Coins Value Discussed:
Some catalogs have only extremely expensive coins suitable for the wealthiest collectors. Others have some very high-priced coins, but many coins below $500 that might interest a collector of modest means. The terms about value I use to describe catalogs refer to the lowest priced coins in the catalogs, not to the highest price coins. All the catalogs will have some high-priced coins. The question I attempt to answer is, "Do they have any coins of interest to collectors who buy coins well below $500 each?"
VHV = very high value = Many coins above $5000 and the offering is not diluted by many coins below $500. The finest and rarest Greek silver types, the best sestertii and Roman gold. Perhaps unusual Greek gold and Roman medallions. The finest coins you could possibly buy.
HV = high value = Most coins costing over $500. Collectors who want to spend less than $500 on a coin will find little they can buy.
MV = moderate value = Collectors who want to spend less than $500 on a coin will still have a lot of coins to consider. MV catalogs will probably have some very expensive coins above $5000 and many expensive coins above $1000, but the majority of their coins will be between $100 and $500.
Obviously, there is a continuum of possible
values, and catalogs
coins of various values. To describe a catalog, I consider less
expensive coins which carry a large premium for superior condition
because they are in the
highest grades and prices "for
type" If a weathy collector with excellent taste would buy the
coin because it is remarkably nice for the type, I
may deem it a "high value" coin even if it costs less than $500. For
Roman Republican silver and unusual and highly desirable late Roman AE
often cost less than $500 even in the finest condition. If a catalog
mostly expensive coins, but a long run of the finest condition
silver mostly costing less than $500, I will not downgrade the catalog
to "Moderate Value" merely because many coins cost less than
Similarly, if a catalog has a run of top grade late Roman AE scarce
of the highest desirability for collectors of those types, I will not
the catalog merely because some of the coins are not extremely
Catalog quality discussed:
Another consideration is the presentation of the coins in the catalog. Most quality catalogs describe all the types and write out the legends. Catalogs that fall short of this standard may be noted as having "brief identifications." If the catalog is a joy to behold, it will be noted as HQP or perhaps even VHQP.
VHQ = very high quality presentation [Such as most horizontal format NFA catalogs and many NAC and Tkalec catalogs.]
HQ = high quality presentation [Much better than typical, probably with plates of enlargments and color plates, but not as spectacular as VHQ.]
MQ = moderate quality presentiation.
Terms and Abbreviations used
ppl = page plates (If only one number of page plates is given, it is of ancients only. There may be a few additional uncounted plates with other coins.)
E = enlargements, page plate
G = Greek, including Celtic, Jewish, Oriental, etc. unless their numbers are significant and separated out
R = Roman, including Republican and Imperial, and even Roman Provincial unless their numbers are significant and separated out, before Anastasius.
RP = Roman Provincial, where there are separated out and not integrated in by emperor. For example, Vecchi usually had a seperate section for RP, and they will be counted for Vecchi catalogs. But Lanz and Gorny offer many provincials chronologically by emperor and then I have not attempted to count them.
DA = Dark Ages = Ostrogothic, Vandal, Lombardic, Visigothic, etc. This may occasionally include British, or may not, depending upon whether the separation in the catalog is clear enough for me to notice it. If there is only a very small number of DA coins, they will probably not be mentioned and counted under "Byzantine".
Byz = Byzantine = Byzantine coins, reckoned from Anastasius on. If significant copper is included it will be mentioned but not separately counted. This may include small numbers of Dark Ages, Empire of Nicaea, Trebizond, lead seals, etc.
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