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100 Greatest Ancient Coins Hardcover – April 1, 2008

11 customer reviews

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100 Greatest Ancient Coins + Handbook of Ancient Greek and Roman Coins: An Official Whitman Guidebook + Collecting Ancient Greek Coins
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 131 pages
  • Publisher: Whitman Publishing; 1st edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0794822622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0794822620
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 10.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Scott on May 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Assuming you like ancient coins and the history behind them (and if you don't what are you doing here?) this book is a must-have. Each of the coins gets a full page containing a large picture of the coin, details of the history behind the coin and commentary about the market availability of the coin. Many of the coins are beyond the finances of an average collector and this book may be as close as most people come to owning a example. But the book does not feature rare coins alone, some very common coins were also chosen and these are within the reach of most of us.

These is a lot to learn from this book. Did you know that the only known portrait of Hannibal is on a coin? That there is a coin showing Noah's Ark? That the master coin engravers in Syracuse signed their names into their coins? That the first portrait of Christ on an ancient coin used the face of Phidias' famous statue of Zeus as a model? That is only a small taste of what the book contains.

Berk hit this one out of the park.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James Wilk on March 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This coffee-table book is a veritable Who's Who of Ancient Numismatics. It depicts the 100 most famous, beautiful or historically significant coins from the beginning of coinage through the Byzantine Empire. Each coin is lusciously illustrated with enlarged, full-color photographs of examples in the finest condition. The significance of each coin is explained in an essay below.

You won't find many coins in your own collection represented here--most are museum-quality specimens out of reach for all but the wealthiest collectors.

But if you wish to be awed by the numismatic art of the ancient world, the coins in this book are breathtaking.

I recommend this book highly to anyone interested in numismatics or in the history and art of the ancient world.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Any library strong in ancient coin history will relish 100 GREATEST ANCIENT COINS, an oversized presentation from one of the country's top ancient-coin researchers who examines the finest coins of antiquity. The oversized presentation allows for full-page, large-sized and close-up images of the front and back of each selected coin, while history provides a lively discourse of their origins. Any interested in early coins will find this a winner.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Toby Teorey on May 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
100 Greatest Ancient Coins is a beautifully written and illustrated book. I have purchased coins from Harlan Berk for over 25 years and he has always maintained the highest quality in coinage and pricing. His expertise and democratic approach to rating the best coins is very satisfying. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in ancient coins and their place in history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jerry G. Walls on March 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an oversized picture book of fabulous ancients that appear mostly at up-scale auctions, and of some coins that are so rare they are not even available to collectors. The photos are great, but I found the text cloying after a few discussions and quickly boring. There is only so much you can say about Greek city issue after city issue, and much of it has to do with details of the art style that are not apparent to my barbarian eye. Almost none of these coins would be available to even the advanced collector unless they had an income well into the 6 or even 7 figures. There seems to be no logical basis for the current auction values given in the short discussions of auction history--the author assumes most ancient coins will rise in value at a fantastic rate basically forever, which may be true but (as with stamp values) also can be very misleading. Nice pictures but not really a good buy for a typical collector.
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I really liked the chronological order
Annotated references and discussions of "fakes" over the very long time periods would be nice additions.
The lest may be lacking a general consensus--needs more easily obtainable, representative specimens.
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