Coin collecting has a reputation of being a very expensive hobby. The reason coin collecting is seen as an expensive hobby is because we hear many stories of coins being worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.
In reality coin collecting can be a very cheap hobby, or expensive depending on what you decide to collect.
I have broken the stages of coin collecting into 4 categories: The Starter, The Beginner, The Intermediate, The Expert. All of which come with a list of tools or items collectors at these levels often use.
I would recommend a beginner start with the cheapest options before buying expensive coins. This helps ensure you have more skills to identify valuable coins and get good deals.
The cheapest way to get into coin collecting is to start by collecting modern coins in circulation. They won’t be worth much anytime soon, but it is a fun treasure hunt. Plus, although the coins you find may not rise in value, they don’t lose their value either.
Collecting coins by year, the ‘America The Beautiful’ National Parks Quarter Series, or the State Quarter Series is a good way for a beginner to start. You can do this completely free by storing them in a box or drawer, but it may be worth it to spend a few dollars on an album to keep yourself organized.
I recommend most beginners start with coin roll hunting, as it is the cheapest way to get lots of coins. To read more about coin roll hunting, Click Here!
A Starter Likely Has:
The Beginner Collector
The Beginner Collector is someone who probably already has a few coins or is very determined to begin collecting coins.
A beginner is not just interested in having coins, but also increasing their knowledge. They want to have a mix of coins both in circulation and not circulating.
A beginner collector is still finding most of their coins in circulation, but may intentionally look for more rare dollar coins and half dollars. They may also be interested in purchasing coins probably in the $1-$50 dollar range either online or at a local coin shop.
A beginner likely has:
The Intermediate Numismatist
This is a coin collector who has been collecting for a while. They are very knowledgeable about coins in circulation and many coins that are no longer minted.
The Intermediate Numismatist has a good idea of grading, values, mintage numbers, and common errors.
This is a collector who is willing to spend more money to get a coin they like. Most coins an intermediate collector collects are probably not found in circulation. (Although this isn’t true for everyone!)
Very important to an intermediate collector now that they have amassed more valuable coins is storage safety. Because this collector likely has a few coins worth over $100 it is important they know how to properly store them from thieves and damage. One great option for storage is a diversion safe. (Click here to see my top picks for diversion safes!)
An intermediate collector likely has:
- Everything the beginner has, plus:
- A Small Safe (well-hidden!)
- PVC-Free Plastic Coin Storage Containers
- A Digital Microscope
- Cotton Gloves
The Expert Numismatist
This is someone who has been in the game a long time. More than a hobby, coin collecting may now be a career as they have an eye for grading and appraising coins.
This type of coin collector is interested in high quality coins and high quality equipment. They are very knowledgeable in storage methods and handling.
This collector likely has a specialty which they collect. It may be ancient coins, commemorative half dollars, gold coins, error coins, etc.
This collector may have everything the beginner and intermediate collector has, plus:
Coin collecting is a great hobby and no one should feel like it is too expensive for them to start. If you can afford a few pennies, then you can be a coin collector. There are many fancy gadgets and informational materials, but those item’s aren’t what make a coin collector.
A coin collector is simply someone who owns and is interested in coins! Whether you have a few common coins or hundreds of expensive coins, you are still a numismatist.
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