If you are thinking about starting the fun hobby of coin collecting there are a few basics you should learn that will help you get started on the right foot and might even save you some money.
One problem (if you can call it that) with coin collecting is that there are so may different types of coins to collect that a novice might but be overwhelmed and get frustrated. Relax, this has happened to many others before you and the fact is most coin collectors specialize in certain types of coins as there is no way unless you are extremely wealthy that you could collect every coin ever made from around the world.
Even though the U.S. State Quarter Program has been enormously popular I think that there are so many people collecting them that it will be a long time before they become very valuable. Still, they are a really good way to begin coin collecting especially if you are on a tight budget.
Personally, I would suggest starting with U.S. coins like the Penny, Nickel and Dime but the neat thing about collecting coins is that you can choose to collect whatever interests you. If you like Franklin Half Dollars then go ahead and start collecting them. Just remember the odds are pretty slim you will be finding one in your change anytime soon.
Go to your local hobby store and look for the coin collecting section where you will find some basic items like coin folders to store your budding collection. These are cheap and work very well when just starting out. Buy a few books on coins to help you learn about the different coins that have been minted and how they are graded and their current values.
With all collectibles the better the condition of the item the more it is worth and coins are no different. Grading coins has evolved into a very exacting science over the years and you must quickly learn how coins are graded and valued or you will become an easy target for unscrupulous coin dealers that take advantage of the beginning coin collector.
Buy a good quality magnifying glass and spend the time to learn how to grade and value coins and you will be much better off in the long run than just blindly taking someone’s word for the grade of a coin unless it has been certified and is in a sealed holder.
There is coin collecting software available for organizing collections but if you are just starting out save your money for building your collection with quality coins and as your collection grows look at getting a software package to help manage your collection.
Try and buy the best quality coins you can afford as higher grade coins are worth more and appreciate in value faster but don’t feel like you need to have the highest grade coins immediately. Part of the fun of coin collecting is always trying to improve your collection with a better grade of coin whether you found it in change, bought it or traded for it.
Start slowly and learn as much as you can about coin collecting before spending any significant amount of money and you will be happier in the long run. Coin collecting can be a lifelong pursuit that is extremely rewarding so don’t rush and enjoy the journey.
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