The Best Way to Begin Coin Collecting

The best way to begin coin collecting is by learning all you can about it. Whatever it was that got you interested has done you a favor. Coin collecting is a hobby that can grab you by the tail and never let go. But that is a good thing. Building a coin collection can be a bit like accumulating bookmarks while surfing the Internet. One great find leads to another!

Ask a coin collector how he got started in the hobby and you will likely be told about —
receiving coins from an older relative, or —
rediscovering the pocket change from a recent foreign vacation, or —
finding old coins in a forgotten dresser drawer, or —
hearing a news story about a fabulous price paid for a rare coin at auction, or —
locating a barely definable old coin with a metal detector in the backyard, or —
seeing a close-up shot of a stack of twenty dollar gold pieces on a high stakes poker table in a Western movie, or —
reading about the recovery of a centuries old cargo of silver coins from a Spanish treasure galleon, or —
finding an odd coin on the sidewalk, under the bed, or lodged deep within the spicy confines of a macho-combo burrito. (It could happen.)

Whatever the circumstances, I challenge you to find a serious coin collector who cannot recall why and how he got hooked on building a collection of meaningful coins.

Meaningful coins?

The ones worth big bucks, right?

Sure. If you are into coins strictly for their market value, then yes, high value coins are where you want to be. (But be sure and learn how to grade coins and gain some knowledge about what makes one coin worth more than another.)

On the other hand, many collectors are just as passionate about their coins for other reasons, not quantifiable in the coin market. Coins are so often tokens of curiosity about people, places, and historical events.

Every coin has a story. Every coin collection is as well a collection of these stories. Take your cue from these stories as a direction for your collecting.

The longer you collect, the more you will learn. The more you learn the more meaningful will be your collection. And it will lead you down some fascinating paths.

When an old family friend gave me a tattered old bill from his wallet, it expanded my interest in coins to include paper money. My friend had carried this note for years as a familiar oddity — a conversation piece perhaps. Only recently I have discovered that this old Confederate dollar bill was, in fact, a counterfeit. But, of course, there was more to the story. That is on my website at [http://www.valuable-coin-stories.com/old-paper-money.html]

About The Author:

David W. Baker has collected coins since age 11 — so, more than half a century. Coins have been a pleasant distraction for him over the years. Though he’s never been a coin dealer, he has have occasionally sold a coin or two at a nice profit, when the market was right. These experiences taught him a bit about coin value in the marketplace. But, he would be the first to say that his greatest pleasure with coins has been the hooks they have to history and other areas of learning. Dave says that he can never quite get beyond the feeling that, if any of his coins could talk, the stories would be priceless!

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