Whether you’re a budding numismatist taking your first steps or a seasoned collector looking to revisit the foundations, this guide is designed to help you navigate the intricacies of how to start a coin collection. We’ll explore this through four critical steps, each building upon the other, to give you the keys to unlocking your coin collecting potential.
And, of course, there’s a video as well:
Step 1: Start with What You Have
Exploring Existing Coin Collections, Jars, and Knick-Knacks
Begin your coin collecting journey right at home. You might be surprised at the treasures hiding in plain sight. Look through old jars of coins that have been gathering dust on your shelves, delve into drawers filled with forgotten knick-knacks, and examine the change left over from your daily purchases. These places are often goldmines for finding your first pieces. Remember, every collection has a starting point, and often, it’s right within your own home.
Engaging in Coin Roll Hunting from Banks
One of the most exhilarating parts of coin collecting is hunting for treasures. Coin roll hunting is a perfect way to do this. Visit your local bank and exchange cash for rolls of coins. Sort through these rolls at your leisure, looking for rare, old, or unique coins.
Silverpicker Pro Tip:
This method allows you to buy coins at face value, potentially uncovering valuable pieces for your collection. The thrill of the hunt is a significant part of the joy of coin collecting.
Realizing the Potential Value in Everyday Change
Every coin tells a story, and even the most mundane-looking change can hold historical and numismatic significance. Be attentive to the coins you receive in your daily transactions. You might find discontinued designs, commemorative issues, or even coins from other countries. Each of these can be a valuable addition to your budding collection, offering a glimpse into different eras and cultures through the lens of numismatics.
I know that when you’re starting a collection, you might have your head turned by the supposedly more obscure finds, but trust me when I say my favorite part of my entire collection is my U.S. Typeset.
That’s basically a project in which I try and collect one coin of every type ever produced by the U. S. Government. It’s an awesome project. And of course, there are lots of really cool old coins like Morgan, silver dollars and barber dimes and seated liberty halves.
But there are also a lot of really important modern coins that are part of that set.
Think about it. From your pocket change, you could get Lincoln Memorial Cents, Jefferson Nichols, Roosevelt Dimes, Washington Quarters, State Quarters, America the Beautiful Quarters, Kennedy Half Dollars, Susan B. Anthony Dollars and Sacagawea Dollars.
Step 2: Learning and Exploring
Reading and Videos
The world of numismatics is vast and rich in history, and there’s much to learn when it comes to how to start a coin collection. Start by immersing yourself in books, articles, and online resources dedicated to coin collecting. These materials cover a wide range of topics, from the basics of coin grading to the intricacies of historical mints and rare editions. Additionally, numerous educational videos, including YouTube channels dedicated to coin collecting, offer visual and engaging insights into this hobby. Remember, the more you learn, the more you’ll appreciate and understand the value of each piece in your collection.
Introducing the Silverpicker Digest
For those who wish to stay updated on the latest in the world of coins, The Silverpicker Digest is an invaluable resource, and I’m not just saying that because I’m the one who writes it.
This free weekly newsletter delivers a roundup of the most important numismatic news, tips, tricks, and deal alerts directly to your inbox. Subscribing ensures that you’re always in the loop with the latest trends and developments in coin collecting. Sign up for the Silverpicker Digest here.
Explore Local Coin Stores, Expos, and Clubs
While theoretical knowledge is crucial, practical experience brings its own set of joys and learnings.
Start by visiting your local coin store. Building a rapport with the dealer can provide you with insights, deals, and a sense of the numismatic community. Coin expos and shows are other excellent venues to see a wide array of coins and to learn from other collectors and experts. Finally, joining a local coin club can offer a more intimate setting for learning, trading, and sharing your passion with like-minded individuals.
Engaging with these communities enriches your experience and provides a supportive network as you grow your collection.
Step 3: Set a Budget
Necessity of a Budget in Coin Collecting
Embarking on any hobby, especially one as potentially diverse and intricate as coin collecting, requires a clear financial plan. Setting a budget is crucial not only to keep your finances in check but also to make your hobby more enjoyable and stress-free. Whether you are a student with a limited allowance or an adult with significant financial responsibilities, determining how much you can afford to spend on coin collecting each month is essential. This approach ensures that your hobby grows sustainably alongside your other financial commitments.
Strategies for Budget-Friendly Collecting
A common misconception is that coin collecting requires substantial investment. However, this hobby can be tailored to suit any budget. For those starting out or with limited funds, focusing on collecting circulated coins, participating in coin roll hunting, or trading with fellow collectors can be rewarding and cost-effective ways to grow your collection.
Silverpicker Pro Tip:
For the more advanced collector, setting aside a specific percentage of your income or saving for high-value coins can be a strategic approach. Remember, the value of a collection isn’t always measured in monetary terms but also in the joy and satisfaction it brings.
Whatnot: An Affordable (and Fun) Platform for Coin Collectors
In the digital age, numerous online platforms have emerged, offering collectors a convenient and budget-friendly way to expand their collections. One such platform is Whatnot, a live video auction platform where collectors can buy and sell a wide range of collectibles, including coins. This platform offers a unique opportunity to find rare coins, engage with other collectors, and participate in auctions, often at lower prices than traditional outlets. Utilizing such platforms can be an excellent way to stay within your budget while still actively engaging in the hobby.
And you know I always come through: Get $15 free in Whatnot credit when you sign up with my link.
Step 4: How to Start a Coin Collection – 5 Advanced Methods
If you’ve made it this far, well done! You get my advanced tips. Do these, and you’ll have a head start on most first time collectors. Here’s how to start a coin collection the way the pros would.
Share Your Coin Collecting Interest with the Community
One of the most effective ways to enhance your collection is to let your circle know about your hobby. Friends, family, and acquaintances can be invaluable sources for expanding your collection. Often, they might have coins they’re willing to part with or know others who do. This network can lead to acquiring unique pieces, sometimes even as gifts or at significantly lower prices. Moreover, sharing your passion with others can also foster a sense of community and possibly spark interest in numismatics among your peers.
Form Connections with Bank Tellers for Unique Finds
Cultivating relationships with bank tellers can be highly beneficial for a coin collector. By regularly visiting and engaging with your local bank staff, you create an opportunity to access a steady stream of potential additions for your collection, often at face value. Remember, a kind gesture or a small token of appreciation during the holidays can go a long way in strengthening these relationships.
Silverpicker Pro Tip:
Friendly tellers might be willing to set aside interesting or unusual coins they come across in their daily transactions.
Become a Regular at Garage and Estate Sales for Rare Finds
Garage and estate sales are often overlooked treasure troves for coin collectors. Regularly visiting these sales can lead to discovering valuable coins at bargain prices. People selling items at these sales might not be aware of the numismatic value of coins they possess, offering them for sale at much lower prices than their actual worth. Keep an eye out for such sales in your area and be prepared to sift through various items to find those hidden gems.
Creative Methods to Enhance Your Coin Collecting Budget
There are numerous creative ways to increase your budget for coin collecting. This could include taking on part-time work, selling unwanted items, or even using a portion of your savings specifically for this hobby. For younger collectors, tasks like mowing lawns or babysitting can provide extra funds for their collecting pursuits. The key is to find ways to supplement your coin collecting budget without compromising your financial stability.
Buy and Sell Coin Collections for Profit and Growth
An advanced strategy for growing your coin collection involves buying entire coin collections and selling parts of them for profit. This approach can be highly effective in both expanding your collection and recouping some of the investment. By purchasing collections, you often get a better overall value and can sell off the pieces you’re less interested in. This cycle not only fuels your hobby financially but also continuously diversifies and enriches your collection.
How to Start a Coin Collection in 2024 – the Right Way
Coin collecting is a journey filled with discovery and learning. It’s important to remember to enjoy each step of the process and not rush. Your collection will grow over time, reflecting both your personal tastes and the evolution of your numismatic knowledge. Patience is key in this hobby, as is a cautious approach to deals that seem too good to be true. Always conduct due diligence before making purchases, especially when dealing with rare or high-value coins.
Numismatics is not just a hobby; it’s a passion that can last a lifetime. It offers a unique blend of history, art, and economics, providing endless avenues for learning and enjoyment. Whether you’re collecting for pleasure, investment, or historical interest, each coin in your collection is a piece of a larger, fascinating narrative. Embrace this journey with enthusiasm, and you’ll find that the world of coin collecting is as rewarding as it is diverse.