Coin collecting is a fun and interesting hobby. It has a long history as people have been collecting coins for centuries. This hobby can be especially good for young children because it can teach you how to save and value an asset. You can also learn some history.
In this guide we'll tell you how to get started with your own collection.
- Why Start a Coin Collection?
- Coin Terminology
- Which Type of Coins to Collect?
- How to Care for Your Coins
Why Start a Coin Collection?
Coin collecting is a great hobby and there are many reasons why you should start your own collection. We'll go over the top reasons below.
Note: It's important to buy coins from reputable dealers only. Check out our silver buying guide to learn which dealers we recommend.
Coins Can Appreciate in Value
A coin's value mainly depends on the general coin market, the coin's rarity, and its precious metals content. There will always be a market for rare coins, and as some coins get older they will appreciate in value. This depends on the coin and it's important to do your research before buying any coin.
Also currently the prices for precious metals are historically low. If you buy silver today, then it could be worth much more in the years to come.
Coins are a great item to pass down from generation to generation. It can be difficult to pass down a large piece of furniture, but it's really easy to pass down coins. They are small and easy to store. It's also quick and easy to find out a coin's current value.
Low Initial Investment
Unlike some other hobbies, it doesn't take much time or money to get started. You might even have some silver coins lying around your house somewhere. Also when you buy coins, you don't need to spend much. You could buy just one coin at a time if you wanted. If you invested just $20 a month then over time you could have yourself a nice collection.
Compare this to a hobby like golf where getting started is a much bigger commitment. If you are completely new to golf then you may need private lessons when getting started. You would also need to either buy or rent the correct equipment, and either pay a course fee or buy a country club membership. Coin collecting is a cheap and easy hobby, and there is not much of a time commitment.
Before buying any coins, it's important to first learn some basic coin terminology. This way you will know what you are buying. You will also become a more educated buyer, and you will be less likely to overpay or get ripped off. Below are a few important terms:
- BU. A grading standard of the highest quality, BU coins have not been touched by human hands. BU stands for brilliant uncirculated.
- Graded Coin. A coin that has been assigned a grade by a professional coin grading organization.
- Mint. A facility that makes coins that can be used as currency.
- Numismatic Coins. Coins that collectors will pay a premium for.
- Bullion Coins. Bullion coins are valued mainly for their precious metal content. Therefore their premiums are lower than silver/gold numismatic coins.
- 90% Silver. The percentage refers to the silver content in the coin. 90% silver coins contain 90% silver.
Besides knowing the terms, it's also good to know the current coin market. The easiest way to do this is to look on eBay under the 'completed listings' section. This will give you a good idea of what the coins are currently selling for.
If you are collecting gold or silver coins then it's also good to know the current spot prices of gold and silver. To do this you can either load up one of our calculators, or you can go to the Kitco website.
Knowing the price is especially important if you are about to buy. You don't want to overpay. Some coin dealers will try to sell you coins at a very high premium so you need to be careful.
Which Type of Coins to Collect?
It's completely up to you. That's what makes this hobby great- you collect any type of coin that you want, based on your own interest. If you like old Roman coins then you can collect those. If you like the American Silver Eagles then you can go for those.
Below we will show you a few popular ways to narrow down your collection (if you want to).
This way is simple: You just collect coins in general and buy the ones that you like. This can give you a diverse collection. You could have old British coins, 1oz bullion Mexican Libertad coins, Perth Mint numismatic coins etc.
It's a good idea to start this way because your preferences can change over time. Later you can narrow down your collection once you find out which coins you prefer.
You could collect coins from your own country or from any country. Coins from your own country will be the easiest to find. When you collect by country it's also easy to learn about a country's history. This can make you appreciate the coins even more.
You might want to collect for a specific date. It could be the year of your birthday, a family member's birthday, the year of your wedding, or any year that you want.
You could also collect for a range of years or simply old or new coins. It's completely up to you.
Coins come in all different sizes. There are small coins, big coins, and every size in between. Many collectors like the 1 oz coins. This is partly because it's easy to know the precious metal value of a 1 oz coin if you know the spot price of silver. 1 oz coins are also big enough to clearly see the coin's design, but small enough to hold securely in your fingers.
Mints come out with new coin series each year. For example, the US Mint has the American Eagle coin series. The design is the same each year- only the date changes. The American Eagle is a very popular coin, and many collectors buy the yearly addition.
There are also numismatic coin series. For example, the Perth Mint has several different yearly coin series such as the shark, kangaroo, swan, etc. What is special about these coins is that every year there is a new design. There is also a more limited production of these coins. The Perth Mint only produces 10,000 coins for each yearly series. This rarity adds to their numismatic value.
How to Care for Your Coins
Your new collection is going to have value so it's important to keep your coins safe and secure.
It's good to keep your coins in one place, preferably in a fireproof safe. If you have a fireproof safe then you can have the peace of mind that your coins will be well-protected. You can also put your coins in coin holders or in a coin album.
It's also important to handle your coins correctly. Touching coins with your bare hands can leave behind fingerprints and oil. So when handling coins we recommend wearing cotton gloves.
Coin collecting is a fun hobby that anyone can try. This hobby can also lead to exciting opportunities. One day you may even become a coin dealer.
It can also be a social hobby as there are local coin clubs that have regular meetings. To get started follow the advise in this article and search to see if there is a coin club near you.