Coin Collecting 101: Basics You Need To Know And Understand

Every numismatics enthusiast has started their coin collection somewhere. For beginners, the coin collecting hobby might feel a little bit confusing and somehow intimidating.

Some might even think that this hobby is only suited for affluent people who can spend a lot of money and be a successful coin collector. But in reality, a lot of younger people in different demographics have shown interest in coin collecting nowadays.

This is partly because coin collecting does not have a singular goal aside from, you guessed it, collecting coins! and one reason for assembling a coin collection might differ from the other. In other words, you would define your own goal, and choose what kind of coins you would want to collect and assemble. You can only get very specific on your “theme”.

Simply put, there’s no definite right or wrong approach as to how you would like to pursue your journey, as each collector can aim for very specific coin features for their collections.

There are a lot of approaches in coin collecting, and there are a number of reasons why people started their own coin collection. Several people started coin collecting from a collection they have inherited, or they are fascinated by coin’s history, some even start collecting because they found an interesting coin in their pocket.

How and Why Do People Collect Coins?

It’s undeniable that you would need to spend some fortune trying to get the coins that would fit the criteria of your collection. And with that being said, it is understandable that you could also earn a fortune for having a piece that complements another collector’s coin assembly.

Most collectors stick to their theme and can classify the coins based on certain features such as denomination, time period, country, coin history, coin’s artistic qualities, and even design theme. 

Beginners should always be reminded that there is a fine line between a coin collector and a coin investor.

Coin investors tend to buy coins in hopes of liquidating it later on for a larger sum than what they spent. A coin collector saves and assembles a coin collection for other objectives aside from its monetary value.

Almost all beginners find coin collecting overwhelming at first especially since new terms must be learned and a lot of new relevant topics to discover. 

All of these factors could even make some people prematurely discontinue pursuing the hobby out of intimidation from older, more experienced collectors.

On top of that, coin collecting is often referred to as “the hobby of kings” because the first coin collectors are kings, queens, and other royalties. And it was not until the mid 18th century that coin collecting became a very popular pastime in the United States.

Starting Your Coin Collecting Hobby

No matter what your drive is to start assembling a coin collection, there are a few fundamentals one has to learn and understand.

1. Learn as much as you can about coins

Before you start collecting coins, make sure to educate yourself with the most essential information about numismatics and coins. You could get the in-depth basics in coin collecting from coin collecting books and online references. 

This way you’ll get familiar with common coin terms, and identify coins that are worth collecting and would be helpful for you to have a lengthy and profitable journey in coin collecting.

A common phrase among coin collectors is, “buy the book before the coin”, and it’s something any experienced coin collector cannot stress enough. Learning enough from several references for helping beginners to avoid common mistakes and errors in coin collecting will save you so much time ahead of your journey.

If you’re still unsure where to start, consider reading about coin grading. This particular topic helps beginners to recognize how worn out a coin is from regular use.

The widely used grading system in coin collecting is called the Sheldon Grading Scale. Invented by Dr. William Sheldon, it helps define the level of conditions that the coins are in. Knowing this will help you estimate the value of the coins you are collecting.

2. Start from the coins you already have

The easiest way to assemble your first coin collection is to start from the coins you currently have. Coins that are already in circulation minimizes your risk of spending too much at the start of your journey.

A good starting set for collection is State quarters which are in circulation.

Aside from circulating coins, you can start from coins you randomly find in your attic, in your purse, or under your couch. Starting from these types of coins could help ease you in the coin collecting culture. 

Another good thing about starting from what you already have is that if in case you decided that coin collecting isn’t for you, then you could just spend them instead, especially the circulated ones.

3. Start small, set your goals, and narrow your focus

Once you are sure what type of collection you want to start, set your goals for your collection. Identify those that are harder to come by so you can prepare your budget in the future. In other words, do more research about the set you are trying to collect.

After that, you would want to narrow your focus and avoid trying to collect too many coin series at once, this approach might easily overwhelm a beginner.

Choose a series or set that you value the most. This way, you’ll be happier acquiring every coin in your chosen set.

4. Invest in a coin album

You have to be aware that there are correct ways to care for your coin collection, and placing them in a coin album could go a long way. An inexpensive coin album will help you protect and organize your collections.

These are the first things you need to learn for you to start your own coin collection. Just remember to be updated, and make sure to get involved in the coin collecting community, a lot of experienced numismatists would be glad to help you out.

If in any case, you would want to sell your collection, Biltmore Loan and Jewelry offers two options for unveiling the monetary value of precious metals, including selling or applying for a collateral loan. If you are interested in selling your metal collection, call us today at 480-991-5626 for Scottsdale or 480-705-5626 for Chandler. You may also complete our online form for a free market appraisal.