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Attributing Ancient Coins Attributing Ancient Coins

Attributing ancient coins is a fun part of collecting coins. Roman Imperial Coins are the easiest to attribute, whil Greek coins can be the hardest.

Roman Imperial/Imperatorial/Republic Fairly straight forward to attribute if you search an online database or have the proper books
Byzantine (Romaion) A little bit harder to attribute than Roman Imperial because there is less resource material and the coins can often be hard to read.
Greek/Roman Provincial A lot more difficult than Roman Imperial coins to attribute because most of the inscriptions are in Greek and there is a lot less resource material available.
Non-Classical (Celtic, Judean, Parthian, etc...) Non Clasical coins can be as easy to attribute as Roman Imperial coins or harder to attribute than Greek coins. It all depends on when and where the coin came from and how much resource material there is to reference on that culture.
Greek Usually the hardest type of coin to attribute for the beginner. Not only are there very few identifying inscriptions, the inscriptions are in the Greek alphabet.

Favorite resources for attributing ancient coins:

  • ACA - User friendly discussion group devoted to the attribution of coins and the teaching of these skills to new collectors.
  • Wildwinds - One of the best sites for "do it yourself" coin attribution
  • CoinsCatalog - Very nice search engine with many ways to research coins
  • Jencek’s - Roman Obverse Legend Search Engine
  • AncientCoins.biz Inscription search for Greek & Roman Provincial and Imperial Coins
  • FORVM ANCIENT COINS - Roman Coin Attribution Toolkit Legend Search
  • Doug Smith’s Ancient Greek and Roman Coins - Excellent educational site
  • Cohen - Description Historique des monnaies frappées sous l’Empire Romain
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