What Kind Of Coin Collector Are You?

Casual coin collecting

The most ordinary type of coin collector is the casual collector. Casual collectors are both kids and adults. They collect random coins because they like the fun of it. The casual coin collector does not spend as much money on buying and preserving coins as a more advanced coin collector. Casual coin collectors usually have interest in coins with a special meaning to them, like for instance a coin minted in their year of their birth. Casual collectors often get hold of more interesting pieces as gifts from friends or family members. The gift of a rare coin has transformed many casual collectors to curious collectors instead.

Curious coin collecting

When a collector goes further than just circulation finds and getting gifts. He develops more of an interest in coins and becomes more a curious collector. The curious collector will buy some inexpensive coins, maybe look around coin shops or look at coins on eBay or other related internet sites. That way a survey of potentially interesting areas of coin collecting is made, and as the curious coin collector interacts with more seasoned collectors, he is bit by bit learning the trade of buying or selling coins. Like for instance studying coin books before making any serious decisions about buying expensive coins. At a point most curious collectors learn enough to become an advanced coin collector.

Advanced coin collecting

Every advanced coin collector is a unique coin collector. Some are dedicated generalists looking for a few examples of all kinds of coins. If they do have enough resources, this can result in an astounding collection, as that of King Farouk of Egypt, who collected everything he could get his hands on.

Many coin collectors are completists who want an example of everything within a certain set. For instance Louis Eliasberg was the only coin collector thus far to assemble a complete set of known coins of the United States. Other coin collectors focus on coins of a certain nation or historic period. And some collect coins from various nations or settle on error coins or exonumia like tokens and medals. As you can see, it can vary a lot.

At the highest levels of coin collecting, it is a highly competitive sport. It can lead to astronomical prices as enthusiastic collectors struggle for the very best examples of each date and mint mark combination.

Historical coin collecting

Coin collectors of ancient and medieval coins are more interested in historical significance than other coin collectors. The coins of Byzantine, Roman, Indian, Greek, Celtic, Merovingian, Parthian, Ostrogothic and ancient Israelite origin are among the most popular ancient coins collected. Specialties tend to vary a lot, but the common approach is collecting coins minted during a particular emperor’s time in power. A completist would for example strive for a representative coin from each emperor.

National coin collecting

Usually coin collectors of national coins specialize in the coins of their own country. A common way to collect national coins includes collecting one of every date and mint mark for a particular series. This is termed collecting by type. For instance a date set in Britain may include one Queen Victoria large penny for each year, 1837–1901. In another example a U.S. type set might include an example of each variety of each denomination produced. Most coin collectors of national coins create unique combinations of date, mint mark and type sets.

Error coin collecting

Collecting error coins is a modern development made doable through the automation of coin manufacturing processes. Coin collectors of ancient and medieval coins; accept coins with errors because manual coin manufacturing processes lend unique features to each coin struck.

Examples of coin errors could be repunched mint marks, doubled dies, double strikes, overdates, off metal coins, clipped coins, displaced or off center coins, and different denominations on two sides of one coin.

World coin collecting

World coins are collections of relatively recent modern coins from nations around the world. Geography is often the engine for this type of collector; he can travel around the world through his coin collection. Many collect by subject, for instance collecting coins from around the world featuring animals.

World coins are usually inexpensive and may be a good starting point for children. Most children find foreign coins by looking under change-to-cash machines, where customers throw away assorted coins found in their penny jars. It is possible to find coins from all over the world, ranging from Canada, to South Africa, to Korea.

Rare Coins: the Gift That Keeps On Giving

Who would have thought that the gift of a coin would end up being the best gift I’ve ever received?

I have many fond memories of my grandmother, but one such memory will stay with me for the rest of my life. When I was 10 years old, my grandmother gave me a silver dollar for Christmas.

To this day, I still have that coin. And from that little memento, I gained a lot. I gained the passion to collect coins, leading me to becoming a professional numismatist (coin expert).

Collecting coins has taught me the value of holding on to those special tokens that most people take for granted. And that Carson City, Nev. minted silver dollar ended up gaining a significant value.

Today, people collect coins for numerous reasons. Some accumulate coins as family heirlooms, some simply because they love owning miniature pieces of art sculpted by famous artists. But whatever the reason, they see the gift that coins can bring.

Besides the fact that rare-coin collecting is a fun hobby, here is a list of some other reasons you should start a collection of your own:

* Protect your assets. Hard assets offer you safety and

security in the event of a world currency crisis or stock market crash.

* Maximize your investment in metals. We can’t go back in history and create more historic coins. Only a finite number of rare coins are available.

* Inflation. Gold and silver investments follow a long-term cycle. When undervalued, they gain tremendous upside potential when the value of paper money declines.

* Liquidity. Rare coins gain liquidity as millions of dollars are traded for them weekly on the Internet and through other networks.

* No tax consequences until liquidation. Rare coins that have increased in value are not taxed until you sell them. And if you trade coins for coins of equal or greater value, you won’t be taxed.

* You’ll own a piece of history. You’ll learn about American values and history simply by collecting coins.

Start Your Own Coin Collection

Coin collections can be prized possessions that can be handed down from generation to generation. There are even coin collections today that can fetch a prize up to hundreds and thousands of dollars. Coin collecting, more importantly, can be a very engaging hobby to follow. Anyone can enjoy collecting things as a hobby. So why not collect something that can appreciate in price as time goes by? That is just one thing that a coin collection can reward its collector. Such a collection can increase in value in time.

People may not be aware of it, but most may have a start of their own coin collection. It is a wonderful hobby worth taking. Coins should not be that hard to collect since there are plenty to go around with. But that is depending on what kind of coins you wish to collect. Regardless of that, a coin collection can be a breeze to start. You might begin with what is easier to obtain in your area. You can collect your own set of good luck coins. Maybe you can add in to that collection a silver dollar, an old Indian token, or a souvenir token. As you keep on collecting, you might find out sometime later that you already have a coin collection before you.

Coin collecting can be a fascinating hobby because each coin reflects stories from the past through its marks. From royalty, great leaders to power and patriotism, each coin provides a history of the place where it was issued. Famous figures from history are forever depicted in each coin so you have an accurate portrayal of how such famous people look like during their own time.

Deciding on what coins to collect will usually depend on the collector. There are no stated rules on what coins you can collect. But there are different methods that you can use to help you in your coin collecting. One method you can use is by collecting a series or a complete set of the coins in a series such as collecting a series of coins issued at a specific date in time. You can also use the shotgun method where you collect coins that have special interest to you. You might also be able to specialize in collecting coins of unusual shapes such as those found on other countries. This might prove to be a more challenging task but it can also be more rewarding for you as you continue on adding to your collection.

There are many ways available for you to be able to start your own coin collection. There are many places where you maybe able to look for coins to start off your own collection. First off, you can check your own pocket for coins that you might have otherwise discarded. You might have traveled to other countries and they might have a lot of interesting coins worth collecting. You can also check out coin shops in your neighborhood for more valuable coins that you may want to add into your own collection. But be prepared to dish out some cash for some coins that you might want to acquire.

Coin shows also offer you another venue where you may be able to check out a wide selection of coins from dealers from all over. You might also be able to meet up with other coin collectors and build many friendships along the way. You can also ask the help from your friends and family for a coin or two that they might have. Even flea markets provide you with a great place to look for valuable coins at a bargain price. But you might need a good eye to look for such coins.

Old Coins: Discover The Thrill Of Owning A Piece Of History

Among the mainstays of coin collecting, old coins are among the most exciting and sought after members of the coin family. Not only do they tend to be rarer than modern coins, but they are often made from valuable materials that actually worth more now than the actual denomination of the coin itself. Which makes old coins that much more of a thrill.

One reason why old coins become value is the simple fact that old coins were often made from precious metals, such as gold or silver. Thus, old coins can often be worth more melted down than they would if they were spent like regular change. However, the fact that they are still stamped coins makes them even more valuable. And their value is only enhanced even more by the fact that they have been around for a while.

Old coins are made even more valuable when they are also rare. Fortunately, the fact that coins are old tends to make them rarer. This is because the older a coin is, the more likely that people have exchanged it for more modern currency and the more likely that the government has gotten a hold of it and melted it down. In fact, most governments have specific legal requirements to destroy old coins in order to keep the money supply modern, making it more difficult for coin collectors to find old coins.

However, coin collectors don’t just look for old coins because they are valuable. They are also unusual and provide a connection to people who lived long ago. When you have an old coin in your hands, you are holding the same coin that was passed from hand to hand one hundred, one thousand, even two thousand years ago. They are not just metal, they are pieces of history. What you see and feel in your hands is exactly what your forebears saw and felt.

When you hold old coins in your hands, you are not just holding some old money. Rather, you are holding links to your forebears. Those coins have moved through history as surely as great architecture. And the old coins you collect may have even made history on their own. Who knows whose hands those old coins may have passed through? They may have been in the palms of kings and presidents, philosophers and physicians, writers and artists, or inventors and tycoons. And with the number of times that change changes hands, there is no telling who might have spent those old coins you are adding to your collection.

While old coins can be good investments, they are much more than that for a coin collector. They are windows to long gone pasts and forgotten times. They are connections to people who have lived all manner of lives and done things both great and small. So when you see old coins, remember that many people have worked to earn that coin and they have all, at some level, appreciated its presence in their lives. So enjoy those old coins that you collect and appreciate them for the fact that they could fill entire books with the stories that they have to tell.

Identifying US Coins With Bullish Futures

Okay, let’s get something straight… I do not advocate the purchase of United States coins strictly for investment purposes. Like most traditional collectors, I believe coins are to be primarily appreciated for their artistic beauty, historical connections, and the joy of pursuing them. However, it should be no secret that a significant number of us do add to our numismatic holdings while simultaneously peeking at the payback angle, too.

In truth, there are probably substantial numbers of traditional collectors who prefer to acquire coins destined to increase in esteem and value over time; treasured heirlooms and a source of pride to be passed from one generation to the next. On the flip side of this equation, it seems implausible that anyone would buy a coin with the hope or expectation to see it stagnate or decrease in value. Indeed, any commentator who suggests the words “investment” and “coins” should never appear in close proximity to one another is ignoring a heavily populated segment of our hobby.

Now that we’ve established that it’s not numismatic heresy to seek coins with strong upside possibilities, let’s get down to basics. The guiding principle is simple: Any coin that has demonstrated solid, consistent gains over a long period of time is likely to show continued growth in the years ahead. Easily said, but as we shall soon see, not so easily put into practice.

So exactly how does a one identify coins with a potentially bullish future? The best clues are revealed by analyzing the retail value trends over a long period of time for a given coin. Observing current prices alone does not yield enough information to correctly evaluate prospective price movements. What was the coin selling for two or three years ago compared to today? Dig deeper, and find the market price for the same coin 5-10 years ago. While you’re at it, get something from 20-30 years or more in the past, too. The more good data researched, the more reliable will be your final conclusions. Now whip out your spreadsheet and chart the numbers, or compute annualized rates of return. Flat or negative trends are bad. Positive trends are good. Steep positive trends are best. Any coin displaying a proven annualized growth pattern of at least 5-10% over a span of many years qualifies as an attractive option for the collector desiring coins headed for much higher price levels a few years down the road.

During the course of my lengthy numismatic career, I’ve researched the long term value trends of most collectible US coins. Thanks to my trusty computer, I’ve calculated annualized compounded percentage return rates and honed in on a handful of coins that have consistently beaten the overall coin market averages. Unfortunately, the blue-chippers are scarcely encountered. Perhaps it is this fact that explains why so many well-intentioned hobby purists scorn the idea of blending coin collecting with the profit motive.

Individuals whose objective is to satisfy their numismatic pleasure by assembling a collection certain to be the envy of tomorrow’s collectors must do their homework today. Remember to research historic value trends and evaluate growth potential based on previous performance. One last word of advice… never loose sight of the fact that you are handling artifacts of America’s past, and that all of us are merely their temporary custodians. Respect these coins and the history they represent, and you’ll always discover new avenues of adventure not found in most other investment opportunities.

Coins, Paper Money, Or Stamps

What should you collect as a hobby; coins, paper money, or stamps?

Which is the best investment?

It’s strange that some people who collect coins, paper money, or stamps, always want some kind of return on their investment. These are the same people who think nothing of buying a new car and then selling it a few years later for a fraction of what they paid for it. A new car loses value as soon as you drive it on the road!

As for investing in paper money, if someone is buying notes and thinking how much will they be able to get when they sell them again, this person has the wrong hobby. Enjoy collecting for the pleasure and for the fun of it.

Coins and stamps are tangible reminders of years gone by. Yet, while coin collecting is flourishing as a hobby, stamp collecting is decreasing in popularity. Many families who inherit stamp collections are more interested in getting the collection appraised than continuing the collection. You can’t collect something if you don’t know what it is.

Stamp collecting dates back to 1840, when the first stamp was issued in England. One of the earliest indications of stamp collecting is an advertisement from an English newspaper in which a young woman wanted used stamps to wallpaper her room. Soon, post offices discovered stamp collectors as a good source of revenue. From there, stamp collecting took off.

There are no rules about stamp collecting. Some people collect stamps from a certain country while others focus on a particular theme, such as flowers, or ships, or buildings.

Unfortunately, stamp collecting has simply lost its appeal to younger people.

Coin collecting, on the other hand, is at its peak in popularity. Rare or modern coins offer history that collectors can hold in their hand, and every period from the past 2,500 years is reflected in coinage.

Stamps disappear and become part of the ground. A coin can be dug up and, while new varieties of stamps are not really being discovered, new types of coins from all over the world are still being found. How many stamps or bank notes do you think you’ll find while out exploring with a metal detector?

Whilst improperly stored coins can degrade and lessen in value, paper money can be damaged by handling, sunlight, or water. All are subject to flood, fire, or other natural catastrophes.

A stock certificate with half of it burned away is just as good as a mint one in terms of its value on the exchange. In fact, as long as ownership can be proven, it often doesn’t even matter if the physical certificate exists. The same can’t be said for paper money.

You can insure against these problems, and go to great lengths to maintain proper storage conditions, but all of this costs money and adds to the cost of the investment, often for many years before there is any return at all.

Today, coin collecting is one of the world’s most popular hobbies. Amateur collectors enjoy coins for their beauty and rarity. Added to this is the excitement of searching for and finding specific coins and the challenge of identifying new ones.

Why is coin collecting thriving and stamp collecting dying? Coins are still being used and are still fascinating. It is an investment as well as a hobby. Coins continue to go up in value while many stamps are at the peak value they will ever receive. Furthermore, many are going down in value.

Enjoy your hobby, and consider whatever you invest in it to be pleasure money, the same way you would count money you spent going to ball games, or dining out, or buying new clothes. Then, whatever you or your family get out of your collection is pure profit, whether it is more or less than what you originally paid.

After all, if you spend $20 a week going to the movies, you don’t expect to get anything back for your $1,000 a year collection of ticket stubs, do you?

I believe there is room in both the collecting of coins and paper money for both collectors and investors.

The important thing to remember in investing in coins or banknotes is rarity and desirability.

How Coin Collecting Began

A Brief History of Coins and Coin Collecting

Very few things tell more about a country in fewer words than the coins it produces. Coins hold a wealth of information on their small faces, from the year of their birth to the language spoken at the time, from the metals a country holds valuable to the cultural influences and historical figures that its people hold valuable. Coins can also be strikingly beautiful in their own right, with the top designers of a nation striving to have their motif chosen for immortality on the face of a coin. With so much information and beauty contained in so small a package, it is no surprise that coin collecting has been a hobby nearly as long as the concept of coins themselves. An understanding of the long history of coin collecting, once known as “the hobby of kings,” will make this pastime even more enjoyable.

The Origin of Coins and Coin Collecting

The hobby of coin collecting began nearly as soon as the first coins were minted in Asia Minor, around 650 B.C. Before that time, gold and silver ingots were the most common form of legal tender. Because there was no standard, however, each trade necessitated a careful weighing and examination of the precious metals being offered, and it was easy for unscrupulous merchants to pass off a lesser quality of gold in trade. Coins, which were printed on standardized weights of precious metals and stamped with a government guarantee of value, was the answer to this unwieldy, easily sabotaged trading process. Within one hundred years, the concept of coins had been adopted by all of the major trading cities in the civilized world.

At the beginning, coin collecting had a very practical reason – there were no banks in which to store money. People hoarded coins as a way of safeguarding their wealth. Those coins that were especially beautiful were hoarded the longest, often being passed down within families.

Coin Collection in Renaissance Times

Modern coin collecting, where the coins are viewed as a work of art as well as a collection of valuable legal tender, is widely thought to have begun with Francesco Petrarca, or Petrarch, who is often called the father of the Renaissance. Although there is reason to believe that Roman emperors and citizens paid prices higher than face value for coins that were no longer in circulation, Petrarch was known to be an avid collector, and often spoke of his collection in his writing. During the Renaissance, popes and nobility began collecting coins for their artistic and historical value, and the name “the hobby of kings” was born. So popular was the pursuit and trade of ancient Greek and Roman coins in this time period, that a brisk business in high-quality counterfeits sprang into being. Today, these counterfeits even have a high value, due to their age, quality, and historical significance.

Coin Collecting in Modern Times

Coin collecting has been a favorite pastime of many people with a reverence for history, including U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The development of two large coin organizations in the mid-to-late 1800s, the American Numismatic Society (ANS) and the American Numismatic Association (ANA), helped spark American interest in building and maintaining a coin collection. Today, there has been an explosion in American interest in coin collecting, in large part due to the ease and availability of obtaining interesting coins. The U.S. Mint has successfully increased interest in starting a coin collection through the minting of specialty coins, such as the bicentennial half dollars released in 1976 and the current release of quarters commemorating each of the fifty states.

How Do I Sell My Coin Collection?

So, you feel it is time to sell your coin long-time collection, or you have inherited a collection and you know nothing about coins and you want to sell them. As with the sale of anything, you want to make sure you get a fair price. Sounds simple enough, right? In the area of numismatics, when it comes time to sell, offers for your collection can vary greatly. The following tips will help guide you to getting a fair and reasonable offer. I will talk more on the term “reasonable” a little bit later. Coin Dealers, like any other profession, number in the thousands. From part-time single person businesses to huge companies that buy and sell millions of dollars of coins annually. And like other professions and industries, we have a few crooks. By following the general tips in this article, you should be in a better position to realize your collections value. So here we go!

First and foremost, you need to know what you have. Why? If you do not know what you have, how do you know you are getting fair value? If you have thousands and thousands of wheat cents, I am not saying you need to inventory them all. In fact, it may not be worth your time. The chances of finding a key coin are slim at best. But you should know how many pennies you have. How? Simply weigh them. Wheat pennies come to about 148 pennies per pound. The same rule can apply to other common coins such as pre 1965 Roosevelt Dimes and Washington quarters as you may just a bullion price on these. For the rest of your collection, you may want to count the number of each piece. Make sure you have a complete list of your collection.

OK, time to contact a dealer? No, not yet. How do you know you are getting an honest one? Before contacting a dealer, you need to do some homework. Does the dealer belong to any organizations and clubs such as ANA or BBB? How long has s/he been in business? What is their reputation? Check out a couple of dealers before you make that call. Also, just because they advertise in a major coin collecting publication, does not make them honest. I know of one dealer who advertises in a major publication and sells cleaned coins as BU/Unc originals. Most novice collectors would not know the difference.

Now that you have done some research, it is time to contact the dealer. This can be done in many ways. You can give them a call or if you are the shy type, just send them an email. In your email, identify yourself and that you have a collection for sale. Include in the email the inventory you completed. This may come as a shock to many, but some dealers will NOT want your collection. Many dealers specialize in certain types or series, or just may have too many coins in their inventory. If your collection is an average collection of common coins, you may be disappointed to learn that many, if not all of the big dealers simply do not want to bother with you. It is too time consuming to sort the common collections and the margins are too small. Do not fret, all is not lost. Many smaller dealers will welcome the chance to obtain your collection. Many of these dealers work in mail-order only and may have only email or a PO Box as contact information. While they may appear shady, these folks generally are quite reputable. As before, contact the dealer and ask if they are interested. If they are not, just move on to the next dealer. If they are, ask them for their “buy price” list. Many dealers will publish a list of what they are willing to pay for certain coins.

After some hard work, you have a couple offers on the table. The offers are not anywhere near what you expected. Remember what I said above about a “reasonable” offer? Here is the painful truth. Coin Dealers are in business to make money. Sure, many of us chose this profession because we love it, but like everybody else, we still have mortgages, car payments, and college for kids, etc. Many people will look in the latest Coin Prices magazine to come up with an idea of what there collection is worth. Magazines such as Coin Prices are really a list of prices of what you can expect to pay a dealer for a specific coin, not what you can expect to get paid. Markups can range from 20-50% or more for smaller denomination coins such as wheat cents. As I mentioned earlier, some dealers just may not want what you have. Also, many, if not all dealers, reserve the right to revise the offer on inspection of the collection. If you think all your Morgan Dollars are BU, but they are really AU, this would make a huge difference in price. Grading is highly subjective. Also, for larger, more diverse collections, a dealer may spend a considerable amount of time reviewing the collection to ensure a fair price.

So, what to do? Take the best offer and run? Maybe, maybe not. If this is an inheritance, and you have no emotional attachment, you can just sell and never look back. If this is your collection of 50 years, well this may be painful. You can continue to contact different dealers and wait for a better offer. If you feel your collection is really worth more, you can always consign it for auction. With some of the fees the major auction firms charge, it may not be worth it. You can also try your hand at eBay but unless you have a strong feedback profile, many buyers will not bid on your items. You can also locate eBay members who will auction off your collection for you for a percentage of the take. Sometimes this works out well and sometimes not.

For now, let’s assume you have a reasonable offer and you decide to sell. By the way, this should be a written offer sent via the mail or sent via email. Many times, the buyer may be located in another city/state. No buyer will send you a check until they have seen the collection. If the collection is large enough (many, many thousands of dollars), some buyers will come to you. If not, your very viable option is to send the collection to the buyer via mail. Yes, that is right, via the mail. Wait you say, that sounds risky. It can be, but if you take precautions, you will have no problems. First, package the collection up very well. Make sure there are NO LOOSE coins jingling around. The sound of jingling coins is music to a thief’s ear. So be sure to wrap them up well and tight. When sending via the mail, the USPS is fairly safe. Usually, you will want to use USPS Priority Mail. Contact your local post office as you can usually get free boxes. Generally, you will want to use the Flat Rate options as you can ship up to 70 pounds for under $10.00 (not including insurance), but ask your local postal clerk for options. For your protection, you MUST insure your package and pay for delivery conformation. Include in your package an itemized list. Most dealers will appreciate this as they will audit the shipment to the list. If all is well, you can expect a check in the mail in no time.

In summary, here are the tips

1. Know what you have, prepare a comprehensive inventory

2. Research some dealers before you contact one.

3. Talk to dealers before sending coins to gage interest

4. Send your coins. Package them well and insure them

5. Review the offer

6. Collect the cash!

As always, happy collecting!

Coin Values – How Much Is Your Coin Worth?

One of the most enjoyable parts of coin collecting is learning about coin values. After all, as enjoyable as coin collecting is on its own, seeing the investment potential of a coin collection is also enjoyable. Besides, when you can see your coins increase in value, it makes your hobby feel functional. And, when you can see how many coins your current coins are worth, it is a self-expanding hobby. However, to enjoy this aspect of coin collecting, you are going to need a way to look up coin values.

One of the best places to go for coin values is to a coin dealer. These people are experts in their field and they are likely to stay abreast of prices, auctions, information and news related to coin collecting. And, because they are probably coin collectors themselves, you can sit down with them and discuss coins and how you can improve your collection. And, because dealers buy and sell coins, they can help you sell your coins if and when you want to sell portions of your collection; by either buying the coins directly or connecting you to other buyers they are familiar with.

Another method for determining coin values is through coin blue books. There are several books out there that contain complete lists of almost every coin ever struck and their current values. These books come out every year and they list the market value of coins by year, minting location and condition, as well as any other pertinent information that may affect market value. However, their information is fixed once they are published and, in some cases, the information is already out of date by the time the book hits the stands. But they will, at the very least, give a good idea of how much your coins are worth.

The Internet is also a very good source of information, thanks to several sites that offer lists of coin values. Many of the sites are very up-to-date and stay close to new developments, though it depends on the particular site. Unfortunately, since many things on the Internet are not always reliable, it is best to check a few sites in order to ensure that the information is correct. By looking at a few different sites, you can get averages of several sources and avoid getting bad information from one site that is neglecting to update.

Of course, coin values are not just arbitrary numbers. In fact, the value of a coin is actually the amount that someone would expect to receive upon selling a coin. Which means that it is, essentially, how much someone should be willing to pay for a given coin. So, if you want to figure out what a coin is worth, you should see what people are paying for it. With all the auction sites and coin sale sites out there, you can find the information you need just by researching what other people are asking or paying for a particular coin.

Finding coin values takes a little effort and diligence, but it is certainly worthwhile. It allows you to find out what your collection has been doing for you and it lets you determine how well you have chosen the coins that have gone into your collection. And that has a lot to do with the fact that coin values also determine how many other people want exactly what you have sitting in front of you.

Coin Collecting Opens The Door To The Past

Coin collecting or numismatics is probably one of the most popular hobbies in the world and also one of the oldest. Many individuals at some point in time have collected coins. If you want to start a coin collection, a lot of research and study should be devoted to the hobby of coin collecting.

Coins have often been regarded as ‘mirrors of history’. Other than the monetary value and worth of antique coins, they also possess historical value. Coins belonging to different ages have different stories to tell of empires and emperors.

Amateur coin collectors generally start their coin collection by collecting coins that belong to their own country, as this is the easiest and the most cost effective way to start a coin collection. With time this may give way to specializing in collecting coins that belong to a particular type. Coin collectors may specialize in coins of a particular country or of a particular period or metal. Commemorative coins, such as those released during sporting events or those that mark the independence day of a country, can also make an appealing collection. Coins with faults or defects are also popular among serious collectors.

As with any other hobby, the coin collection market is flooded with fakes and if you are not an expert in this field it is very difficult to separate the original genuine coins from the counterfeit coins. Before buying expensive coins it is a good idea to get the coin authenticated by reputable coin grading and coin authentication services. The condition of a coin is denoted by a coin grade. For a detailed study on coin grades, read Photograde by James Ruddy. Currently, the more reputable coin grading services are Professional Coin Grading Service, Numismatic Guarantee Corporation of America, ANACS and Independent Coin Grading Co.

The best places to buy coins are reputable coin dealers, auctions, coin shows or from other collectors, though you should avoid buying from the internet as it is hard to judge online whether the coin you are interested in is genuine or counterfeit. Coins may be stored in coin cases, coin trays and coin albums. However, you should avoid storing coins in jars, as keeping them in a jar may scratch the coins.

Amateur coin collectors may mistakenly think that cleaning coins is an important part of caring for the coin collection. However, the opposite is true; it is best that coins are not cleaned at all. Collectors prefer the original look of coins and cleaning coins may bring down their value. If your coins need any cleaning, you should first consult a professional or an expert. Olive oil or soapy water may be used for cleaning coins. Harsh cloths should never be used to clean, and tap water is a strict no-no as they contain minerals that may harm the coins.