by Catalogs.com Info Guru Aurora LaJambre
Collecting coins is a popular past time in part because it doubles as a form of investment.
You don’t need a lot of money, fancy equipment or expertise. Enter with curiosity and you’ll learn everything you need to know as you go.
These top coin collecting tips for beginners will help you get started.
10. Find a trusted dealer
Ambitious collectors eager to add a few show pieces to their new collections should first find a trusted coin dealer. They carry silver, gold and other precious metal pieces to diversify and add value to the collection. Most importantly, you can trust in the authenticity of your purchases.
9. Beware of edible gold
Remember those gold wrapped chocolate coins from childhood? Maybe they helped inspire your interest, but they don’t actually count as coins. However, they’re a clever sort of calling card, a tasty way to bribe friends into checking their own pockets for certain rare finds. So they do have some value.
8. Find fellow enthusiasts
This doesn’t require a mentor, but it’s always nice to make friends with people who share your interests. Savvy collectors are walking treasure troves of knowledge and many will be happy to share what they know with a newbie. You can learn most of the necessary knowledge online and from books, but the wisdom a person can pass down is priceless.
7. Insiders’ secret
No list of coin collecting tips for beginners would be complete without an insider secret. When you first browse the catalogs, you’ll see a lot of tempting pieces for several hundred dollars, some that cost thousands! Don’t get discouraged. The easiest and cheapest way to get started is with what’s in your pockets, couch and leather wallet. Always check before spending and you’ll find a few gems.
6. Learn how to care for them
Obviously you should only make acquisitions that are in good condition. Once you have them, proper care is up to you. This means washing hands before handling, holding them between fingers by the edge and keeping food or drinks away. It’s also a good idea to wear cotton gloves when touching valuable pieces.
5. Mix your collection
One of the things that make this hobby endlessly fascinating is the vast variety available. This doesn’t mean you have to have every semi-rare piece ever minted, but it does give you a number of possible directions for following your interests. Mixed coin collections will expose you to creative themes and limited run sets.
4. Study the grading system
Even the most passionate hobbyists may find this part a bit of a bore, but it’s an important step towards coming into your own as a collector. Learn the 1-70 numeric grading system in order to assess the grade and value of your finds. This will also let you make quick purchasing decisions when you come across pieces of interest.
3. Frame your hobby
Coin collecting tips for beginners must include ways to have fun. Choose a subject, country, year or era to base your hobby around. You can even learn history collecting ancient coins. This gives you a jumping off point for researching varieties and vendors.
2. Find your holder preference
Coin collecting supplies are affordable and highly practical. One of the most important things to acquire early on is an album or at least a batch of plastic holders. These simple items allow you to organize and display your findings, and they protect them from dust and oil from your fingers.
Invest in a magnifying tool to do your eyes a huge favor. Those that have been highly circulated have a lot of wear. Sometimes it’s difficult to read mint marks, dates and other distinguishing features. Set up your inspection station in a room with good light and enjoy not having to squint!