Becoming a collector is a process that begins with a fascination or obsession with certain items, so it’s no mistake that collecting coins is one of the world’s most popular hobbies. It is also a great way to make a profit, particularly in dealing with rare and valuable coins.
Coin collecting is not a simple hobby, though. Coins can be a great investment, but there are several factors that affect a coin’s ability to go up in value, including its history, quality and scarcity.
If you are considering starting a coin collection, here are some things to keep in mind.
Know What You Have
Research is key. There are a lot of resources that can help you understand what you are buying or selling.
It is important to discover everything you can about a coin before purchasing it. If you have inherited coins, or have received them as gifts, educate yourself on their background and value.
Coin shops likely have books that can help you get started. You can also find information at the local library and Internet.
Once you have completed your research, you can start buying and selling with confidence.
Understand Coin Grades
Knowing coin grades is essential if you collect coins. This system assigns a value based on the coin’s condition.
The grading process is pivotal. You could have the same two coins — same year, same mint, same design — and they could be worth drastically different prices based on the score they received when being graded.
Coins in near-perfect condition are very rare and are more valuable than modified or damaged coins.
Don’t Clean Coins
Never clean your coin collection. Novices are often tempted to give their coins a polish. Shinier coins must be worth more, right?
Cleaning or polishing a coin can destroy its worth. It removes some of the original finish, rendering the coin far less valuable as a result. Real collectors prize coins that are in their original condition.
Ask questions, no matter how trivial you think they might be. It is the only way you will learn and grow as a collector.
Look for more experienced collectors in your area. You can find them at coin shows and shops. There may even be clubs in your community.
Ask them about the best coins to buy. Find how about their successes and failures. It will help you avoid pitfalls.
It is hard to know what is reputable online. That’s why networking in your area and finding people with great reputations is a better way to get your questions answered.
Spend Time at a Coin Shop
Develop a relationship with your favorite coin shop.
Hanging out there can be a fun way to spend an afternoon. It will also help build your collection.
Once a dealer knows your interests, he can alert you with information about the coins you are seeking. Networking with employees may also help you develop new friendships that come out of common interests.
Doing these things will help you avoid wasting time and money on bad purchases. It will also pass the time, as you accumulate more knowledge. Soon you will be on your way toward becoming a seasoned collector.
But once you become an expert, don’t keep the knowledge to yourself. Give back to the coin collecting community. Help others develop in interest in the hobby as well.