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The Basics Of Coin Collecting For Beginners: Part 1

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
taking care of old coins

The study and collection of coins and paper currency is known as numismatics. Although it can be time consuming, coin collecting is a beloved hobby because it is fun and interesting! If you are new to this pastime, there are some basics you should know before buying your first coins.

What are the origins of coin collecting?

The first historical record of coins being used dates back to 650 B.C, but no one knows when they were first minted. Metals were used to trade for items at one point in history, but it was difficult because they needed to be weighed and inspected for purity. Government-minted coins made commerce more efficient.

Coin collecting in the United States

Coin collecting has been popular for hundreds to thousands of years, but it wasn’t common practice in the United States until the 1850s. In 1893, George Heaton published A Treatise on Coinage of the United States Branch Mints. This caused a rise in collecting currency from U.S. minting facilities. The mint mark, which shows which state the coin was made in, remains a vital valuing factor to this day.

How to start collecting coins

There is no right or wrong way to collect this currency. You can be as picky as you want with your collection. There are so many different types of coins to choose from, including foreign and domestic, as well as new, old, and everything in between. That being said, there are some common methods to collecting that may help you get started.

Type collecting

This is a great way for beginners to jump into the coin collecting world. To do this, you simply choose a denomination of coin or a time period in which they were made. For example, you can pick nickels and find a shield nickel (1866-1883), a liberty Head nickel (1883-1913), a buffalo nickel (1913-1938), and a Jefferson nickel (1938-present).

Choosing coins from a specific time frame is also popular. You can find a Lincoln wheat cent (1909-1958), a Jefferson nickel (1938-present), and a Mercury dime (1916-1945) for starters.

Coins by date

Collecting coins by date is one of the easiest methods. For example, you can choose to collect Lincoln cents from each year they were made. You can do this for any denomination of coin and with domestic or foreign currency. For a more detailed collecting experience, you can collect dated coins from different minting facilities.

Coins by year

This is a more detailed way of collecting coins by date. For example, you can limit currency to your birth year for modern coins or to a specific ruling family for ancient, foreign coins. Be prepared to do a lot of research if you choose this method for collecting.

Topical coin sets

This is probably one of the more “fun” methods for collecting coins because you can choose a specific type or design of coin and go from there. This means that origin, date, or denomination doesn’t have to matter to the value of your collection. There are endless options for this type of coin collecting, so it can be a great place for beginners to start.

Estate auctions in Texas

If you would like to collect coins and are interested in looking for estate auctions to get started, High Plains Auctioneers can help. We host a variety of auctions throughout the year and can answer any questions you have about our events. You can call us at (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us by Email for more information. Don’t forget to check out our Upcoming Auctions to see what we will have available.