Coin collecting should be fun, and as long as you are having fun there are no real mistakes. That being said, there are ways to make coin collecting more enjoyable and help save money. More money = more coins!
1.) Not doing research.
Learning about coins is part of the fun of the hobby! If you aren’t learning about the coins you buy or find, then you are missing out on great learning opportunities.
Plus, doing research helps you get better prices, and learn more about the buying and selling aspect of the hobby.
By doing research, you can learn about key dates, errors, and mint marks that others may miss. This could give you a profit or help you add more rare coins to your collection.
There are many great resources online to learn about coins. You can also buy a coin collecting book. Two of the most popular coin collecting books are the Red Guide Book and the Blue Handbook, if you want to read a comparison of the two books go to “What is the Difference Between the Red and Blue Coin Collecting Books?”.
2.) Not organizing your collection.
Keeping your collection organized can be difficult at times. Especially if- like me- you enjoy taking your coins out to look at them.
Organization is important because it can help you spot if a coin is lost or stolen. Labeling coins can help you sell them or help people who may inherit your collection appropriately value the coins.
Storing coins properly will help prevent tarnishing and scratches that affect a coins value. If you want to read more about safe coin handling, check out “4 Essential Supplies to Handle and Store Coins Properly”.
3.) Focusing too much on trends.
This may be ironic coming from the person who has written articles condemning colorized coins and ranking ugly coins, but the most important part of your collection is making sure you enjoy every piece.
There are lots of things the general coin community likes to bash on, but if you enjoy them, go for it. Personally, I really like the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin and the Ozarks quarter! Fight me coin collectors!!
4.) Not checking your spare change.
There are sooooo many coins that can be found in your spare change. It is rare, but not impossible to find valuable old coins from coins you get as change.
You don’t need to check every handful of coins for minute errors, but giving a quick scan for silver, buffalo nickels, or older wheat-back pennies can be profitable.
If you get really into it, you can also start coin roll hunting! Coin roll hunting is when you get rolls of wrapped coins from the bank and search them in search of treasures. If you want to learn more about coin roll hunting, check out “What is Coin Roll Hunting?”.
5.) Focusing too much on precious metals.
Silver and gold coins are amazing. They combine precious metal collecting with coin collecting. Buying coins with a precious metal content is a good idea, because even if the numismatic value falls, they will still be worth the price of the metal.
Before you decide to focus solely on collecting coins made of silver or gold, I think it is worthwhile for any coin collector to learn about the appeal of other types of coins. Coins are also loved for their history, rarity, and intricate designs.
There’s nothing wrong with focusing on only silver coins. A huge collector favorite are the large silver-dollar coins. Being a coin collector led me to becoming a silverbug ;). (If you don’t know what a silverbug is, click here!)
6.) Being too afraid to spend money.
Of course, people sometimes overpay for coins, I did not add that to this list, because I felt like it was covered by “do your research”. People who research coins before purchasing are less likely to fall for scams.
It is possible to do too much research and never feel like you are getting good deals on certain coins. Think of it this way, let’s say a coin has a current book value of $15, but you can only find it for $20. You put off buying because the coin is overvalued. Now, the price may stabilize and return to $15, but you may also be left waiting forever.
Be careful when you research coin prices to see if the prices you are seeing reflect how coins are currently being bought and sold. For this reason, I do most of my price research from the “sold” listings on eBay.
Any big mistakes you made when you started collecting? Maybe you bought a fake coin, or lost all your coins in a tragic boating accident? Share a comment below and vote in our poll below!