Coin collecting is a hobby that’s been around for thousands of years.
People collect coins for many reasons, including selling them as investments or as part of their professional duties (like a numismatist).
In this post, we’ll explore ten different types of coin collectors—from casual participants to serious enthusiasts—and what motivates them.
Types of Coin Collectors:
The Occasional Collector
This type of collector may or may not have a collection.
They might just be getting started and are collecting certain coins they like to use as money, or they might have been collecting since childhood and building their collection for years.
No matter their reason for collecting, there’s no telling when they will stop!
The Serious Collector
A serious collector is a person who collects coins because they are interested in a particular type of coin, such as the coin of their country.
They often collect coins made during specific years or periods, like the U.S. Mint’s series of quarters honoring each state and territory that have come out over the past decade.
A serious collector will also typically invest more time and money into their hobby than other coin collectors.
They’ll want to know everything there is to know about their chosen subject matter before buying any coins; they may even research how much specific pieces are worth selling on eBay or Amazon Marketplace before they decide whether or not to sell them themselves.
And if they’re selling their collection online, they’ll look at reviews from past buyers so as not to get ripped off in any way possible!
A numismatist is a collector of coins or other forms of money.
The value of a coin is determined by its condition, rarity, and historical importance. This is called the coin’s numismatic value.
The term itself comes from Greek, meaning “coin.” In contrast to face value, which refers to the actual monetary worth of the coin when it was minted.
Numismatic value can be much higher than face value depending on how rare it is and whether or not it has any historical significance.
The investor is the classic coin collector. They buy coins to sell them for a profit, usually after a few months or years.
Investors may be looking for rare coins that are likely to gain in value over time or want to diversify their portfolio with some metals besides stocks and bonds.
The most important thing about being an investor has a specific goal in mind—whether it’s retirement or just having money available when you need it—and knowing what type of coin will help achieve that goal.
If you’re thinking about getting into investing and collecting coins, start small: don’t go out and buy hundreds at once; instead, start with one small collection (say ten items) until you get used to how things work and feel more comfortable buying large amounts at once
The Non-Circulating-Legal-Tender Collector
Non-circulating legal-tender collectors, or NCLCs for short, are also called exonumia collectors.
They collect coins that are not legal tender and, therefore, do not circulate in the economy.
Examples of NCLC include tokens (like those from casinos), medals (commemorating an event or person), badges (given to employees when they reach a milestone), and other items.
You’ll find the scrounger in a park or along a beach, leaning over to pick up fallen coins from someone’s pocket.
The scrounger may also use a metal detector to find buried coins. Sometimes they visit their friends and family who want to get rid of their loose change by giving it to them.
The scrounger doesn’t have much interest in history or coin-collecting specialized knowledge – they only care about how much money they can make from finding coins on the ground!
The best way for a Scrounger to learn more about how different types of coins are made is through reading books at home, but this isn’t something most people will do unless their interests take them there naturally (which does happen).
The generalist is a collector of coins from different countries but not all of them.
The generalist is interested in the history of the coins and not just their value.
Their collection may not be limited to one type of coin, as they enjoy collecting different types and denominations of money.
The generalist is an enthusiast who collects whatever they like, whether it’s common or rare.
They are usually knowledgeable about many types of coins and can easily converse with other collectors about their favorites!
Specialists are the most passionate and knowledgeable coin collectors.
They usually specialize in a particular area, such as coins from a specific country or denomination.
Specialists can be experts on their subject—and often are! A specialist’s knowledge is often more nuanced than other coin collectors’ because they’ve spent years learning about the intricacies of their chosen niche.
You’re an accumulator. You love collecting coins and saving them for no reason other than because you like them.
Accumulators are not concerned with the value of the coins they collect and may collect from multiple sources—even if those sources don’t make sense together!
Accumulators can also have large or small collections depending on how much time they want to spend looking through old junk drawers at garage sales or flea markets for cool items like antique coinage (old money).
The best part about being an accumulator as a hobby is that there’s always another type of coin out there to look forward to!
A hoarder is someone who collects coins that they find in circulation.
They don’t care about the coin’s value but rather collect what they find because they like it.
A hoarder can have a large collection but will never spend or sell them because they are more interested in having a nice collection than making money.
Hoarders are also not interested in selling their collections, so you cannot buy one from them.
Before you go…
Coin collectors are diverse, with interests ranging from serious collecting to hoarding. Each collector has their reason for acquiring coins, and it’s interesting to see how each one approaches the hobby differently. If you think you may fit into any of these categories, we encourage you to explore them further!
Check out my next article: “Top 9 Best Coin Collecting Books for Beginners.”