Coin collecting has a long history of being the hobby of Kings and Queens. We all know royalty and the privileged classes collected but who actually was a collector? Check out our list below for a peak at some of the most famous coin collectors in history.
Caesar Augustus 63 BC – 14 AD
Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader who was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, controlling Imperial Rome from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. According to Suetonius, he gave “coins of every device, including old pieces of the kings and foreign money” as Saturnalia gifts.
Alfonso V of Aragon 1396 – 1458
Alfonso was the King of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica, Sicily, and Count of Barcelona from 1416, and King of Naples from 1442 until his death. He was one of the most prominent figures of the early Renaissance and a knight of the Order of the Dragon. He had a collection of ancient coins which had been discovered in Italy and carried them with him in an ivory cabinet
Pope Paul II 1417 – 1571
Paul II was Pope from 30 August 1464 to his death in 1471. He collected ancient coins, and had about a hundred gold and a thousand silver coins. It was said that he “was able at a glance to tell where an ancient coin came from”
Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria 1529 – 1595
Ferdinand was ruler of Further Austria including Tirol. The cabinets in which he stored his coins are today kept in the Vienna Coin Cabinet and at Ambras Castle.
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales 1594 – 1612
Henry was the elder son of James VI and I, King of England and Scotland, and his wife, Anne of Denmark. He purchased Abraham Gorlaeus’ collection.
Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg 1646 – 1691
Frederick I was a duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. His diaries reveal that he “enjoyed making an inventory of his coins and arranging them in order”.
Thomas Jefferson 1743 – 1826
Jefferson was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and later served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He often acquired contemporary European issues through his travels abroad
John Quincy Adams 1767 – 1848
Quincy Adams was an American statesman who served as a diplomat, minister and ambassador to foreign nations, and treaty negotiator, United States Senator, U.S. Representative (Congressman) from Massachusetts, and the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829. His collection was auctioned by the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1971.
Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 1844 – 1921
Philip was the second prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and lord of Csábrág and Szitnya. His collection was auctioned in 1928.
Dodson was a rear admiral in the United States Navy, who served during World War II. He kept a collection of ancient Greek coins with him while serving on board the USS Hornet in 1942.