The hobby of coin collecting is trading or collecting coins or other kinds of legal tender that is minted. There are a host of types of coins that interest coin collectors. For instance, interesting coins, from a collector’s perspective, can include those in circulation for only a short time, those that have mint errors, and those that are either historically important or simply aesthetically beautiful. Coin collecting is one of the most popular as well as oldest hobbies on the planet. It is often called the “King of Hobbies” precisely because of its longevity.
The history of coin collecting can be traced back to as long as coins have been minted. The earliest coin collectors hoarded any number of coins because of their bullion value. The collecting of coins for purely their value was something that came only later. Archaeological evidence that comes from the Romans as well as the Mesopotamians indicated that citizens of those ancient civilizations collected coins. Though numismatics is defined as the study of currency, it is sometimes confused with coin collecting. Even though numismatics and coin collecting are intimately related, one can be a coin collector without being a numismatist and vice versa.
People interested in becoming coin collectors will find that it should be easy to get started. The following will detail how people can immerse themselves in the hobby of coin collecting. Two important aspects to being a coin collector are conducting research and deciding precisely on just what coins to collect and trade. Coin collecting is a hobby that has many resources to help the newly interested collector out.
Starting Your Own Coin Collection
Starting one’s own coin collection can be the beginning of a fruitful and, most importantly, rewarding hobby. The easiest place to begin is simply by taking coins that are in circulation. By doing this, one will be able to save his or her own money and get an introduction into what coin collecting will be like. This will also help if a person decides that coin collecting is not for him or for her; if this occurs, the person can just decide to spend the coins that were accumulated in the first stages of the introduction to coin collecting.
Some coins are more appealing than others for coin collectors. For example, state quarters are known as the most popular type of coin series for those just starting their new coin collections. The presidential dollar series is an equally popular coin series that is ideal for people just getting into coin collecting. Other good choices for those starting are Roosevelt Dimes, Lincoln Cents and Jefferson Nickels.
Major Collecting Areas & Deciding What to Collect
Because it is at times hard to choose what to collect, there are already some major areas of coins to collect that can serve as ideas. The first major area is ancient coins, which relates to coinage dating back to Roman and Greek times. The second major area is U.S. coins, which offers the benefit of providing a lot of resources to new collectors because of how well-researched this area is. The last area is world coins, which, although daunting to a new collector, presents the collector with great deals and overwhelming choice.
Deciding what to collect comes down to grouping coins according to some common bond. This common bond can be by country, year, mint mark, variety, particular president or denomination, certain time period, series or type, metal, theme, error coins, and medals and tokens. Collecting coins according to country means grouping them by favorite country, while collecting by year means getting all coins for a certain year for a specific country. Collecting by mint mark means acquiring one type of coin for every year it was minted, while collecting by variety means collecting coins according to slight variations when they come out of the mint.
Collecting particular presidents or denominations means grouping coins based on their exact denominations (like quarters) or presidential denominations. Specific time period collecting entails collecting coins that are from the same time frame in history, such as the ancient times. Collecting by either type or series involves collecting coins based on a certain specification or design. Collecting coins by metal involves acquiring them based on them being gold or silver, while collecting by theme means collecting based on a common theme in the coins’ designs. Collecting error coins involves collecting those coins that have a defect in them, while medal and token collecting refers to either war medals or commemorative tokens.
Coin Collecting Research
Doing coin collecting research is vital to the hobby of coin collecting. Research is vital because it is necessary to establish the value of any given coin in one’s collection. The first part of research involves identifying the coin in question. Other important aspects of coin collecting research are finding out the grade of one’s coins, the mint mark of a coin, factors that impact the value of a coin, caring properly for a coin, and the needed accessories to support this new hobby.
Where to Find Collectible Coins
Finding collectible coins takes coin collectors to a number of places. Several places are suitable for finding coins: pocket change, coin shows, coin shops, mail order and Internet sales, auctions, flea markets, estate sales and yard sales. Pocket change is an ideal place to find coins because it won’t cost the collector anything, but coin shops sell affordable coins to new collectors. Coin shows allow collectors to compare different prices, while mail order and Internet sales may provide good deals, but are sometimes dubious in quality. Similarly, with auctions, collectors are exposed to a host of variety, but it may be tricky to navigate the auction process. Flea markets, yard sales and estate sales also offer the off-chance that one might spot a diamond-in-the-rough coin, yet it is advisable that a collector be competent in determining the grade of coins at such places before he or she purchases them.
Coin Resources & Further Education
Getting ahead as a collector will be helped along by meeting and dealing with other coin collectors. Other coin collectors are an important supplement to the vast array of resources that a coin collector already has at his or her disposal. These are resources like the Internet, books and magazines all about coin collecting. There are certain places to both meet other collectors as well as learn more about the hobby of coin collecting. These are places like coin shows, coin dealers, coin clubs and educational seminars.
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