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    Buyers Guide - Frequently Asked Questions

    Please take a few minutes to read the enclosed information. It could well save you a lot of time in the long run, as well as offer a lot of practical assistance with cleaning your coins to get the lowest number of “culls”. Crusty Romans is essentially a hobby business that was set up to supply other collectors and enthusiasts with “better odds” of finding interesting items.

    All of our stock is ethically and reputably obtained, in complete and generally untouched Hoards, with full export approvals from the countries of origin where required. We pride ourselves in selling lots by Weight rather than counted numbers. If someone has counted them, it means they have been picked through, and the more interesting or valuable items removed.

    Order weights

    We always add a little extra to our orders to make up for any “ancient artefacts junk and broken coins” that you might find. It is inevitable that these items will be found in our lots, because they are unpicked. You can find some very interesting items like Rings, Jewellery, Arrow heads, Ancient Seals, as well as Glass beads, and so on. Ancient Nabataean coins often look like broken coins before cleaning because of their unusual shape, so don’t automatically think that they are broken coins and cull them. Especially as they are quite valuable and rare compared to most Roman coins.

    Typical Hoard example

    These are examples only based on a complete hoard that we cleaned. Please see our cleaned examples here.

    Type Overall Weight Overall Number (By Weight) Overall Percentage (By Number)
    Medium Grade Late Roman Coins 2994 gms 2093 33%
    Low Grade Roman Coins 1470 gms 1034 16.30%
    Islamic / Ottoman Coins 2858 gms 868 13.70%
    Fractional Greek Coins 702 gms 528 8.30%
    Large/Thick/Early Roman Coins 2548 gms 366 5.80%
    Seleucid Coins 678 gms 303 4.70%
    Fine grade Late Roman Coins 334 gms 235 3.70%
    Greek/ Ptolemy Coins 1090 gms 227 3.50%
    Nabataean Coins 436 gms 202 3.13%
    Byzantine Coins 1280 gms 164 2.59%
    Silver Coins 280 gms 161 2.50%
    Judean Coins 236 gms 144 2.20%
    Crusader Coins 36 gms 0.20% NA

    Notes: Numbers calculated after Cull removal of ( 8% by weight) as non categorisable.

    Supply

    Over the last few years, purchasing complete quality Hoards from our suppliers has become more and more difficult. So unfortunately while we try to maintain an ample level of stock it is inevitable and unfortunate that on going availability can be sporadic at times. Demand is currently outstripping supply, and unfortunately there is only a limited amount of purchase opportunities that are ethical and the right quality. Please remember they don’t make these things anymore, so if you find a particular Hoard you like, it might be advisable to buy a little extra to hold on to for the future.

    Size of coins

    Generally speaking our Hoards contain a lot of smaller coins than European ones on one hand, and larger ones on the other. Some people assume automatically that a small coin has a smaller value than a larger one?. This is absolutely not the case most of the time, and after attribution and valuation almost everyone would gladly find a small and interesting Seleucid, over a dozen of those European late Roman Consantine coins that are always sold on ebay. Also tiny Fractional Greek coins are very interesting, can carry fantastic detail and are more sought after generally than Roman coins. On the other side of the spectrum our Hoards can contain some very big and heavy Byzantine or Ptolemy coins. Believe it or not we get “newbies” contacting us saying “ I am upset because my order had a massive coin in that weighs a ton, so I did not get as many coins as I was expecting”. This is until you point out that it is a Ptolemy and tell them to go and research it. Then funnily enough they generally re order shortly afterwards hoping to find another!

    Amount of coins

    The question about how many coins you will receive in an order is very common, but is quite often incredibly hard to answer. Most hoards will have a variety of large, medium and small coins, and because we base your order on weight, you may get a large Ptolemy coin in your order that weighs the same amount as 25 smaller sized coins, so that would influence the total count substantially. If you would like to specifically know how many you would receive before ordering, please feel free to contact us beforehand, explaining the hoard that you are interested in and the weight. We can then prepare the order for you, counting how many coins there are, and notify you within one working day.

    Variety

    Variety really is the spice of life when cleaning crusties. Nothing worse than buying 100 coins off ebay to clean. Only to find the first one disappointing, and then follow it up with 99 more exactly the same!. Our Hoards are generally really varied in coin types as well as sizes and widths so make for very interesting cleaning. They make a refreshing change to those half cleaned and well sorted ebay lots.

    Condition

    Generally speaking coin condition can vary massively, most of the larger older coins often show a lot of wear. This is typical as sometimes they were used as coinage for century’s and afterwards were buried for 2000 years. We have had customers find rare and worn Cleopatra’s saying they are “slugs”. Only to then to find out that “slug” of a coin in that condition is worth more than they paid for their entire order. My advice here is to research and attribute them before you decide it is in fact a slug. In this hobby you can have a really fine common Roman coin worth next to nothing or a worn coin worth hundreds or even thousands. It really just does depend, so take the time to do the research.

    Cleaning

    We don’t advocate using fast cleaning methods that remove the Patina unless the coin will not clean using other methods first. But we have published a fast cleaning guide for everyone who just can’t wait or has really stubborn coins. We sometimes get customers contact us within a couple of days of receiving their orders telling us that they are all “slugs”. It never ceases to amaze me that expectations of cleaning 2000 years of crust and dirt off can be done with no experience, in such a short time frame? Typically it turns out they have been in Olive Oil for a day or in distilled water overnight and surprise surprise they were still crusty the next day!. This hobby takes time and patience, have a look at our cleaned Hoards being sold on the site or the example of coins we have cleaned in bulk. Yes you will find slugs, yes you will have culls, but we cleaned a complete Hoard up using the rapid cold cleaning method, and you will be very surprised at just how many will show detail after proper cleaning. If you are the inpatient type of person go for a bit of bulk cleaned as well as that will show you what to expect your un cleaned coins to look like when they are actually clean. You can have coins that are smooth and show no detail at all that turn out to be really detailed after cleaning, it really just depend. If you want to start with great detail and not have the surprises then go for “premium” un cleaned. We occasionally get Hoards of these, they are more expensive to buy as condition is so strong from the outset but they are a really good option if you are just starting out.

    Payment Options

    We accept PayPal or Debit / Credit card payments.

    Delivery and Costs

    We will deliver to all possibly countries using Royal Mail as our courier. Once your order has been completed, if this is a working day and before 3PM GMT, it will be prepared immediately and dispatched the same day. We will send email confirmation when this happens along with tracking information.

    Delivery to the UK is currently charged at £6.95 and any non-UK country is charged at £9.95 (or your equivalent currency).

    Shipping to the US or Canada we've found can take up to 1-2 weeks to get through customs and we provide as much documentation as we can with your order to speed up this process.

    Returns

    We are absolutely happy to offer you a complete no quibble refund on the return of your complete order of uncleaned coins. We can’t guarantee you certain types, values, or conditions of coins as there is absolutely no way to tell what you have until they are cleaned properly. Our Hoard descriptions are as accurate as possible and we do post plenty of good pictures, but if your expectations are for any reason different when you receive your order, we are more than happy to take them back.