The long-held view that coin collecting began with the Italian Renaissance has been challenged by evidence that the activity is even more venerable.Suetonius (ad 69–122) relates in his De vita Caesarum (Lives of the Twelve Caesars; Augustus 75) written in the first century CE, the emperor Augustus was fond of old exotic foreign coins and presented or gave them as gifts to his friends and courtiers during festivals and other special occasions.

Imperator Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD