GAINESVILLE, Mo., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- If the hands of time were to spin backward at the rate of one year per minute, it would take more than 37 hours to reach the day in 336 B.C. when Alexander was born. In that vortex of time, we would pass the births of Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Charlemagne, Attila the Hun and Julius Caesar -- all great conquerors who shaped history.
Yet, none of these names resonate like that of Alexander the Great. More than 1,000 years after his death, his exploits were still being chronicled in the medieval Iskandernama of the East and the Alexander Romances of the West. Even today, he is regarded as a bigger-than-life Super Hero.
Surprisingly, the past is not as "untouchable" as it might seem. One can still hold and own an authentic piece of the "Alexander Romance". In contrast to great museum treasures, common coins from the lifetime of Alexander still survive in very large numbers within private collections worldwide.
According to Wayne G. Sayles, author of several books about ancient coins, Alexander converted massive spoils of war into a standardized coinage and once gave 10,000 veterans a severance of one talent per man, about 58 pounds each in silver coins.
"Struck in gold, silver and bronze, at mints stretching from Macedonia to Afghanistan, the coins of Alexander are very popular and quite readily obtained by modern collectors," says Sayles.
Ancient coin collecting began in earnest during the Italian Renaissance with the emergence of an established market. Sayles estimates that the multimillion dollar ancient coin market today includes more than 200 dealers in the United States alone and perhaps 50,000 collectors -- many of whom are advanced in their knowledge and experience.
"For the past 600 years," says Sayles, "private collectors and dealers have been at the forefront of numismatic research."
"As a science, numismatics is unique," adds Kerry K. Wetterstrom, editor of "The Celator," a leading journal in the field of ancient coin collecting. "No institution in the United States, that I am aware of, offers a degree program in ancient numismatics. Although some academicians use ancient coins as a primary resource, the overwhelming majority of reference works and specialized studies in this field have come from the private sector."
Wetterstrom also serves as president of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG). This nonprofit guild supports the collector fraternity through education, political action and consumer protection.
"We are pleased to see the resurgence of interest in the classical world and of public enthusiasm over recent Hollywood productions like the new movie about Alexander," he added. The ACCG serves individual members and affiliate member clubs both in the U.S. and abroad.
Contact: Wayne G. Sayles, 417-679-2457
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SOURCE Ancient Coin Collectors Guild
CONTACT: Wayne G. Sayles of Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, +1-417-679-2457, firstname.lastname@example.org
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