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ABOUT COLLECTING

HOW TO START A COLLECTION AND ALSO HOW YOU MIGHT INVEST

    For the starting collector there are a number of key steps which are helpful in planning your approach to collecting.  Many simply start with the idea of collecting type coins of either the 19th or 20th Century. This makes for an interesting approach which captures all the major designs of coins and also does not require you to buy the most expensive date of a certain type.  Another approach, is to pick a specific series like the cents, dimes, quarters or silver dollars and to collect by date and mint.  Still another approach is to narrow down on one series and collect not only by dates by also by die varieties.  This is what many serious collectors do for early American coins.  You should not overlook tokens and medals either as a collecting interest.  You will also find stamps and other collectibles on this web page which might be worth looking at.

    In collecting foreign coins you probably can't collect all countries, and I believe this is not the best approach.  Rather, pick a country you are interested in, and collect that country.  You can even narrow that down by collecting just 19th Century or 20th century coins either by date or by main type.   You can also collect by "theme" or as stamps collectors do by "topical" areas which might be trains, airplanes, space, or flowers, etc.

    In starting to collect ancient coins you might focus your interest in either Greek or Roman types.  You could, for example concentrate on a certain emperor or historical figure, or pick a god or goddess or some other theme or interest.   You also might want to collect first just bronze coins or just silver. 

    Most collectors are not interested in investing in coins, and it is often said by long-term collects that a good serious collector is a better investor than a person who just enters the hobby to try to make money fast. Collecting can be an investment, and some are able to sell their collection for more the they paid, but normally this requires someone to hold that collection at least 5 to 10 years to enable it to appreciate over time and permit the scarcity of the coins to show their true value.   Also in investing, as well as in collecting, it is better to buy the highest quality coin you can afford.  Also remember that investing in coins or any collectible has risks and prices do go both up and down.  It is often better to buy one expensive coin a month, than buy 10 cheep coins at the same price level.  Over time you will be happier with the higher quality item.  Also always ask questions of an expert.  We will be happy to work with you to help you be a more informed collector and "investor" over the long-term.  Just give us a call (we will call you back, if you get our answering machine so leave your clearly phone number, and your name) or send an E-mail or even a real letter!

Here are some basic rules which might be of help to a new collector:

  • Do buy the book that covers the field that you are interested in collecting.  For example, the "Red Book" or Guide Book of United States Coins" by R.S. Yeoman, would be the place to go for U.S. coins. See our books and supplies page.
  • Concentrate your interest: don't try to collect everything.  Buy quality.
  • Talk to your dealer, and ask questions about the area of your interest.
  • Join a coin or other hobby association or club. Often its a good idea to join both a national group and a local club.
  • Study the area that you are collecting.  If you are collecting a foreign country, learn about its history, economy, social life, etc.  It adds more enjoyment to this wonderful hobby and its educational value.

NOTE: ADVICE ON CARING OF COINS: Do not polish or clean coins. Keep away from heat. Store in dry place. Hold coins on edge only. Place in inert protective container without PVCs.