Coin collecting is an endlessly fascinating habit, and for enthusiasts, it quickly becomes an insatiable addiction. Hoarding coins from eras gone by is akin to curating a treasure trove of historical artifacts and heritage memorabilia. Each coin carries significance as a historical, cultural, and artistic symbol that regales fascinating tales of its time.
All coin collectors are different. Some do it for the love of history, and others enjoy this hobby for their fascination with coin crafting. Did you just come to acquire a rather precious coin that has inspired you to collect more rare pieces? Most coin collecting journeys begin with one fascinating coin that gives rise to a lifelong affair with coin hoarding.
If you’re a beginner, you might feel overwhelmed and lost about where to begin. Luckily, this article will serve as your guide to the incredibly fascinating hobby of coin collecting.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Building a Systematic Collection
What kind of coins fascinate you? This question must set the tone of your collection, as there are no hard and fast rules to follow. After that, you can start collecting any coins that appeal to you. Remember, your collection must offer a unique take on coin hoarding with a system of organization created by you.
The options and varieties are endless. For instance, you can create a systematic collection of coins featuring a variety of metals. Or you can build your collection with a carefully categorized system of periods. You can start by collecting Hellenistic coins, moving onto medieval German and English coins, Almohad coins, and 19th-century varieties.
You can also focus on a particular historical period or hoard numismatic coins from a multitude of eras. Numismatic collections include coins that are extremely rare and precious featuring priceless metals. Naturally, they hold immense monetary significance, and buying these coins requires the collector to have abundant financial resources.
Many collectors like to create a system dominated by designs. For instance, some collectors hoard coins featuring birds and architecture, while others prefer equestrian designs.
Understanding your Coins
Are you struggling with getting started? Beginners usually feel lost because they lack information and don’t understand where to begin. Once you’ve outlined your preferences, it’s essential to understand the varieties of coins. Some research will open up limitless possibilities of designs and coin varieties that you can explore and collect.
Here are some common coin varieties that hold great significance amongst collectors:
- Ancient Greek & Roman
Coins dating back to ancient Greece, Hellenistic and Roman periods are the most difficult to collect. Naturally, these coins also hold tremendous significance and esteem within a collection. Prized old coins feature depictions of Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and other ancient figures.
- Medieval European
Medieval coins from European kingdoms are less rare than ancient Greek and Roman coins, but collecting these isn’t a small challenge. Medieval European coins featuring emperors, bishops, kings, and saints come at staggeringly high prices. But they work wonders at adding prestige to a collection.
- Islamic Heritage
If you’re fascinated by Islamic history and heritage, there are ample coin collecting opportunities to explore in this niche. You can collect beautifully carved coins from the Abbasid dynasty, the Ottoman Empire, and the Almoravid period. Islamic coins hold great significance across coin collection circuits for their exquisite carved designs and scripts.
- US History
One of the most popular and broadest coin collecting niches, the United States Mint has produced an overwhelming variety. One can spend an entire lifetime collecting the dizzying types of coins rolled out in the USA. You can start from the incredibly rare Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, introduced back in 1933. Comparatively affordable varieties, such as the Wheat Penny, are easier to find for beginners on a limited budget. The coins issued after 2010 are magnificent, depicting the natural heritage of America, such as Denali and Yosemite.
- Asian Heritage
Here’s another mind-blowing niche for history buffs and monarchy heritage enthusiasts: East Asian coins. Coins from the Chinese Eastern Zhou Dynasty are by far the most sought-after coins in this niche. But unfortunately, these coins are hard to find as they date back to over 2000 years. You can also start hunting for the exquisite Tokugawa coins issued in Japan back in the 17th century. Collectors can also explore the ancient currencies of Vietnam, Mongolia, and Korea.
The most precious of them all, bullions, are made with precious metals, usually gold and silver. As a result, bullion coins are easier to acquire, and most collectors buy them as a lucrative investment.
This list is a brief introduction to all the niches and genres aspiring collectors can explore. It’s essential to find a category that fascinates you enough to sustain a lifelong affair with coin hoarding.
Do you have an extravagant amount of money to spend on making mistakes and buying fake coins that look perfectly precious? If not, it’s wise to start small and gradually ease into this endeavor with ample research and learning. Understanding your coins is essential; otherwise, online sellers can easily dupe you with fake and ornamental coins.
The coin collection world is brimming with unscrupulous and dishonest dealers selling fakes at dime-store prices. Start your journey by building knowledge and consider taking up a short course to familiarize yourself with categories and history.
Handling & Storing Coins
Beginners often struggle with handling and storing and don’t realize that coins need care and attention despite their metal surface. Many wrongfully assume that the metal surface is sturdy and rugged. That’s not true because coins feature very delicate and vulnerable surfaces.
All coins are different, with different varieties and grades of metals. Each metal has a different reaction with its environment, and therefore, has distinctive storage needs. Moreover, coins do not require cleaning, and you should hold them after wearing latex gloves. Polishing or cleaning a coin damages its features and integrity, rendering them almost worthless.
It’s not a Competition
As a beginner, don’t embark on this hobby as a competition or a race against other collectors. It will take years to build a remarkable collection that generations will admire for years to come. But hurrying into impulsive purchases will only result in a waste of time and money.
If there’s one thing you must take to heart from this read is the significance of thorough research. Learning about different coins from various periods will build your knowledge and expertise as a collector. Ultimately, this knowledge will help you create a valuable and admirable collection.