Tips on Collecting Coins
Before you get started, I’d like to share some coin collecting tips on what I’ve learned so far. Coin collecting as a hobby is very rewarding and hopefully through this guide it will make you a better collector.
BE PATIENT Before you dive in and go out buying MS70 Capped Bust Dimes, take some time and educate yourself. Go wide in the beginning and determine what kind of coins you like such as historical, artistic, or quality. Read some basic books on collecting, grading, and caring for your coins.
SPECIALIZE After you have spread a wide net it will be useful narrow your focus and specialize in a given set of coins. Go with what interests you, maybe it’s Lincoln cents, British sovereigns, or 1800 silver quarters. The more you specialize the easier it will be to understand value, grading, and the less chance you have of getting ripped off 🙂 This will make coin collecting much more enjoyable!
SET GOALS As you begin to settle in specific coin sets that you would like to pursue, it can be very useful to set goals. It is very satisfying when you complete ‘your collection’ and most everyone wants to have that perfect collection to display and be proud of. Having clear set goals will dramatically increase the joy of collecting coins.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP Don’t be afraid to get outside help when you are starting out, especially when you need to grade a coin. Also, learning from an older collector can offer invaluable advice. Frequent local dealers and coin shops and get to know them on a name by name basis.
SPEAK THE LANGUAGE Another useful tip is to familiarize yourself with the lingo numismatists use when discussing a coin. Bag marks, brockage, and business strikes are all coin collecting terms that would be useful to know before talking with a dealer or going to your first coin show. You will find that many dealers are down to earth and extremely helpful and friendly. PCGS has a nice glossary of collecting lingo. At the very minimum you should understand the anatomy of a coin.