Originally published on patch.com
Rory Brown, Managing Partner of Nicklaus Brown & Co., Talks Collecting Lydian Coins
Collectors and historians alike are enamored with the Lydian Lion and the stater, the world’s first true coins. If you’re an avid coin collector interested in investing in ancient Lydian coins, read Rory Brown’s tips to learn how this fascinating currency can be found.
Local Coin Dealers
If you have local dealers near you, it’s worth becoming friendly with the owners. If they know what you’re looking for, they can keep an eye out for them.
However, make sure to do your research before purchasing especially from smaller coin dealers. Unlike larger operations, which are generally members of professional numismatics organizations that require adherence to a code of ethics, small dealers are free to sell at whatever price someone is willing to pay. As a result, you may end up overpaying if you don’t already have a rough idea of what a given coin is worth.
Many larger dealers maintain online marketplaces for ancient coins. Buying online can be more difficult, as you can’t handle the coin before purchase, so be sure you only purchase from reputable dealers. They should be able to produce documentation confirming the authenticity of the Lydian coins you're interested in.
Coin auctions, both online and in-person, are great places to find Lydian coins. There are a number of well-respected collectible coin auctioneers that make sure the products they’re representing are authentic and accurately described.
eBay, the online auction site that started the online collectible market is still a good source for Lydian coins, and many reputable dealers use the website for direct to consumer sales. Even Amazon has broken into the collectible coin market, and at any given time, you can find a small assortment of Lydian coins for sale.
As with any collectible, the available stock ebbs and flows based on what people happen to be selling. Generally speaking, you can find most denominations of staters, from full staters, half staters, trites, on down. However, trites or third-staters are the most commonly available coins, as these enjoyed the widest minting and use, particularly early on.
The availability of a given coin will depend on the period the coin was minted, whether it was gold, silver, or electrum, and the coin’s denomination. Some coins are far rarer than others. A full stater from the earliest mintings of the coins has never been found. But that’s part of the joy in ancient coin collecting — the thrill of the hunt.
About Rory Brown: Mr. Rory Brown is a Managing Partner of Nicklaus Brown & Co., the Chairman of Goods & Services, Nearshore Technology Company, and a member of the board of directors of Desano. He is passionate about delving into the history of money and how our modern currency has evolved into what it is today. In his spare time, he writes about the history of the Lydians - the first civilization to use gold and silver coinage.