Coin Collecting Guide – Everything You Need To Know

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money. My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges. I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights. Collecting, for me, is about preserving history and building a community around this shared interest.

Coin collecting is a hobby that people worldwide have enjoyed for centuries. Coin collecting can be an inexpensive and fun way to learn about the history of money, appreciate art, and get your hands on some cool stuff (like rare coins).

However, coin collecting is more than just a hobby; it’s also an investment strategy. If you’re interested in coin collecting but don’t know where to begin, this guide will help.

The most popular coins for collectors include those that circulated for a brief period, coins with mint flaws, and especially stunningly or historically significant pieces.

A Brief History of Coin Collecting


In the 1800s, when middle-class people collected British or American coins, collecting coin collecting became fashionable. Introductory books were readily available, and the American Numismatic Society was founded to save coins and medals.

Coin collectors loved colonial money and other currency linked to America’s founding fathers because of the history behind them.

According to legend, after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, fine art, unique automobiles, and antique coins were the only assets that attracted traders.

Reasons for Collecting Coins

There are a few reasons why people collect coins. Some collectors enjoy the history and artistry behind different coins, while others like to try and assemble complete sets of coins.

For some investors, Coin collecting can also be a way to diversify your investment portfolio by buying rare or collectible coins.

Easy & Straightforward


Coin collecting is very easy to start with. You may have rare collectible coins in your house, to begin with! The first step is to identify the coins in your possession.

Once you know what you have, research its value and decide whether you want to keep or sell them. The following steps are finding a coin dealer or numismatic society in your area and attending Coin Shows to buy, sell, or trade coins with other collectors!

The Challenge

The challenge with coin collecting is that the coin market is constantly changing. The value of a particular coin can go up or down based on various factors, including its age, condition, and rarity.

This means you need to be vigilant about tracking the value of the coins in your collection and ensuring you’re not holding any losers! Of course, this adds to the excitement of finding and keeping your coins.

Making Profit


The monetary value of collecting may be the most enticing aspect for coin collectors. Coin collecting can be profitable if you know what you’re doing.

You don’t have to be an expert numismatist to make money from coins, but it helps to know about the market. Coin dealers are usually willing to pay more for coins they know they can sell at a higher price.

The History and Beauty

If you’re into history, coin collecting is a thing for you. Coin collectors love getting their hands on coins with a story to tell.

Unfortunately, for collectors, some of the most popular coins circulated for only a brief period, coins with mint flaws or historically significant pieces.



Coin collecting is a great way to learn about money and economics. When you start collecting coins, you’ll quickly learn about the different types of currency used throughout history. You’ll also learn about the artistry and design behind other coins.

Metal Content

Coin collectors also love collecting coins because of their metal content. Some rare coins are made from gold, silver, or platinum. These valuable metals can be worth more than the coin’s face value.

Before 1965, the American Silver Eagle coins were composed of 90% silver, for your info. Because of this, they can be pretty valuable.

Coin Value


It all started with the ancient Greek and Roman tradition of placing a coin in the deceased’s mouth before his burial. This ceremony is called Charon’s Obol. It is a custom that still exists in some parts of the world up to this day.

The value behind the coin ranges from sentimental, religious, or cultural reasons.

The same applies to military traditions in which coins are passed from unit commander to soldier. For historians, coins from Charon’s Obol ceremony are essential in history. While for the individual with military history, it tells the story of their unit and honor.


Lastly, one of the most important reasons people collect coins is to leave a legacy. Coin collectors want to pass their collection to future generations to appreciate and learn from it.

Some rare coins are worth more than a life’s savings, so it’s not surprising that many collectors take great pride in their collections.

How to Get Started?

Coin collecting can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it can also be daunting for beginners. If you’re starting, here are a few tips to help you get started:

Do Your Research

Before buying any coins, please make sure you know about their value and what condition they’re in. You don’t want to pay too much for a worthless coin.

Join a Coin Club

Joining a coin club is a great way to learn more about coins and meet other collectors. Most clubs have monthly meetings to buy, sell or trade coins with other members.

Find Coin Collectors Forum Online

There are several online forums where coin collectors can chat and share information. This is a great place to learn about the latest news in the coin world, upcoming auctions, and shows.

Start Slowly

Start slowly by buying a coin or two every month. This will help you build up a collection over time and prevent you from spending too much money at once.

Build Up Your Knowledge

The more you know about coins, the better equipped you’ll be to make wise decisions about what to buy and sell. Read books, watch documentaries, or visit museums to learn more about different coins and history.

Which Type of Collectors Are You?

There are many different types of coin collectors, each with its motivations for collecting. Here are a few of the most common types:

  • The Casual Coin Collector

A casual coin collector is someone who collects coins for fun and doesn’t care about the value of their collection. They may collect a few different coins or focus on a specific coin type.

  • The Hobbyist

Hobbyist coin collector takes their collection seriously and does a lot of research about the coins they buy. They may also attend coin shows and auctions to find rare coins.

  • The Investor

The investor coin collector collects coins to resell them at a profit. They may focus on coins from a specific era or country, and they’ll often buy coins in bulk to get the best deal.

  • The Collector

The collector loves coins for their beauty and design, not their value. They may collect coins from all over the world or focus on a particular type of coin.

  • The Generalist

The generalist coin collector collects coins from worldwide and from different eras. They’re not interested in any specific type of coin; they want to have a variety of other coins in their collection.

  • The Specialist

The specialist focuses on a specific type of coins, such as ancient coins or country-specific coins. They often have a lot of knowledge about the coins they collect and may even be able to identify them without seeing the date.

  • Themes Collector

The theme collector collects coins based on a theme, such as movies, TV shows, or sports. For example, they may collect coins from worldwide that feature images of their favorite characters or athletes.

  • Error Coin Collector

The error coin collector is someone who collects coins that have errors or mistakes in them. These can be coins missing a letter or having an incorrect date.

  • The Aesthetic Collector

The aesthetic collector collects coins because of their beauty and design. They may focus on coins from a specific era or country or collect all different types of coins.

  • The Completist

The completist coin collector wants to own a coin within a specific theme or category. This group may want to own a coin globally or every year from every country.

Which Type of Coins Should I Collect?

These are typical themes that Collectors may transform into a collection objective.

Country Collections

Coin collectors may choose to collect coins from a specific country or all the countries in the world. Usually, coin collectors will go to their own country. It is easier to collect local coins than coins from other countries.


Annual Collections

Coin collectors may choose to collect coins from a specific year or all the years in which a particular coin was minted.

The Memorial Lincoln Cent, for example, is a coin that honors President Abraham Lincoln. But unfortunately, it was produced from 1959 until 2008 and is no longer produced.

Mint Mark Collections

Coin collectors may choose to collect coins that have a specific mint mark. The mint mark is the letter or symbol on a coin that indicates which mint produced it.


Variety Collections

Coin collectors may choose to collect coins that are of a different variety.

This collection could include coins with errors or mistakes on them, coins from a specific year, or coins from a particular country—for example, the number of leaves on the ear of corn on the recent Wisconsin state quarter.

Type Collections

Some collectors specialize in unusual design elements, such as square coins, a hole in the middle, or brokerage coins.

In addition, coin collectors may choose to collect coins of a specific type or all different coins.


Composition Collections

Coin collectors may collect coins made of a specific material, such as copper, nickel, silver, platinum, or gold.

Subject Collections

Coin collectors may collect coins with a specific design, such as presidents on U.S. coins, athletes on Olympic coins, or subjects on the coins, such as eagles or ships.


Period Collections

Coin collectors may restrict themselves to collecting coins from a specific period, such as the Roman Empire, medieval times, or the 18th and 19th centuries.

Some collectors buy coins issued during a ruler’s reign or a representative coin from each ruler.

Printed Value Collections

Coin collectors may collect coins with a particular face value, such as one cent, two cents, five cents, etc.

Some examples of these coins are Singapore 1 dollar coin, 1 Indian Rupee, the Euro, and many more.


Volume Collections

Coin collectors may choose to collect coins issued in a specific volume, such as one million pieces.

These could be commemorative coins or even regular circulation coins.

Geo-Political Collections

Coin collectors may choose to collect coins from specific political ideologies.

For example, these can be coins from Communists states such as the Soviet Union, China, or Vietnam. It can also be geographical such as countries under British Empire, French Empire, or Dutch East Indies.


Aesthetics Collections

Some collectors choose coins for their beauty or design rather than any other attribute.

These collectors are often called “aesthetes.” They may collect particular coins, such as ancient Greek, medieval European, or U.S. colonial coins.

Where To Buy Coins?


With the development of the internet, online shopping has gained traction among consumers, which is also applicable to coin collecting.

Many websites offer coins for sale, some dedicated to coin collectors, while others sell coins as sidelines. The advantage of buying coins online is the wide selection available to the buyer.

In addition, many sellers offer free shipping for orders above a certain amount.

Pawn Shops

Another place where coin collectors can buy coins is pawn shops. Pawnshops are businesses that deal in second-hand items and usually sell a wide variety of things, including coins.

The advantage of buying coins from a pawn shop is that the prices are usually very reasonable. In addition, the staff at pawn shops are generally knowledgeable about coins and can provide valuable advice to collectors.


Some people may choose to get their coins from the bank. This is a good option for collectors who want to start a collection but do not have the time or resources to go out and buy coins.

The disadvantage of getting coins from the bank is that the selection is usually limited. In addition, the coins that are available at the bank tend to be more common than rare ones.

Coin Dealers

Coin dealers are people who buy and sell coins for a living. They usually have a large selection of coins, and they can provide valuable advice to collectors. The disadvantage of buying coins from a dealer is the price.

Coin dealers usually charge a higher fee than other sources, such as online auctions or pawn shops.

Coin Shows

Coin shows are events where coin dealers, collectors, and investors come together to buy and sell coins. They are an excellent place for collectors to find rare coins and learn more about their hobbies.

In addition, coin shows are a great place to meet other collectors and make friends. Check out your local newspaper for any coin shows nearby.

Coin Auctions

Online auctions are an excellent place for collectors to buy coins. The advantage of buying coins from an online auction is that the selection is extensive, and many different types of coins are often available.

In addition, online auctions are a great place to find rare coins. The disadvantage of buying coins from an online auction is that the prices can be pretty high.

What is The Value of Your Coins?

The value of a coin is determined by several factors, including its rarity, condition, and age. Coin collectors often use the term “Grade” to describe the condition of a coin. The higher the grade, the more valuable the coin is.

  • Intrinsic Value – A coin’s intrinsic value is the value given to it by the government. This is the value that is printed on the coin.
  • Collector’s Value – The collector’s value of a coin is the amount worth to a collector. This is usually higher than the intrinsic value because it considers factors such as rarity and condition.
  • Market Value – A coin’s market value is the amount it is worth on the open market. This is the value you will see when looking at Coin Market Cap.
  • Rarity – The rarity of a coin is how often it is found in circulation. Therefore, a rare coin is more valuable than an ordinary coin.

Before you go…

So there you have it! I hope this article has helped you in your coin-collecting journey! If you have any more concerns or questions, leave a comment below!

Check out my next article: “Coin Collecting For Beginners: Everything You Need to Know.

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