Could you please let us know about yourself? What do you do besides collecting coins?
I really do have quite a lot of hobbies. Some of my friends call me the man of many hobbies, no kidding. I'm almost 50 years old, so I've had plenty of time to develop my interests.
My first hobby is video games. I don't care much about most newer games so I really enjoy retro video gaming. I have several old consoles like the NES, SNES, Genesis, PS1, PS2, Sega CD, N-64, GameCube. I have some Chinese clones of these systems as well. I also have edited and translated several video games from Japanese to English, and even one Russian game.
Personal Computing; I've been using PCs since 1978 (40 years experience), since I was 9 years old on a Commodore 64. Since then I've had every IBM PC clones you could think of and more. Even some Macs and others very few people have heard of.
Internet; I've been on the internet since May 1996. From 1996-1998 was the learning time for me. Back then there wasn't hardly no support for anything so we had to make our own tools and create our own ideas. I've also been a administrator many times. One notable community is Zophar's Domain which is a emulation gaming site. I was administrator for almost 2 years and my first time doing it.
Metal detecting; I started learning metal detecting recently. I am picking the hobby up fairly well. Hopefully one day I can go overseas and do some metal detectng there to find some ancient coins of my own. Usually I purchase coins because it's the only way for me.
Many more hobbies.
When and how did you start collecting? What was attracting your interest?
I was collecting USA and world coins when I was a kid, before I was 23 (1992) years old. I was pretty irresponsible back then. I got most of my collection stolen, the rest of it I sold it and literally forgot about coins and wasn't even slightly interested until 2011, which is when I picked up coin collecting again. This time I decided to do ancient coins instead. So far I'm glad I made that choice.
Could you tell more about your collection? What is the subject of your collection and why did you choose this one specifically?
Roman Imperial is what I specialize in. I definitely do love Roman Imperials, but also there are some practical reasons as well. Roman, which is compatible with modern Latin is the base of my native language. Roman Imperial coins are nearly fully documented. It's easy and free to get all the information you need. Roman Imperial coins, the bulk majority are arguably the most common coins and cheaper in price as well. If you use both the internet and books together, you will learn what you need to know in half the time if you were to use either alone.
I also collect all ancient coins. Roman Provincial, Byzantine, Greek, Islamic and more, in that order of preference. It is my goal to be able to read as many coins as I can because I enjoy it. Also translating coins legends can be fun as well.
Why collecting (coins) is important? What's its contribution to personal development? Can anyone become a collector?
To me, hobbies are personal and can be shared with others but only if they are interested. I don't talk to people about subjects they are not interest in, to me it's being polite in a way but also it is a way to make friends by talking about stuff they are interested in instead of my interests.
It's just so difficult to find anyone interested in collecting coins, let alone ancient coins. In a world where everyone is trying to figure out a way to survive and make it financially. Interest from most people is confined to money, sex, drugs, rock n roll, rap, cars, women/men opposite sex couples. There is little room in their heart for anything trivial as most people think about coin collecting... IE a waste of money and time.
Almost every person I met was practically born to coin collecting. It's the same for me even though I quit for a long time but came back to it. Sometimes I think it's natural for us.
Sometimes people don't even realize they could become a collector. Maybe they never had the chance but then it hit them one day, the bug, and then they started collecting from then on. It's pure chance, really. I usually try to reach out to people to see if that interest in ancients is there.
Could you talk a bit on the possible difficulties in collecting? What are the challenges you have experienced personally?
I don't even know where to begin with that question. I've been collecting ancients since 2011. The entire time has been on Facebook and specifically a group called Ancientscoins that I belong to.
I also had a back injury which left me to the point where I could not walk, was sleeping around the clock. The only job I was allowed to have was really light duty, was hired by the old landlord to do cleanup work and other really light jobs. I couldn't do that very well either. Needless to say, my money and income is almost nill. You can't collect coins with no money, you will not get any coins. Generally, people don't give coins away because they are expensive. For the first five years I could not work. Now I can't find a job. I have managed to get money for coins but not too often. In 2017, I managed to obtain a whopping THREE coins. The worst year ever in every single way and more than just about coins too.
I have overcome that problem by working on research for my own purposes which I also share with everyone. Hopefully they like it.
What are your dreams/plans about your collection?
I am continuing on with my research projects and I definitely will get more coins for sure. Ancient coins is a lifetime hobby, so I am not worried about it. Maybe later on I will be doing a lot better. Who knows.
What is/are your favorite piece(s) in your collection? What is the biggest factor in choosing this coin?
By now I've seen so many awesome coins that I can't for the life of me figure out which one I like best so I just love them all. lol
How do you store your collection? In your opinion, what is the best method to preserve coins?
I hide my coins, the ones I ain't working on and expensive coins go to the bank if I ever get any. Most of my coins are worth $5 to $15 each.
Coins are not the favorite pieces of museums as it is difficult to display a object with two faces. How would you describe the best way to display coins? Could you also give examples to those museums that have amazing displays?
I'm sure I could think of a few ideas but the thing is that ancient numismatists definitely have worked for museums, but unfortunately, not in a long time. British Museum is one that has cooperated with collectors in the past. Especially with the catalogs of the British Museum. The best thing you can do is run into people that are employed by museums on Facebook or online somewhere. Have a chat with them and let them tell you about their ideas and then gradually discuss some of your ideas.
In connection with the previous question, what do you think about the importance of internet in connection with the display of coin collections? And where do you share your collection (personal website, Facebook, Instagram etc.).
I have several coin galleries and a personal website which I am consistently working on to improve and come up with ideas. It's a struggle since nearly everything thing has been done already. Just look at Forum Ancient Coins with all the subjects you can read about. None the less, I have managed to come up with some ideas. Ancient coin language support is a major feature of my website and one that I feel needs some love. It's all about reading what's on the coin.
How do you store inventory of your collection? (By means of photographing and documentation) If you take photos of your coins, could you please share a photo of your photography setup with us?
There is no need to send any photos because I have my galleries.
Tantalus Roman Imperial Grid
Tantalus Byzantine Grid.
Personal website Ancient Whitesheet
Do you clean coins in your collection? What do you think about restoration and conservation of coins?
I clean coins all the time because it's awesome to correct issues of the coin and improve it's appearance and sometimes value, but the value is not as important to me unless I am trying to track a coin down in the market.
Do you have any interesting memories as a coin collector?
I've been a member of Ancientscoins Facebook group for 5 years, almost 6. I've been a administrator for 4 almost 5 years. It's been really fun and it's been really tough running that group too. People are people, ya know. I have met so many people in the community, it has been extremely interesting to me even if I don't have a exciting story to tell, but maybe I do? lol
Have you ever think about turning your hobby into your profession? Or do you have any work on publishing books or articles?
There is absolutely no way I can make money because this is a hobby to me. I am also an administrator and I am more or less prohibited from selling coins. It's a conflict of interest for me. I am doing all work for free, all information is free. I only wish to help people for the most part. I gain very little monetary value, but gain so much more in return.
Is it logical to collect coins as investment? Or let's put it this way, why should people collect coins?
It's fine if you want to sell coins because you can make a lot of money at it if you know what you are doing. Or you could totally lose everything you own, either way. It's a gamble. If you want to take the risks, that is a personal decision that you can make. Just the same for collecting. You can do whatever you like as long as you don't rip anyone off or treat people like crap which is out of line.
What do you think about the future of your collection?
I will keep collecting but honestly, I have no idea what the future will be. I could get kicked out of the community for any reason, right or wrong. It has almost happened a few times already and I've always been upright and honest about everything I do. I'm also looking forward to the future as well. More coins and lots more work done with my sites and galleries. More coins, more friends from all over the world. Exciting prospect indeed, for me.
Do you have any suggestions or an advice to the people who has just started or want to start collecting coins?
Take it very slow, talk to people, read websites and books. Find out what you like and go for it. Don't spend all your money either.