Imagine what it would be like to walk the streets of Rome, visiting various shops and roadside stands selling all sorts of goods and products…
The currency of the day would have been ancient coins. If you were fortunate, perhaps you carried a whole bag full of coins. These coins were made of metal, forged in a variety of ways, stamped with detailed images of rulers, mythological creatures, monuments, gods, or scenes of heroism or military conquest. They were works of art in and of themselves, as the person who cast these coins took great pride in a job well done.
Often, they were cast for a specific purpose, event, or intent, such as paying one’s taxes or covering wedding expenses.
As you walked the ancient streets, holding these coins, you could smell the fresh bread cooking in open-air hearths, hear laughter and polite conversations, or watch chariots as they passed by. The sights, smells, and atmosphere would have been breath-taking. Going to the market was an experience in and of itself.
HISTORY LIVES ON
Those days may be long gone, but our fascination with them continues to thrive. We cling to anything ancient, historic, religious, or inspiring. We read books and watch movies with Greece-Roman influences. We look for authentic, genuine ancient artifacts to call our own, as if holding them would somehow transport us to those long-forgotten days – if only in our imagination.
Ancient coin jewelry is one of the ways that we can hold a little piece of history in our hands, without breaking the bank. Recently, a large quantity of authentic ancient coins from the Roman Empire, as well as a few other semi-related dynasties, was discovered and released to the market. Needless to say, once word got out, these coins started flying off the shelves. People went to great lengths to secure a piece of history. They knew that the coins they were purchasing today could have very well changed hands with any number of early Christians, philosophers, or noted historians.
AVAILABILITY OF ANCIENT COINS TODAY
While some authentic ancient coins do still exist on the market, they tend to be much rarer and more expensive. Buyers who are in the market for these coins should be very careful about doing business with dealers, especially if the coins are cheap.
Today, many of these authentic coins are made into jewelry pieces, such as pendants, bracelets, and rings. In this way, the coin can be preserved yet enjoyed at the same time. Coins such as the “Widows Mite” and the Drachma, as mentioned in the Bible, are highly sought after for their historic and religious value.
To this end, because the supply has dwindled considerably, people should expect to pay a higher price for a quality ancient coin jewelry piece.
On the other hand, if you are happy with owning a single, unmounted, unprotected coin for your own personal collection, you can save some money. But who wants to hide such an amazing historical relic in a drawer, where nobody will ever see nor appreciate it?
POPULAR ANCIENT COIN JEWELRY ITEMS
Based on current market trends, the most popular ancient coin jewelry from the Greece-Roman era, regardless of setting, are as follows:
- Widow’s Mite
- Roman gods/goddesses
- Roman Chariot Coin
- Shekel of Tyree / Silver Shekel
- Coins with Pontius Pilate, Herod, or Cesar
- Temple Tax Coins
Interestingly enough, some of these coins were dreaded in their original days. Some coins, in fact, were minted for the sole purpose of paying for one’s court-appointed punishment, or worse, death!
Yoram Ahdut is the owner of Baltinesterjewelry.com. A unique jewelry shop located in old Jerusalem, Israel.