How to start collecting coins

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01 February 2018
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coin_collage-45288.png You can start collecting coins easily and without spending much money
Collecting coins, also known as numismatics, is a hugely rewarding past-time, allowing you to explore world history while creating an informative and attractive collection. So where to start? Here's a quick guide to starting a coin collection…
  • Start with what you know (how about your country's circulation coins?)
  • Choose your coin collecting speciality (theme, country, era etc…)
  • Research! Find out more about your speciality
  • Buy your coins with caution (get help from dealers, visit coin fairs)
  • Store your coins safely

Start with what you know 

Deciding what type of coins to collect can be difficult at first, because there are so many coins out there to collect! There really is something for everyone, from ancient coins to the commemorative coins issued by countries around the world today. So what should you collect?

Of course, the choice is yours, but a great place to start is right at home, with your own country's coinage – you use it everyday so why not start a simple collection?

Many countries issue commemorative coins to mark special occasions and anniversaries, and even circulation coinage (coins used all the time) can be collectable.

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Choose your coin collecting speciality

You'll soon discover the many different types of coin to collect, but after collecting circulation coinage you may find you want to focus on a particular theme, era, or even composition (the metals used) of the coins themselves.

The ideas and themes you can use to start a coin collection include:

  • Country coin collections - pick a country and work back through their coin history
  • Themed coin collections - pick a theme, such as military, sport, royalty, and collect coins from around the world and from many periods
  • Limit yourself to a certain time period - why not make things simpler by picking a decade or significant period (such as 1914-1918)
  • Ancient coins - coin collecting can be closely linked to archaeology and history and owning these small artefacts can be a real thrill (and needn't cost too much!)

Research! Find out more about your coin speciality

Starting an impressive coin collection is not just about wealth, but knowledge!

Once you have chosen your particular speciality, expand your knowledge by reading books and coin collecting magazines, speaking to fellow collectors, and exploring the history and background of your chosen coins. This voyage of discovery is surely the most rewaridng part of coin collecting!

Buy your coins with caution

Speaking to coin traders and visiting coin fairs can be an invaluable way of finding out more and obtaining the coins you are looking for.

Whilst buying coins on the internet can be a great way to build your collection, nothing beats a face-to-face conversation with someone who has dedicated their professional life to numismatics (that's coin collecting to you and me!) Many dealers will be keen to help you find out more, so don't be shy!

Store your coins safely

Once your collection starts to grow you need to ensure it is properly stored, to avoid damage and even theft. 

There are an array of products available, from coin trays to individual coin holders, which will allow you to store your coins safely whilst still enabling you to view them and show them off to your friends and family.

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