(806) 244-4453 Fax

The Basics Of Coin Collecting For Beginners: Part 2

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020
small coin collection

Now that you know a little bit more about the history of coin collecting and your options for buying them, you can start thinking about the coins themselves. Here are some more basics for you to know about before you start your collection.

Which coins are easy to start with?

If you can’t decide which method is best for your first collection, there are some that are more popular to collect and easier to find. These include the following.

  1. Lincoln cents: These coins are easy to find in all date and mintmark combinations, so they are a great place to begin.
  2. Washington quarters, America The Beautiful, and 50 States quarters: Washington quarters have been minted since 1932, but they became popular for collecting after 1999. This is when the 50 States quarter series came out. America the Beautiful quarter designs are also on the reverse side of Washington quarters (like the 50 states) and feature the country’s landmarks and national parks.
  3. Morgan silver dollars: This is a popular silver coin that features Miss Liberty on the obverse (face or top) side and an eagle on the reverse (back) side. It was minted between 1878 and 1921.
  4. Kennedy half dollars: This coin honors the 35th President of the U.S. and was first minted in 1964. Although it is not made anymore (it IS still minted for collector’s sets), it is still considered legal tender.
  5. Commemorative coins: These are minted to honor an event, place, or person. They aren’t limited to American currency and you are sure to find a large amount available to collect.
  6. Error coins: These are exactly as they sound; coins with mistakes. These aren’t the easiest or the cheapest currency to find. This is because mint errors are not common. Error coins are graded in the same way as those without mistakes. Before you seek out this type of currency, be sure to do thorough research.

How to find coins

Once you have chosen what type of collection you want to start with, you must learn where to find your coins. Keep in mind that you will likely not be able to complete your collection fast. Also, you don’t always have to buy coins. You can search through your pocket change to find something interesting. There are a few options when it comes to legitimate sellers too.

Buy from dealers

These individuals buy and sell coins. They usually deal in more rare, old, or valuable items. They are your best bet for finding coins that are not in circulation or that you can’t find from other avenues. You may also be able to order bankrolls and even mystery boxes of currency online. Be careful where you buy, however, and do your research on any dealer you decide to work with.

Shopping at garage or estate sales

This is a great way to find coins if you know what you are looking for. Estate sales often feature collections of items, but they aren’t always cheap. Also, you must be wary of counterfeit coins at garage sales, as most people won’t be able to tell you the origin of the coins being sold (without documentation).


It may seem odd, but you can actually find collectible coins at auctions. This is especially true for estate auctions. They can be sold individually or as lots. From single wheat pennies to entire collections, you can find a plethora of currency at these events.

Online auctions are an easy way to find coins fast, but you must be sure you are buying from reputable sellers. In-person auctions are usually safer because you can research physical auction houses and customer reviews. For both online and in-person auctions, you should look at the auction catalogs provided. These will give you information about what is being sold, or least images of what you can bid on.

Looking for estate auctions in Texas?

When you are ready to start your coin collection, High Plains Auctioneers can help. We provide a variety of auctions throughout the year, including estate auctions, and can answer any questions you have about our events. Give us a call at (806) 244-6776 or Send Us an Email for more information. Check out our Upcoming Auctions to see what we will have available.