Those who wish to buy gold for investment often find gold coins such as the stater offer a special attraction and reward.
A serious coin collector may be interested in choosing a specialty. There are so many types and varieties of coins out there that some decide to pursue a distinctly unique and personalized collection based on certain historical or aesthetic interests. Collecting ancient coins is one specialty that some coin collectors pursue with vigor and enthusiasm.
Many Different Ways to Enjoy Numismatics
Many collectors pursue numismatics in an effort to achieve multiple objectives. For example, if the goal is to buy gold for an investment portfolio, plenty of gold and silver coins are eligible for inclusion a precious metals IRA. Some reasons people love collecting coins include: to enjoy the intrinsic value of the piece as a beautiful item, to partake in a fun hobby, to hold the value of the gold as a precious metal, and to profit from gains when rare coins increase in value.
Gold coins are good investments because as the price of gold increases, so does the coin—both for its bullion amount and for coin rarity. Another attraction to gold coins lies in the fact that, at the end of the day, they are still considered currency. Today, many people who buy gold or silver coins take comfort in the fact that they could serve as real money in a time of disaster or economic turmoil.
Gold and Silver Coins Revolutionized Commerce in the Ancient World
People have favored precious metals for centuries for use in trade and commerce. As early as the times of Aristotle (circa 350 BC), gold and silver were used as money and a way of trading goods. Interestingly, this helped lead Aristotle to his five observations on money that we still accept today. The first two, that money must be both durable and portable, is the essence of gold and silver coins. By taking a precious metal and putting into the form of a coin, kings had a convenient way to control their subjects, generals to pay their soldiers, and merchants to conduct their trading. The durability of gold was well known, and coins became transferred and traded all around the world.
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Ancient Greek Coinage
The Greeks were very adept at creating some of the world’s most beautiful coinage. It was the Greeks who first gave us the stater, a term that means simply “weight.” The first staters were made of silver and bore the stamp of an authority authenticating its weight. Generally, the early Greek stater had a weight of 7 grams, and was normally divisible into three drachmas. However, as the stater became more popular, other nations such as the Phoenicians and those in southern Europe adopted various versions for their own use.
Within the Greek city-states, many adopted and minted their own versions of the stater, and this is where the great variety of ornate, beautifully struck coins originated. This broad use also gave rise to the gold stater. It bore the same weight as silver stater, but was worth six to seven times as many drachma coins. This wide use of the stater makes it one of the most valuable and, at the same time, most affordable of the ancient coins. The key to which category any given stater finds itself depends on a number of factors, including its rarity.
Collecting Ancient Coins
Collectors who wish to both buy gold and collect ancient coins have a wide range of choices. Those on a more modest budget wishing to buy silver coins will find some samples can be bought at only a modest premium over current silver prices.
On the other hand, there are those who have the budgets and desire to buy gold coins of ancient craftsmanship that inspired the Saint-Gaudens works of art, such as the Gold Double Eagle. While many of the very finest examples of ancient coinage are today kept in museums and government collections, you can still find some remarkable staters on the market.
Regardless of your investment goals, it is a special moment to sit and study a coin that Alexander the Great may have handled. It can be equally thrilling to have a simple silver stater that the paymaster of Alexander handed out to one of his soldiers.