How to Start Collecting Coins in 5 Simple Steps
Updated: Sep 12
For many people, collecting coins can be a fun and rewarding hobby. It's a great way to learn about different cultures and periods in history. Plus, it's a hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. There are endless options in terms of what you can collect.
No matter what your collecting goals are, there's sure to be a coin out there for you. So why not give collecting a try?
But first, where do you start? We've got some advice on how to get started on rare coin collections.
Get to know your coin lingo
When you're starting out in the world of rare coin collecting, it's important to familiarize yourself with minting terminology. Since there are so many terms to know, here are just a couple you'll come across when starting out:
The grade of a coin is how much it has worn from circulation. The rating, which you can view here, indicates the level at which coins are usually found, with proof coins being close to perfect condition and above.
One thing that you might want to consider when buying some old currency is getting an evaluation on its quality if you're not sure about it - this will help determine the condition and value of the coin.
Mint State If you get your hands on a coin that is in mint state, you've got something that's in better condition than most. Coins in mint state have never been circulated and range in condition from marks throughout the coin to a flawless piece. They are the highest-rated coins (in terms of grade) that you can get! If you want to learn more about grading coins, you can head here.
If you're looking to start on your collection, just start collecting! Yes, really. It's as simple as searching online or going to your local coin dealer to explore all the options and buy what looks appealing to you.
Once you find certain coins that are appealing to you, pick a lane and take it. In other words, define what your collection consists of.
Define your collection type
Once you've started to shop around, you typically come across certain coins that interest you more than others.
Some people focus on collecting coins from a particular country or region. Others try to collect coins from every country in the world. Some collectors focus on a specific time period, while others try to get their hands on as many different types of coins as possible.
Regardless, make your collection unique to what interests you!
Assemble your tools for collecting
You can't become an expert overnight, especially if you don't have the necessary tools. The great news is you don't need a lot to start collecting coins. However, once you get more experienced at it you'll find yourself investing more in your toolkit. But if you're reading this as a beginner, here's a good starter kit:
Notebook to keep track of your collection as it grows.
Storage to keep your collection dry and safe from the elements.
Magnifying glass to appreciate the details of your collection and potential additions.
Reference book for information about the hobby and what you need to know as a collector.
Take care of your coins
In order for your collection to retain its value over time, you need to know how to properly care for it.
First, never handle a rare coin with your bare hands. This will damage the coin's finish and affect its value. Skin oil and dirt are its worst enemy. Instead, invest in a pair of cotton gloves since they don't leave behind any powder or lubricant as opposed to latex and plastic.
This second tip is a given, but always handle it with care. ALWAYS pick up and hold a coin by the edges with your thumb and forefinger. NEVER hold a coin by touching either the front or back surface.
Third, store and display your coins safely. There are different ways to do so, but the most common for beginners is with paper sleeves (acid-free), albums, or folders.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your coin collection! It’s a great way to learn about history and different cultures, and it can be a lot of fun. Just make sure you invest in the right tools and keep your collection clean and safe.
If you're looking for a coin shop to look at, come visit us at All Valley Coin & Jewelry in Old Town Temecula! We would be happy to educate and guide you.
Thanks for reading!