Getting Started in Coin Collecting
Whether done as a hobby or as an investment strategy, coin collecting is both a fun and profitable way to spend your time.
While almost anyone can put together a "collection" of coins, knowing what to collect and avoiding simply accumulating "pocket change" is a combination science and art. Most people want to collect coins of valure, i.e. coins made of gold, silver, even brass or other metals. If they are old enough or rare enough, they are worth collecting...and not spending.
Coins made of gold and silver usually serve both as an investment and insurance for your assets and other holdings. No matter what happens in the stock market, the bond market, or in the economy, gold and silver will hold their value both in American and European markets. Coins of valuable matersials provide security for the investor and the investor's family for their financial future.
Here are a few basic tips for someone just beginning this interesting hobby:
Start by educating yourself. Buying collectible coins is expensive, and you don't want to spend fifty dollars for a coin only worth fifty cents. Get your hands on a good reference book and carefully read your way through aa few periodicals on the subject. A collector who makes the effort to study the hobby and the market will be less likely to waste time and money purchasing over-priced or counterfeit coins.
There are even courses on the subject, such as a free mini-course on coin collecting offered at ilovenumis.com.
Research the Internet. Use the vast resources of the web for information on coinage, where to find auctions and coin exchanges. These are among the best sources to find coins, along with locations like flea markets and other potential places to shop. You can also usually find out which sources are considered the most reliable by serious collectors
Join a coin collecting club! Find a local club where you can learn from other collectors, get material for your hobby at reasonable prices and even make a few friends.
Never, ever clean coins, especially with abrasive cleansers. Though you might feel they would look better shiny, serious collectors, the ones willing to pay good money for your collectible coins, are going to prefer coins with an original appearance. You might want to clean residual grime or goo from them, but cleaning coins is a very delicate process and should be done only if absolutely necessary.
Always treat coins with care. You will generally want to hold them by the edges. You might want to wear gloves when handling them as even the oil from your fingers can degrade the appearance, thus decreasing the value.
Coin Collection Storage Supplies
When storing coins, almost any type of plastic sleeve or jacket will suffice for coins with little numismatic value. Maintain a relatively stable and constant temperature with low humidity. Hard plastic holders or “slabs”, holders designed for coins, are available for those pieces in your collection that are valuable.