like all the other coins prior to cleaning these coins start off by looking nothing special so it is nice to see just how well they do come up.
Later Roman coins in Medium Condition
Generally speaking the lower condition coins are more common in any uncleaned coin lots. That being said Medium Quality Roman coins are pretty frequent in our un cleaned Hoards. Medium quality means they might have one clear side and one worn side but all of these coins should be attributable to an “average” collector.
Later Roman coins in Poor Condition
Unlike the medium quality Roman coins, these all have some visible detail but would not likely be attributable by an “average person”. They show signs of excessive wear during ancient use or have not lasted the tests of time before being discovered and cleaned. A Numeralist can often identify coins with a very few remaining details though. The generally poor quality of materials used in late Roman times means that unfortunately a good deal of them end up like this even when discovered in desert conditions.
Another one of my personal favourite coins, they are easily identifiable because of the serrated bottle top shape. They are generally found in our uncleaned Hoards in fairly reasonable numbers. Very collectable and very old compared to a lot of the more common Roman coins. Generally they are produced better than Roman coins although small they are often fairly think and like other Greek coins can show very good detail. They come in a few sizes but the larger ones are fairly scarce.
Ptolemy ancient Egyptian, and thick heavy Greek coins
Here is a variety of Ptolemy and thick and heavy mainly Greek coins. I am no Numeralist ,so have as yet attributed only a couple of the coins definitively, so there could also be some early Romans in this picture. These coin types are very popular and can be very valuable even showing little detail. From the few I have researched the Ptolemys seem to be fairly valuable and hugely interesting and I have also found a couple of Cleopatra coins. The Ptolemy coins range in size and some of them are very thick and heavy. Once again with the larger coins generally they get used for far longer periods of time so can show a fair bit of wear but this is typical.
Roman Provincial and City Coins
These are found in our Hoards in fairy reasonable numbers, another range of hugely interesting and very collectable coins. They range in size but are generally fairly well used, chunky, large, and have a quality feel to them. Also pictured here could be a range or early Greek , Roman and other coins. My interest has always been in cleaning and collecting rather than attribution so I am only able to generalize these early chunky coins based on the odd one that I have taken the time to attribute.
Ancient Nabatean Coins
For such rare coins these can be found in fairly reasonable quantities in our Hoards. Very interesting and fairly easily recognised when they are clean because of the unusual shape and thickness of them. Another very collectable type of coin that is far more interesting than the more commonly sold unleaned late Roman stuff that most people tend to sell.
Certain types of Bizantine coins are easily identifiable because they are generally pretty large. They were generally used for long periods of time so can show varying degrees of ware but most are attributable and some can be fairly valuable.
Silver Coins and items
A good sign that the Hoards that we buy are unpicked is the fact that silver coins and occasional Silver items are found in them. The pictures below are of all the suspected Silver or ancient Silver plated items in this Hoard. Some of the items here appear a tarnished black or have a bronzing to them where deposits have settled on them from the bronze coinage in this hoard. I have made no attempts to further clean these coins and just put everything to one side that is reasonably suspected was silver. By far the most common silver coins to find are ancient Islamic ones. Roman is far rarer and Greek is far rarer still, only one tiny worn Greek coin found in this entire Hoard. Gold is NEVER found, it comes out of the ground essentially the same way it goes in, so it is unmissable to whoever discovers a Hoard so would never make it into the supply chain. I did find one very nice thick small Roman coin with a Horse or Camel on the back as well as a broken Silver Ancient ring.
Ancient Islamic and Ottoman Coins
These are found in fairly high numbers generally in our Hoards, they come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses but generally don’t have any images on them and instead just have writing. Like all ancient coins there are common, generally they do show reasonably good detail.
Ancient Judean and Widows Mites
These are very interesting and often can be valuable, they are Biblicle coins and being from the Holy Land have a lot of historical value. I have sorted out what I believe is Judean coins and Widows mites from this cleaned Hoard into this lot. But as stated many times in the text above I am no expert as I generally just enjoy cleaning the coins, so only rarely attribute coins based on particular ones that look interesting to me.
Culls and Junk
As you go through the cleaning process you will definitely find coins that are damaged, rotten, excessively worn and have absolutely no detail left on them. This is very typical when cleaning crusties and are often reffered to as Culls. By buying Hoards from the far east generally speaking the ground is kinder as there is less moisture, so you do tend to get less than from harsher climates in Europe ,but even so expect to loose a percentage say 5-10% of any coins you buy from us. I was surprised proportionately that after cleaning this entire Hoard is was as low as around 6-7%. When I started cleaning ancient coins as a hobby, and was buying coins from Ebay it was often well over 40% as they were mainly European and extremely low grade to start with. These are technically just scrap!
Now you have seen the contents of one of our Typical Hoards, have a look at our 'Cleaning' guide as you will find this very useful.