Educational Websites about Ancient Coins
    an edited and annotated list of the most useful sites

What's new?  2023, Nov. 12: Links checked and broken links fixed when possible. Minor formatting improvements.
    2023, Oct. 13:   Doug Smith on Solder-spearing-fallen-horseman FEL TEMP REPARATO
    2023, Sept. 25: "Sulla's blog" with many articles, beautifully illustrated: 
    2023, April 11: Links to pages devoted to particular Roman emperors (that page is improved). 
    2023, Jan. 7: A site for beginners, "Collecting Ancient coins": and "Getting started with Roman coins":


I have a site for beginners, Ancient Roman and Greek Coins, FAQ

Here is another site for beginners, Collecting Ancient coins:
   which also has "Getting started with Roman coins":

Most sites on this page are Roman. If you prefer Greek, skip down to the Greek sites.

Ancient-coin dealers. I recommend the ancient coin mall: vcoins 
                and MA-Shops
               Also, I have a list of fixed-price and auction sites here
               My own sale site is Augustus Coins:

Links to topics on this page (below):
    Identifying ancient coins. 
    What is it worth
    Roman emperors on coins. 
    Collecting themes
    Byzantine coins.
    Roman Provincial coins.  
    Greek coins.
    Other cultures.
    Cleaning coins.  
    Book recommendations

Collector's speak (The vast majority of ancient-coin sites exist because of collectors.)

Many educational articles have been assembled at the NumisWiki collaborative site hosted by Forum ancient coins:

Discussion groups. Many of us are physically isolated from other collectors, but that need not isolate us mentally. Join a web forum!

Coin Community Forum
is a friendly discussion group of enthusiastic ancient-coin collectors showing and discussing their inexpensive recent purchases and collections. Many are beginners. Images are conveniently inserted right inside the posts so you can see the coins right with the discussion. This is not a list to flaunt expensive coins.

CoinTalk forum is a friendly place to discuss ancient coins 
It is a discussion group of ancient and foreign coin collectors with topics grouped into convenient threads. It has some of the same collectors as the Coin Community Forum. On average, the collectors are slightly more advanced. Members range from very-low budget collectors to high-dollar collectors, brought together by an interest in ancient coins.

Here is a CoinTalk tread with many suggestions for beginners.

Numis Forums is another, similar, discussion forum.  (Pick the forums you want to see by clicking on the choices at the right.) 

Forum Ancient Coins hosts a discussion board where collectors discuss anything and everything about ancient coins. It is a large site, very well categorized, so, if you want to read what collectors want to discuss about, say, Roman coins, you can look at many topics recently opened and replied to (often there are many posts in the thread).
Part way down the page there is a heading "Ancient coins discussions" followed by "Ancient Coin Forum," "For the new collector," "Roman Coins," "Greek Coins," "Biblical Coins," etc. Each has many interesting posts and many members are experts. Just about every ancient-coin topic has been discussed there.

"Late Roman Bronze Coin Forum" is devoted to just what it says, so it has a much smaller audience that the others. But, LRBs have many interesting varieties and if you wish to discuss them with like-minded collectors, it is a good place:


An outstanding group of educational webpages on ancient coins is by Doug Smith. He has written over 100 pages of material covering a wide range of topics from the important basics such as grading and coin terms, to very advanced discussions of individual coin types. Most, but not all, is on Roman coins. I'm afraid if you visit Doug's sites, you may never come back! Be sure to look in his tables of contents for any subject you do not find here.
    Doug Smith's pages include:
        Beginner's overview
        Selecting a specialty
        Grading ancient coins
        Choosing ancient coins
        Glossary of ancient coin terms
        Purchasing power
        Roman gods and goddesses
        numerous particular types are discussed  in detail.        
        What it is like going to a coin show
                        and much, much more!
              (You will learn that a coin does not have to be expensive to be interesting!) 

How to read and understand a Roman coin. "The Anatomy of a Roman Coin" by Robert Kokotailo:

A site listing Roman reverse legends and explaining what they mean, hosted by Forum Ancient Coins:


Other sites that answer frequently-asked questions:

"Reading and Cataloging Roman Imperial Coins" A very clear illustrated exposition on how to read the legends on Roman coins.

Robert Kokotailo shows you all the information on a single Roman coin of Trajan. This one page nicely demonstrates just how interesting even a common type can be.

Sometimes coin descriptions use terms you don't know. Here is an illustrated glossary:

Every buyer needs to learn about how to evaluate the condition of a coin. Sometimes this is called "grading" the coin, although there is much more to condition than grade (which is, technically, only a term to describe wear and not any other factors such as strike and surface).
    Naturally, Doug Smith has done a great job describing condition.
    Calgary Coin Gallery has also discussed grading.
    These two sites describe how coins "should" be graded. Unfortunately, many web sellers (say, on eBay) grossly misrepresent their coins by overgrading them. Always inspect the picture -- don't believe a stated grade.
    "Tooling" and "smoothing" are terms used to describe detractions to coins. This page describes them:


"I don't want to study coins right now. I just want to see what a collection might look like."

Okay. Here is a site where collectors can post their coins. It has parts of numerous collections exhibited. Click on any of them to see what collectors have assembled.

Here is a site with a collection of coins depicting Roman women by "Empress collector."

Here is my page which mentions many possible collecting themes

"What I like about ancient coins" with many fascinating pages.  A extensive site by a collector who says coins "bring history to life."  Gods, myths, propaganda, symbolism, etc.

"The most beautiful coins of antiquity" nominated by collectors (and, usually very expensive). This is not one person's collection.

A site ( ) with many facets of Roman coins considered, and tons of photos (assembled -- not from a single collection, and without much commentary).


How do I identify a coin I have? What is it worth?

To value a coin you need to know its identification. If you have it well-identified, you can search for similar coins at retail commercial sites: 
    vcoins   ("search all stores")   and
    MA-Shops   is very similar to vcoins, but emphasizing European dealers. 
It is important to remember that those are retail costs. If you want to sell a coin, do not expect to get anywhere near that much.

   eBay is a huge site for ancient coins, but not reliable. Many coins are fakes and many identifications are wrong. But you can look there anyway. Go to "coins" then "ancient". Then "Search". However eBay prices listed mean nothing until after the auction closes. Bookmark types that interest you so you can revisit them after they have closed. Most US-eBay ancient coins begin at prices that are far too high and they don't sell, but are relisted again and again. The vast majority of coins on eBay at "Buy it now" prices are not worth that much. Some are not even worth 1/10 that much. It is amazing that sellers choose to price them like that, but "There is a sucker born every minute." The few US eBay ancient coins that are actual auctions and begin at low prices often triple their price in the last instant. It is very hard to tell from eBay what a coin is "worth."

A serious  mistake many beginners make is to think their coin is worth as much as some other coin for sale because the coins are the same "type of coin." But value is even more dependent upon "condition" which is very difficult to describe. Unless you coin is definitely better than one for sale, it might be worth very much less because of its "condition". That's why you need to continue with the next sites.

    (Identifying coins is not easy. Valuing them is even harder. It takes years to get good at it. You might just want to ask an expert.) 

Wildwinds is a well-organized, extensive list of Roman and Greek coin types, with photos, drawn largely from web auctions (with prices). You can look up your coins here. This is one of the major attribution and valuing sources on the web.

For researching the cost of high-quality ancient coins there are excellent search sites:  

Two sites require a subscription. acsearch is excellent and can be used for searches gratis, but to see the prices realized of the coins you find you must join for 85 euros a year: .

Another database with a high subscription fee, aimed at professionals, is CoinArchives:


Free sites: A good site to search high quality (only high-quality) coins for free is the "Research" site of CNG, a major US firm:  

Another extensive site for researching coin values is the archive at, an auction consolidator:


Roman Emperors on coins:

    Of course, you can search to see what coins of the various emperors look like.
    The Virtual Catalog of Roman Coins  A large site with images of coins of each emperor and his relatives who had coins issued for them (not priced. Click on the sidebar on the left to select a time period).
    If you want to see many coins of any particular emperor or type, search which archives major auction-sale descriptions and results (you would have to pay for a membership to see the prices realized, but not to see the coins). 

My page of links to educational sites devoted to particular Roman emperors.



Collecting Themes (Roman) 
    (This is only a very small section of possible themes. As collectors post more websites showing off their themes, I will expand this list.)

My illustrated list of potential collecting themes with one coin per theme.

Roman Republican coins.  Lots of pictures of Roman Republican coins with short comments about historical events at the dates of the coins.
Roman Republican coins.  This site is vast and perhaps more sophisticated than a beginner's introduction. But, it is very well laid out.

  The site includes a history of Roman Republican coinage and numismatics, newly written, and organized into 35 short sections, spread over ten webpages, and with links to all the related coins.
  There are 1,350 different Republican coins pictured on the website, making it the largest online Roman Republican coinage database, and one of the largest ever published in any medium. The coins are organized into 35 sets matching the write-ups. They are arranged in a proper historical and chronological manner according to Crawford
except for the coins of 70-50BC where the Mesagne hoard dating is used.
   Every coin is different and properly described. Hundreds of these coin types, mainly rare bronze types or early silver with symbols, cannot be found anywhere else on the internet. 

    Campgates (mostly 4th century AD) and ancient architecture. Very many campgate coins.
    The London mint, 296-325 
    Gallienus (AD 253-268) issued many coins with animals.
    Various animals on ancient coins.
    Architecture on ancient coins.
    Bridges on ancient coins.
    Ancient imitations of Roman coins
    Guide to Late Roman AE coin types, AD 364-450  (a complete list of types of the period)
    Hercules on coins (not all ancient, and only a small fraction of what is possible, but well done)  
    Coins of the (obscure) Roman mint of Tripolis.
    Countermarks on early Roman imperial coins. A beautiful collection with undertypes much better than normal.
    Countermarks on Roman  coins.
    Coins of Roman Egypt struck at Alexandria.  
    Doug Smith on Solder-spearing-fallen-horseman FEL TEMP REPARATO.  
    The very common Roman FEL TEMP REPARATIO types of the mid 4th century AD that are interesting and available in nice condition at low prices.
    The type "Soldier spearing fallen horseman" FEL TEMP REPARATIO is very common. Dane has a collection of a great many varieties.
    A pdf checklist by Glenn Simonelli of types and mints of common late Roman bronzes (If you clean coins you will find lots of these.) 
    Late Roman reverse types, part I:
        Part II:

An amazing and beautiful site for identifying late Roman AE coins: Late Roman Bronze -- Book on line.  ( )

"Sulla's blog" with well-illustrated articles on Republican coins and others. 

A sophisticated site on the early anonymous issues of Roman Republican denarii:

Coins with mythological references:   The Forum discussion board has a thread with mythological figures on individual coin types discussed.

Roman Provincial coins = Greek Imperial coins:

Coins that St. Paul might have seen and handled in his travels. A personal collection and commentary.

"Roman Provincial City Gate Coins"
A magnificent collection of provincial coins depicting city gates, bridges, sacred stones, temples, and other architectural types. It is organized both by type and by city.

"Provincial Romans"
A personal collection organized by region and city.

Roman Provincial Coins of Gordian III
A personal collection, categorized by region and city, with a list of all cities that minted for Gordian III.

"Coinage of Gordian III and Roman Provincial Coins"
A personal collection of imperial coins of Gordian III and of Roman provincial coins (not necessarily Gordian III), classified both by region and city, and by emperor.

For additional sophisticated sites on Roman provincial coins, see below


Byzantine Coins:

"Introduction to Byantine coins"
Byzantine "anonymous folles" of the 10th and 11th centuries
Byzantine coin legends. How to read Byzantine coins
Justinian from the Antioch mint
A collection written up like a book with chapters in pdf form:  (scroll down the page for links to the chapters on various emperors).
A major museum shows one gold coin of each emperor.
You can see many Byzantine coins at NumismaClub:
A collection:
Coins of the Byzantine mint of Cherson at the top of the Black Sea. 
A collection of 12th C. Byzantine coins
The finest series of books on Byzantine coins if the Dumbarton Oaks catalog in five volumes in nine books. The volumes cost about $200 each. However, DO decided to give them away in pdf format:

It can be difficult to navigate such large files, but the price is right!
For more of their books:

Portraits of Christ on Byzantine coins (some very expensive):   

Greek coins. Educational sites.  

   Reading Greek coins:

    The mints of Magna Graecia and their spectacular Greek coins.
    Mints of Alexander the Great (designed to be used with Chrome)
    The Seleukids, history and coins.
    A site giving links (only links) to everything having to do with the Ptolemys of Egypt.
    The Greek alphabet.
    Coinage of two Greek-Illyrian city states: Apollonia and Dyrrhachium  (cow and suckling calf type) 
    Greek coins of Velia
    Coins of Alexander the Great -- a collection with commentary.
    Coins of the Greek city Miletus (Miletos). 
    Coins showing Pegasus, the winged horse.
    Medusa on coins. 
  About Carthage. Its story and coins.
    Greek coins of Asia Minor are very well represented at asiaminorcoins, which is down now but archived on the wayback machine at:

For advanced sites on Greek coins, see below.

Coins of other cultures:

Coins of Rome about Parthia by Chris Hopkins. A major theme-collection list. Very nice. A part of a larger site on Parthian coins

Beast's page on understanding Sasanian coins:   Excellent!

Ancient and Medieval coins of Asia are extensively and beautifully illustrated at The Coins and History of Asia. So it's not Roman -- it's a beautiful site!  It includes Sasanian and central Asian coins. 

Zeno, an Oriental Coins database with many thousands of photos.  A massive site with many coin types of central Asia that you will not find elsewhere.

Jewish coins and Holy Land coins (in Italian, but mostly photos, and google can translate it for you). 

Biblical and Jewish Coins. An exhaustive list, the Menorah Coin Project

Turkoman figural bronze coins


More reading about ancient coins:

What could an ancient coin buy?
    (Don't forget to check Doug Smith's sites on almost every topic! He has a good page on what coins could buy.)

How do you pronounce those Roman names, anyway?
    A Latin Pronunciation Guide for Numismatists

If you are interested in ancient imitations (genuinely ancient coins that were counterfeits in their day),  I have a page with information about imitations and many images.  See also Doug Smith's sites. If you want to read recent scholarly literature on them, I have compiled a bibliography of articles on ancient imitations.

How to buy ancient coins. (One of my pages.)

How coin auctions work. (Another of my pages.) 

Back before the internet collectors wrote articles on aspects of ancient coins for an ancient-coin journal called The Celator.  The issues of The Celator are now on-line here, and an index to the earlier issues is on-line here. It is in pdf form and can be searched for key words. 


Concerned about fakes? 
    You should be if you buy on eBay. I have a page of links about fakes

Interested in uncleaned coins?
    I don't recommend buying coins that need cleaning (here is my page on Buying uncleaned ancient coins), but many people buy them, so here are some links.
    Comments from those who know, previously posted on e-mail lists.

Books:  If you want book recommendations instead of website recommendations, check out my page "How to learn more about Roman coins."


Books:  For those of you who own these particular books:

Coinage in the Greek World by Carradice and Price you will find this page I wrote useful. Print it off and put it in your book.
If you own Coinage in the Roman World by Burnett you will find this page I wrote useful. Print it off and put it in your book.
If you own Roman Provincial Coins by Kevin Butcher you will find this page I wrote useful. Print it off and put it in your book.
If you own the eight volumes of SNG Danish (Copenhagen) you will find this page useful. Print it off and put it with the volumes.

Classics sites without emphasis on coins

The Rome Project with links to sites on topics of all kinds, political, military, archaeology, philosophy, religion, etc. (Designed for 6th grade students) 

A large site that does not emphasize coins, but just what it name suggests, is Electronic Resources for Classicists.

A good basic map showing the provinces of the Roman empire (not the cities), with links to further sites.

Reference works on-line. Free alternatives to the printed reference works (notes by Orielensis of CoinTalk).

OCRE (Roman Imperial) is basically an online RIC with images.
CRRO (Roman Republican) is an online Crawford/RRC, though the book contains a lot of valuable extra information and is thus still worth buying.
Pella (Macedonian kings) can be used as an online Price.
SCO (Seleucid) follows Houghton/Lorber/Hoover: Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalogue and can be used as a substitute for the book.
PCO (Ptolemaic) is still under construction but follows Lorber's yet unfinished Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire more or less parallel to the publication of the volumes of the printed catalogue.


Serious Roman Provincial coin sites:

"Roman Provincial Coinage Online"
A search engine for an academic database with almost 14,000 type of Roman provincial coins. This is the on-line part of the series of books called "Roman Provincial Coins":

"Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula, by Nichola Moushmov"
An old book on the popular provinical coins of Marcianopolis, Nicopolis, Hadrianopolis, and other cities of the Balkans, illustrated with the original plates and supplemented by many modern examples.

Roman Provincial coins of Diadumenian (son of emperor Macrinus, 217-218 AD)
"The object of these pages is to list and categorise every known Roman Provincial coin bearing the image of Diadumenian." These pages are based around a personal own collection but are heavily supplemented with the use of many other images and references to other collections or sales.


Sophisticated Greek Coin Reference-Work Sites:

"Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum" (SNG)
The SNG series consists of the Greek and Greek Imperial (Roman Provincial) coins of major collections. Previously, this type of resource was only in books. Now, the same material in books can be found here from 28 British volumes, about 25,000 coins. There is no commentary, just a search engine that yields images and type descriptions.

"Magna Graecia Coins"
An extensive site well-organized by region and city, with coins from many sources.

"Digital Historia Nummorum"
This classic book, huge and thorough in its day, has been put on line with links to relevant coins in BMC Greek, the SNG site above, the ANS site, and other sources. (Some of the links don't work.)
Putting this on line was a huge amount of work and it is very nicely done and well-indexed.

"A History of the Seleukid Empire and its Kings"
Commentary on and coins of the Seleucid (Seleukid) Empire. The site does not cover the whole time period, has not been updated for years and has broken links, but still has useful commentary and photos.

Identifying Seleucid coins. Select from a number of pictures the closest image and it narrows it down until you find the type! Or, you can do it with legends, obverses, rulers, etc.

"Map of Central Greece and Peloponese"
with cities labeled and linked to their histories. The city histories are extensive but not illustrated with site photos or coins.


Conclusion:  This site is not intended to be comprehensive. I have not listed many minor sites, but these major sites should get you started. Enjoy!
    -  Warren
Please report broken links to me.
e-mail me, Warren, at: w

Note well:  Please do not ask me to answer particular questions about Roman or Greek coins (I have a life!), but if you want to recommend to me a major, well-designed, educational (not commercial) site on Roman or Greek coins I would be interested.

Go to the Table of Contents of this whole group of pages.

First posted 10/27/2000. Oftn updated since then.