The Famous People Who Have Collected Ancient Coins

JP Morgan Antoninus Pius AV AureusQUESTION: Marty, I heard that JP Morgan had a huge ancient coin collection of Greek and Roman coins. Have any of his coins ever come up for sale?



J.P._Morgan Collection

ANSWER: Oh yes. Not often. Here is a gold aureus of Antoninus Pius (138-161AD). You can typically buy one for around $4,000. This one was just up at auction. I bid $10,000 for a relatively common coin and did not get it. This coin sold for $14,000 – a $10,000 premium because it belonged to JP Morgan. It was sold at Classical Numismatic Group. You will find that some coins owned by famous people will fetch a premium because of who owns what.


Augustus Plaque ITALIAN_Reggio_Emilia_._ca_1550_15

According to the Roman historian Suetonius, the first Roman Emperor Augustus (27BC-14AD) gave “coins of every device, including old pieces of the kings and foreign money” as Saturnalia gifts.

Aelia Facialla AU Semissis

You will often see ancient Roman coins set in ancient jewelry. Collecting ancient coins has been the pastime of kings, popes, bankers, and even celebrities such as Johnny Cash. Roman Emperors would give out medallions they had struck in gold, silver, and bronze as special gifts.

Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection

I bought coins from the Nelson Bunker Hunt (1926 – 2014) auction at Sotheby’s. That was a fantastic collection, and for any of his coins, you can add 20%+ for his name.

Boscoreae Hoard

There was the famous Boscoreale hoard, which was buried by the eruption of Pompei in 79AD. This hoard of gold coins was not discovered until 1895. Baron Edmond de Rothschild purchased it.

Many famous people have owned ancient coins. The person who once owned it will clearly add to its value.

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