COIN COLLECTING

Articles Published by Ken Dunn - Dunway Enterprises

Coin collecting is the collecting or trading of coins or other forms of legally minted currency.

Frequently collected coins include those that were in circulation for only a brief time, minted with errors or especially beautiful or historically interesting pieces. Coin collecting can be differentiated from numismatics in that the latter is the study of currency, though both are obviously closely related.

Coin collecting Collecting or trading of coins collected coins Numismatics

FAQ's on Coin Collecting

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When beginning the fascinating hobby of coin collecting, most collectors have a number of questions on where to start and what to look for. This article will try to answer some of the most common questions asked by beginning collectors.

1. What supplies do I need to begin?

The supplies you will want are limited only by your budget and your imagination. For a novice coin collector, youíll want to purchase some acid-free envelopes or coin holders, and maybe some cardboard albums or cards to hold your collection. A sturdy box or carton is a good idea too. As you get more involved in acquiring and maintaining your collection, youíll find a wide variety of storage and handling supplies at online suppliers and in local hobby shops.

2. Should I clean my coins?

There are two schools of thought on this. Some experts warn that using cleaners can actually damage the coin by exposing it to the elements. And harsh chemicals cleaners should never be used, to avoid damaging the metal. The value of your coins may also be lessened if you clean them, the same way a piece of antique furniture loses value if you strip the finish.

Some collectors do feel that a mild cleaner, specially formulated for coins, is a good way to bring out its true beauty. If you decide to clean your coins, make sure you invest is cleaning products designed to be used on coins. Many suppliers will also sell soft brushes, perfect for cleaning out the tiny ridges on the surface of your coins.

3. Where can I find coins?

You can start right now by checking your pockets and around your house. Many coins still in circulation have some value to collectors, and you never know what youíll turn up. Another way to educate yourself on coins is to join a local coin club. Your local hobby or coin shop is a great resource, and you may also want to attend a coin show in your area.

eBay and other online auction sites often have coins available, and you can find a number of coin dealers online. Make sure that anyone you deal with is educated and reputable, and has good credentials.

4. How should I store my coins?

The most important thing to remember when storing coins is to keep them dry and at a fairly constant temperature. Avoid storing in an unheated garage, or in a hot attic or damp basement, as these can all have an effect on your coins over the long-term.

You may want to store your regular collection in specially-designed coin envelopes, which come in paper or plastic. For more valuable coins, invest in hard plastic holders, slabs or mylar-lined cardboard. Unlike the envelopes, these wonít break down over time, and offer the best protection for your valuables.

5. What does a coinís grade mean?

Grading is a way to put a specific value on the condition of a coin. Most reputable US coin dealers will use the ANA (American Numismatic Association) Standards when grading coins. This helps provide a common basis for judging a coinís value and condition, and makes it easier to price. European standards use a different grading system, so if you arenít sure what the grade means, ask.

6. How can I tell what my coins are worth?

A coinís actual worth, like most collectibles, depends largely on what a buyer will pay to own it. Dealers will take a number of factors into consideration when pricing a coin, including markings, grade and damage. Use one of the standard coin pricing guides to help you decide what your coins are worth.

There are several good books on the market that are updated yearly with coin values;
check your library or local bookstore for the current versions.

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