Is Coin Collecting a Lost Art?
by Amy Lignor
Once upon a time collecting coins was a beloved hobby that a great many people liked to do. Before the art of scrapbooking became big, coin collecting (numismatics) was the choice for those who wanted an activity to do during their leisure time that would provide pure entertainment.
Some will say that coin collecting became ‘lost’ in the shuffle. However, with the highly-rated list of TV shows (Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, American Pickers, etc.), people are seeing coin collections being discovered in old barns and storage lockers and are becoming excited about numismatics once again.
A hobby allows you to have fun, and be creative. Coin collecting is not a hobby, however, that the wallet can take if you are a person who takes hobbies far too seriously and looks at them as being competitive. There are those in coin collecting that shell out hundreds – even thousands – of dollars to purchase a single coin. But it still remains true that the coin you spend the least amount to own, or that cool coin you find buried in the back yard that perhaps was dropped by an actual Yankee or Confederate soldier, is the one coin that will have the most value to you.
It didn’t help coin collecting either when, back in 2009, hobby periodicals were reporting that more than a million counterfeit coins were being discovered; coins that people actually ‘lost their shirts on’ when they believed they were ‘special’ and ended up being worthless.
If you actually wish to be a coin collector, you need to look at the big picture. Coin collecting should begin at a beginner’s level, much like stamp collecting. This level is a great deal of fun, will build your collection over time, and not give you a heart attack over how much money you may be taking out of your wallet.
To begin, start your own coin collection with the change you receive on a daily basis while you’re learning all the ins-and-outs of the hobby. The State Quarters are the most often chosen series for people who want to start that coin collection. In circulation all over the country, the series has a great deal of interesting coins, with each state having their own unique design. And by collecting these, you take no risk whatsoever. If you learn that coin collecting is not for you, than you can simply spend the coins – no cash lost whatsoever.
Another great series to choose at the beginning is the Presidential Dollar series. This is the next step up, seeing as that this particular series of coins is not as widely available as the State Quarters. But you can go to your local bank and see which coins they have available, or even do a search on eBay or Amazon. (NOTE: Presidential Dollar coins for the current year can be found on the U.S. Mint’s site.)
Your next step would be to find an inexpensive album to utilize in order to keep the coins organized. There are ‘special’ albums already made for those State Quarters as well as other particular series. When one is filled, you can move on to the next series that catches your eye and gets those creative juices flowing.
When it comes to coin collecting, just remember that the one key to being good at the hobby while also having a good time is knowledge. Knowing the history about the coins you’re searching for is a must, and learning the history is extremely cool. And, by all means, never get discouraged. If your collection isn’t growing as quickly as you want it to, you can go back to the bank, take the “duplicates” you have and trade them in for a roll of new quarters. In that roll you most likely will find one you don’t have as of yet. Look at it as a treasure hunt. A little “Indiana Jones” to make the hobby even more adventurous.
And speaking of adventure…get out there with your metal detector or borrow a friend’s and get to work. If you live in the Deep South, the West that was being “won” long before you came into the world, or in New England – an area that is filled with history – you have a very good chance of finding historical objects in the ground. Coins can certainly be among them just waiting for you to dig up and bring back into the world.
By starting small and working your way up to more valuable coins, your knowledge will increase each and every day. But, above all, make sure that coin collecting is fun for you, because that’s what a hobby is all about. Have a great time while learning more about something that really interests you!
Source: Baret News