Selling and Evaluating Gems

Are you intending to sell ancient gemstones or seals? Or perhaps you need an expert evaluation of a piece of your own gem collection? At Kölner Münzkabinett we have many years of experience in trading gems, and most importantly, in being able to identify and assess their value competently. Buying and selling ancient seals, gems and cameos from all periods of antiquity – whether Ancient Near-Eastern, Minoan-Mycenaean, Phoenician, Greek, Etruscan or Roman – is part of our everyday business.

We would be delighted to feature any high quality gemstones or related objects such as cylinder and stamp seals, signet rings, or ancient jewellery beads in our next auction. Our catalogues have a reach of more than 1000 collectors and dealers. To ensure the highest possible visibility of your consignments, all items are also offered internationally via There is no charge for unsold items.

If you live in the Cologne area, you are welcome to come by our store with your treasures. We will examine them, assess their value and of course, and if you prefer, we can also arrange the sale.

To ensure that the right person to advise you is on site, we kindly ask you to arrange an appointment by phone.

Buying Gems

You are a gem collector, or are interested in ancient gems? You would like to buy gems to enhance your collection, or are looking for a specific gemstone to bring it back to life set in a piece of jewellery? For this purpose you need personal and competent advice?

Then you’ve come to the right place! Our shop in downtown Cologne is open every day (Tues-Sat) and we always stock a number of interesting ancient gems and seals.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, if you are looking for a specific stone. We would be delighted to help you with your search, so that you can benefit from our long-standing relationships with collectors and dealers.

Gem Auctions

The Kölner Münzkabinett regularly holds two floor and two e-auctions a year, mainly selling coins and medals, primitive money and antiquities. At the same time, we offer a wide range of ancient seals and gems, covering the entire spectrum from ancient Near-Eastern cylinder and stamp seals to Minoan-Mycenaean seals to Greek, Etruscan and Roman gems. We also feature modern seals and signet rings, gem cast collections, as well as literature on ancient glyptic art.

Upcoming auctions

Auction 113
April 4, 2020

Auction 114
October 10, 2020

Our offer

Over 50 years of successful trading Gems, Cameos and Precious Stones in Cologne.

The Kölner Münzkabinett
Gems, Cameos and Precious Stones

Gems (Latin gemma = precious stone) are miniature works of art carved into semiprecious stones. Along with coins they are the smallest pictorial medium of antiquity being only a few centimetres or even millimetres in size. But unlike coins which have an official character, gems were mostly set into rings and used as seals or personal ornaments, and as such belonged to the most personal possession of their ancient owners, thereby enabling us a very private glimpse into the ancient world.

Gems are certainly among the most beautiful works of ancient art, and were highly valued in all cultures of classical antiquity. Even long before the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans perfected the technique of gem engraving and created intaglios and cameos, engraved seals made of stone were used. This is confirmed by Near Eastern stamp and cylinder seals dating back to the 5th millennium BC, as well as by the impressive seal stones of the Minoan and Mycenaean culture.

Gems enchant us, not only because of their wealth of shapes and colours, which can range from bright orange-red carnelian to the blood-red or yellow jasper, from violet amethyst through to green chrome chalzedony and the many colourful varieties of agate. But what is also fascinating is their variety of images. Frequently exceptional representations are found on gems. They cover all areas of ancient life – depictions of gods, heroes and humans, scenes of myth and cult and of everyday life. Furthermore, vivid depictions of animals, grotesques, objects and symbols can be found.
Collecting gems has a long tradition that dates back to ancient times. Also in later times gems were always highly valued, but it was not before the 18th and 19th century when a newly revived enthusiasm for engraved gems emerged. Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768), the founder of Classical Archaeology, was even so enthusiastic about gems, that he called them ‘the most authentic testimonies of antiquity’.

If you too are interested in these very special little treasures of antiquity, you are welcome to visit our store in the centre of Cologne.


Are you interested in buying or selling ancient gemstones, cameos or seals, or do you have any questions related to gems?
Do not hesitate to contact us, we would be delighted to help you.