Can anyone collect ancient coins?
Absolutely. Coin collecting was once known as the “hobby of kings”; an academic pursuit reserved for royalty, aristocracy or the intellectual elites of the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Fortunately, this is no longer the case thanks in part to a huge increase in the number of ancient coins discovered and publication of many definitive numismatic reference works. Though coin shows have long been popular with collectors at every level, the internet has revolutionised the hobby in the last twenty years, putting a world of coins and numismatic information at the fingertips of the collector. Technology has connected and empowered enthusiasts from around the world and granted the layman access to the works of the most elite academic libraries. It is now surely one of the most egalitarian hobbies, bringing together people from every corner of the globe, from all social and economic backgrounds to share in their love of coins.
One collector might spend hundreds of thousands building a world-class selection of the greatest ancient rarities, another might gather some common ancient coins as an imaginative teaching aid. People have given and received coins as gifts since ancient times. Generations of parents and children have connected through the hobby of coin collecting, many enthusiasts carrying fond memories of building their first collection with the help of their father or grandfather. For some, coins can be financial investment opportunities; for others their historical value is the only important measure. However they came to the hobby and whatever their budget and goals, collectors are united in their intellectual curiosity, patience, dedication and in a humility that comes from appreciating the weight of history behind the small treasures they hold in their hands.