With the expanded third edition of his award-winning 100 Greatest Ancient Coins, author, researcher, and long-time coin dealer Harlan J. Berk has created a volume that appeals to both novice collectors and avid numismatists. With his engaging narrative and hundreds of full-color photographs, Berk takes readers on a journey back in time to the earliest days of coin minting.
Each coin in this book ranks as one of the greatest relics of antiquity. Individually, they stand out as unique pieces of history, artistry, and human effort. Collectively, they tell the story of civilization from the glory days of the ancient Greeks to Europe’s descent into the Dark Ages. Berk’s passion for the beauty and workmanship of coins shows through in his writing, which is highly informative, sometimes gossipy, and always thought-provoking. The coins described in the book, he says, “have been collected almost since they were issued. There is evidence that the leaders of some great cities issued wonderful artistic coins made by recognized artists so that future generations would know what heights they reached. . . . Renaissance kings and princes collected coins. Today ancient coins are collected around the globe.”
In this expanded and revised edition, Berk has added new information about the earliest surviving forms of human art—ancient cave paintings—and draws a direct line to the earliest examples of coinage. He has given special attention to the first-ranked coin, Brutus’s Eid Mar, minted to mark the overthrow of Julius Caesar, and the owl tetradrachms of ancient Athens, one of the mostly widely used coins of the ancient world. New coin rankings, new photographs, recent market information, an illustrated glossary, and other updated contents make the book a visual treat as well as an educational reference.
“I can’t think of another person more qualified to have written this popular book than Harlan J. Berk. An impressively entertaining and informative volume . . . a fun book to read for anyone interested in ancient history.” — Author and numismatist David Hendin
“A remarkable catalog of 100 exceptional coins . . . invaluable for all serious ancient-numismatic academics, historians, dealers, and amateurs alike.” — British numismatist and author Italo Vecchi