The books listed below will help you learn about the history of the ancient world, as well as interpret the designs and legends on the ancient coins in your collection. Please see our Ancient Coin Books page for a selection of books available for purchase.
Ancient Coin Collecting, Vols. 1-4, by Wayne Sayles
Four separate volumes that give an in-depth overview to collecting ancient coins.
Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, Vols. 1 & 2, by David Vagi
Invaluable study of more than 550 years of Roman history and numismatics, in a two-volume set. Biographies of the emperors and their families based on current historical information. An indispensable set, destined to be a classic!
Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins, by John Melville Jones
Traditional A-Z format, this dictionary lists deities, denominations, titles and many other topics.
History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators, 49-27 B.C., by David R. Sear
Exceptional book that covers 435 coin types during this turbulent period of Roman history. Contains a wealth of historical and numismatic information.
Roman Coins and Their Values, Millenium Edition (in five volumes), by David R. Sear
One of the most highly acclaimed multi-volume, comprehensive references that catalogues thousands of Roman coins, spanning nearly eight centuries. Useful information on emperors, denominations, reverse types and mints.
Volume I: The Republic & the Twelve Caesars, 280 B.C. - A.D. 96
Volume II: Adoptive Emperors to Severans, A.D. 96-235
Volume III: The Third Century Crisis and Recovery, A.D. 235-285
Volume IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine, A.D. 284-337
Volume V: In preparation
Roman Provincial Coin References
Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values, by David R. Sear
Coverage of Greek coins during the 1st century Roman period, as well as Judean and Parthian coins.
Tetradrachms of Roman Egypt, by James W. Curtis
Essential reprint of a long unavailable reference that lists over 2,100 tetradrachms. Supplemented with article reprints, price lists and auction catalogues.
Byzantine Coin References
Byzantine Coins and Their Values, by David R. Sear & Simon Bendall
New comprehensive revision of the 1974 edition. Over 2,500 coins listed with extensive illustrations. This is the standard handbook on Byzantine coins for the collector.
Greek Coin References
Coinage in the Greek World, by Ian Carradice & Martin Price
Good general introduction to Greek coins linking history with the evolution of coin denominations.
Dictionary of Ancient Greek Coins, by John Melville Jones
Dictionary of terms relevant to denominations, moneyers, types, mythology, games, economics, and much more.
Greek Coins, by Ian Carradice
Easy-to-follow overview of Greek coins and their regions of origin, from the 7th to the 1st century B.C.
Greek Coins and Their Values, Vols. 1 & 2, by David R. Sear
Volume 1 catalogues European Greek Coinage. Over 3,300 coins listed, with 1,500 illustrations. Volume 2 catalogues coins of Asia Minor, Africa and the Hellenistic Empires. Over 4,500 coins listed, with 2,000 illustrations.
Biblical Coin References
Guide to Biblical Coins, by David Hendin
Fifth edition of the most widely used reference in the field of ancient Judaean and Biblical coins. Describes over 525 coins in detail with current values, charts, line drawings and translations. Interesting and easy to follow.
Ancient Coin Periodicals
The Celator, Publisher/Editor Kerry Wetterstrom
Subscription information: The Celator, P.O. Box 10607, Lancaster, PA 17605‑0607. www.celator.com
Other Ancient Coin Books
100 Greatest Ancient Coins, by Harlan Berk
Part of Whitman Publishing's "100 Greatest" series, this is the first volume dedicated to non-U.S. collectibles. Handsomely illustrated in full color, this edition chronicles each ancient coin's location in history. Glossary depicts featured coins at actual size for comparison. Hardcover, 144 pages.
Roman Base Metal Coins Guide, by Richard Plant
An aid in identifying the coins in your ancient Roman collection. Includes hundreds of artists' renderings accurately depicting bronze coins by emperor. This comprehensive book covers Rome's Imperial period of coinage, from 27 B.C. – A.D. 476.
The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans, by W.V. Harris
Original research by numismatists, historians and economists into the complexities of ancient Greek and Roman monetary systems – how and why coinage was used, how Greeks and Romans made large and small payments, and how the systems were integrated throughout the empires. Hardcover/softcover, 344 pages.
The Legend of Alexander the Great on Greek and Roman Coins, by Karsten Dahmen
Illustrated presentation of portraits and representations of Alexander the Great on ancient Greek and Roman coins for over 700 years from 320 B.C. to A.D. 400. The posthumous appreciation for Alexander's legend on centuries of coinage is unique in numismatic history. Hardcover/softcover, 179 pages
Classical Deception: Counterfeits, Forgeries and Reproductions of Ancient Coins, by Wayne G. Sayles
Essential collector's guide to detection of counterfeits, forgeries and reproductions of ancient coins. Traces the history of well-known forgers, common fakes and manufacturing techniques. Tools and methods of detection are described, and a catalog of unpublished work by renowned coin reproduction artist Peter Rosa is included. Softcover, 196 pages with over 200 illustrations.
Coins, Bodies, Games, and Gold: The Politics of Meaning in Archaic Greece, by Leslie Kurke
Innovative, well-documented study of the ideological functions of ancient metals and money. Demonstrates how rival political groups in ancient Greece used coinage to imprint their views on the world, and reveals fascinating aspects of ancient Greek culture. Hardcover/softcover, 384 pages.