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Is Coin Collecting Profitable, or just a Fun Hobby?

Title photo: "Is Coin Collecting Profitable?"

Coin collecting is a hobby that has been around for centuries. People collect coins for a variety of reasons, including investment purposes, and historical value, and simply have a collection of rare coins. But is coin collecting profitable? Or is it just a hobby?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the type of coins you collect, the condition they are in, and how you go about selling them.

Is coin collecting a Good Investment?

Throughout the course of history, investing in coins has proven to be a lucrative venture for many collectors and investors alike. This holds particularly true for coin collectors in the past century. As an example, a man named Harold Bareford is said to have acquired a collection of US gold coins for $13,832 in the early 1950s which was later sold at auction in 1978 for $1.2 million, yielding significant profits.

But to successfully profit from coin collecting, one must have knowledge of valuable and rare coins and know where to find them. This can be accomplished through research on various coin types, attending events and exhibitions, or even scouring local flea markets and garage sales for hidden gems.

Another way to make money from coin collecting is to buy coins that are in good condition and then sell them for a higher price. This can be done by finding dealers who are willing to pay more for better-quality coins. Finally, you can also make money from coin collecting by simply investing in coins. You can do this by buying rare or valuable coins and then holding on to them for a period of time.

As with any type of investment, it's important to understand that there are risks, and not every coin is going to yield a significant return or even any return in some cases.

What Makes a Coin Rare?

Most coins that are rare today started out as common issues struck in large quantities by the United States Mint. Even though thousands or even millions of copies of a particular coin were originally minted, after many decades, the vast majority were worn out in circulation, lost, or destroyed. As a result, these remaining coins in pristine condition have become rare and harder to find over time.

However, other coins have been minted in very small quantities, to begin with. This group of coins includes older proof issues, test strikes, pattern coinage, and error coins.

Note that rarity refers to more than just the number of coins in existence. It is also a function of investor/collector demand for the coin. If a coin is said to be rare or scarce, it implies that the available quantity is small relative to the current demand from collectors and investors. This can make it difficult (and expensive) to find examples of these rare coins for your collection.

Coin collector organizing their coin collection in a binder

Coin Collecting as a Hobby

Coin collecting is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. There are millions of coins from dozens of countries to be collected!

It can be a fascinating and rewarding hobby as it allows you to learn about history, art, culture, and even geography, while also providing the satisfaction of finding and adding valuable and rare coins to your collection. Many collectors also enjoy the social aspect of the hobby, such as attending coin shows, joining clubs, and interacting with fellow enthusiasts.

Deciding Between Gold and Silver Coins: Which One is Better?

Deciding whether to focus on gold or silver coins for investment purposes will depend on your personal preferences, investment goals, and market trends.

Precious metals like gold and silver have been viewed as safe haven investments throughout periods of economic uncertainty. Why? The price consistently increases year over year.

They also have a long history of being used as a form of currency and are considered a store of value.

However, gold coins can be more expensive to purchase due to their higher intrinsic value, and they can also be more challenging to store and transport due to their weight and value.

Silver coins, on the other hand, are often more affordable than gold coins and maybe a better option for beginners or those with a limited budget. They can also offer greater diversification to a portfolio, as they are used in a wide range of industries, including electronics, medicine, and solar power.

However, silver coins may be more volatile in terms of pricing and may be subject to greater price fluctuations than gold coins.

Is it a hobby or an investment?

So, is coin collecting a hobby or an investment? Well, it can be both. If you are only interested in the fun and challenge of collecting coins then by all means collect whatever interests you. However, if you want to make money as well, focus on rare coins that are likely to increase in value over time. With a little research and some expert advice, coin collecting can be both a rewarding pastime and a profitable investment.

Coins made of precious metal stacked in front of market price chart for gold bullion

Ultimately, it's really a matter of preference, budget, and knowledge. Make sure to do thorough research and consult with a reputable coin dealer or investment advisor before making any investment decisions. This will help ensure that you make an informed decision based on your personal financial situation and investment goals.

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