Start Your First Coin Collection Without Being Overwhelmed

Do you have a passion for history, art, politics and people? Then you might want to explore coin collecting. Numismatics has all this and more, but the first steps are sometimes intimidating to novice collectors. So here are some tips to jump-start your passion for coin collecting.

Begin by choosing a series of modern coins before jumping into old, rare and valuable coins. Some good options are quarters, nickels, dimes or half dollars. It’s only going to take a minimal investment, and will help you learn more about the ins and outs of collecting.

  • Collectors commonly use terms like patina, toning, bag marks, mintmarks, obverse, reverse and more. Learn the language of coins.
  • Find out the best ways to properly store, organize and display your collection.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Sheldon Scale for grading coins. This is how coin collectors discuss the quality of a coin.
  • Learn about third-party coin-grading services like the Professional Coin Grading Service, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and the American Numismatic Association Certification Service.
  • Meet other collectors by joining a coin club or go to a coin show.
  • Join the American Numismatic Association for access to programs and services for coin collectors of all ages.

A standard reference tool for coin collecting is A Guide Book of United States Coins, commonly referred to as The Red Book. Published annually, it contains coin photos and values, as well as history. If foreign coins are your fancy, the Standard Catalog of World Coins is an excellent reference book for Old and New World coinage.

The more you learn, the more confident you’ll become. We love seeing new faces, and answering your questions about coins and coin collecting, so don’t hesitate to visit one of our locations and strike up a conversation. And when you are ready to start to collect older, rarer or high-value coins, we would love to help you with that, too.

If you like this article, then you might enjoy other articles in our archives, such as “Is It Time To Scrap The Penny?

Liberty Coin & Currency specializes in rare coins and currency. We are a family-owned business located in Portland and Vancouver. We are also gold, silver, diamond, currency and jewelry buyers. Visit us first for a free evaluation.

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