Category Archives: Old Coins in the News

Auction results of rare old coins, treasures discovered, and numismatic features

Staggering Cache of Chinese Copper Coins Found

January 14th, 2018 by

The discovery of an ancient coin hoard is among the most exciting encounters an archaeologist can hope for. More often than not, hidden caches of ancient coins come from the Roman Empire. This makes sense given the sprawling territorial reach of the Ancient Romans. However, those of us in the West sometimes overlook the rich […]

gold dinars

France’s Biggest Medieval Coin Hoard Discovered

December 31st, 2017 by

As strange as it may sound, artifacts from our distant past often challenge or completely overturn our understanding of the present. One such discovery in France has the potential to reshape our preconceptions about numismatic history.

pigeons

Pigeons Help Find English Civil War Silver Coins

December 16th, 2017 by

Human beings have long domesticated and interacted with pigeons. They are actually genetically indistinguishable from doves. Although feral pigeons are sometimes dismissed as “rats with wings” by city dwellers, a treasure discovery in England shows that these birds can be both a nuisance and a blessing.

Massive Numismatic Collection Emerges In Delaware

November 26th, 2017 by

Sometimes estate sales and liquidation sales by retirees can uncover fascinating cases of multi-generational coin collecting. From a numismatic perspective, this is especially interesting because it makes tracing the provenance—or “paper trail”—of the coins much easier. Provenance is important for authenticating particularly valuable antiques and collectibles. Knowing this backstory and chain of ownership adds to […]

Anglo-Saxon Gold Coin Hoard Found With Metal Detector

November 25th, 2017 by

On nearly a monthly basis, a metal detectorist or group of adventurous people with metal detectors somewhere in Great Britain uncovers a buried artifact that classifies as treasure under U.K. law. Any item containing at least 10% gold and dating more than 300 years old qualifies for the “treasure” designation, entitling the finder and land […]

More Shipwreck Gold From S.S. Central America

November 4th, 2017 by

S.S. Central America, an American steamer, sank in the Atlantic in 1857 carrying a significant quantity of gold bullion. Its original haul is estimated at more than a metric ton, and was perhaps as much as 20 tons, including thousands of what are now scarce $20 double eagle coins. Although the first coins and treasure from […]

Gold and Silver Ancient Roman Coins Found In Spain

October 21st, 2017 by

Much of Europe’s earliest recorded history tends to begin with the conquest of the Roman Empire. Of course, archaeologists and historians know that a number of cultures were active on the continent during the Bronze Age. Nonetheless, the progress for civilization brought about by the expansion of Ancient Rome is so transformative that its total […]

Construction In Russia Unearths Medieval Coins

October 8th, 2017 by

This year, there’s been a great deal of construction and infrastructure improvement in the Russian capital of Moscow. Amid the building projects and renovations, a surprising side-effect has emerged on more than one occasion: Rare old coins are being recovered from the construction sites!

Man Finds 600 Silver Denarii In England

October 1st, 2017 by

The silver denarius (plural: denarii) was one of the standards of Roman coinage during antiquity. These silver coins circulated around the empire for centuries, and are often one of the surest signs (as artifacts) of the presence of a marketplace during the time of Ancient Rome. In the small southern English town of Bridport, a […]

viking treasure

Viking Silver Treasure Hoard Uncovered

September 30th, 2017 by

The Vikings, a clan of seafaring Norse raiders, thrived primarily between the 8th and 11th centuries. Therefore, it’s not altogether surprising that much of the centuries-old treasure and artifacts uncovered in Northern Europe and the British Isles are of Viking origin. In fact, “Viking” is roughly the Old English word for “pirate.” Just recently, on the […]

Alaskan Tlingit Body Armor Made of Coins

September 23rd, 2017 by

There are two interesting qualities about coins that have held true throughout history but are often overlooked: Coins have come in all sorts of interesting shapes and sizes—this is still true today—and, ultimately, what we do with our coins is in the hands of the beholder. For collectors and investors, this second fact may seem […]

Tree Removed in Bulgaria, 182 Silver Coins Found

September 17th, 2017 by

One of the fascinating things about great archaeological finds or uncovered treasure is that it often occurs by accident or pure happenstance. (The chance discovery of the “Saddle Ridge Hoard” of gold coins, worth as much as $10 million collectively, by a couple walking their dog in the backyard is just one prime example.)

17th-Century Arab Silver Coins . . . In New England?

September 10th, 2017 by

In the new North American colonies beginning to take shape in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, piracy at sea—our classic notion of a “pirate”—played a surprisingly important role in sustaining the New World economy. The period from the middle of the 17th century to 1730 is actually known as the Golden Age of […]

ancient coins Lincolnshire

Iron Age Gold and Silver Coins Found In Lincolnshire

September 9th, 2017 by

It’s not altogether uncommon for small amounts of medieval treasure to be found in the United Kingdom in general and the city of Lincoln (located in the county of Lincolnshire) in particular. For a jealous outside observer—the author is guilty as charged—it can seem like fields in Lincoln are littered with the stuff, beckoning from […]

silver shekel coin

Ancient Silver Half-Shekel Found by 8-Year-Old

August 26th, 2017 by

On rare occasions, the most fantastic discoveries are made by pure accident. This is true not only throughout human history, but also applies to our daily lives. For one eight-year-old girl in Israel, this absolutely turned out to be the case!

Recovering the Most Valuable Shipwreck in History

July 30th, 2017 by

Ongoing efforts to salvage a shipwreck off the coast of Colombia from the 1700s are making painstaking progress. Moreover, historical records of what the San José was carrying on board suggest that a breakthrough in the recovery process could yield the richest haul of underwater treasure ever found.

British Gold Sovereign coin

Astounding Gold Coin Collection Goes to Auction

July 21st, 2017 by

It’s always exciting when a longtime collector of coins decides to bring their entire numismatic portfolio to auction. With the most legendary coin collections—such as the staggering Pogue or Newman ensembles of U.S. coins—the sale is not just broken into many separate lots for bidding. They must in fact be split into several separate days of auctions. […]