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Plate Coins, Pedigreed Coins and Hoard Coins


Sometimes you will see a coin described as a 'Plate Coin', 'Hoard' coin, 'pedigreed', or 'published in...(name of publication)'.

You might wonder what these terms mean or their relevance in selecting coins for your own collection. The answer to this is that although ancient coins are primarily valued for being minted in antiquity, the value of those coins can be enhanced from attributes attached to them during modern times.

Plate Coins

Plate Coins are coins which are illustrated in the pages of a numismatic publication. In many cases, these coins were selected because the author considered them superb specimens exemplify their type. Such coins are regularly considered 'best in class'. For many collectors there is sentimental value in seeing their coin in the pages of a standard reference. Also plate coins were subject to the scrutinisation of the expert numismatist writing the particular publication they were illustrated in, so effectively have been authenticated by a professional qualified and experienced to do so.

Published coins are similar to plate coins with the sole difference that they are not illustrated in the publication in which they are described.

Hoard Coins

Hoard coins are coins found in a hoard. In many cases, these hoards are published in the Coin Hoards series of publications. Coins belonging to a hoard which can be dated to a point in antiquity, are invariably authentic. Hoard coins are in the safest class of coins to buy for those particularly anxious about authenticity.


Pedigreed coins are coins which have pedigree in their ownership. They often come from famous collections, including museum collections. Their pedigree can be tracked back many decades or longer and thus predate many modern forgeries. Collectors might enjoy the idea of owning a coin which belonged to a famous collector to a well known museum. But more often than not, the appeal is in pedigree being a safer bet in favour of authenticity.