How to get Kids Interested in Coin Collecting

Getting your children interested in coin collecting can be a great way to teach children art, history, and economics. It also provides a wholesome way for you to bond without screens. (Why have kids if not to force your hobbies and interests on them?)

If you are wondering how to get your children started as junior numismatists, I have come up with some fun ideas and tips below.

1.) Make it a Treasure Hunt

One of the things that draws adults to coin collecting is the idea that any common coin could be a treasure. Kids also delight in the idea that they could find a rare or valuable coin.

Coin roll hunting is a fantastic game to play with kids! Bringing a box of coins home from the bank and opening all the coin wrappers is fun for children who haven’t yet become interested in the coins themselves.

Probably the best way to get kids interested in coins, and what starts most young collectors, is collecting state quarters. When I was 9 years old, my grandfather got me a book on state quarters and that is what prompted my interest in coins. There are also National Park Quarters!

2.) Buy Your Kids Some Coins

The key word here is “buy”. Someday, your child will be able to appreciate how special it is to be given a coin from someone’s collection, but someone just getting started has no sense of that value. Take your child to a coin shop and let them pick a coin they like for themselves. It doesn’t need to be expensive, just so they can see more coins and get a sense of their own taste as a collector.

Many coin shops have bulk foreign bins as well as inexpensive pennies, buffalo nickels, and mercury dimes. Foreign coins are a great way to learn about other countries. As an added bonus, foreign coins look so different from our own that most people are instantly drawn to them.

3.) Teach Them About Silver/Gold Value

This is best for older children who have a concept of money and savings. Some people are more motivated by monetary gain than by art or history and that is okay. Many collectors find their way from collecting precious metals to collecting coins or from collecting coins to storing precious metals.

4.) Let Them Watch You

It may not always seem like it, but kids love to imitate their parents. You may not be able to encourage a kid to fall in love with coin collecting, but your own passion can be infectious. Talking about your coins in front of your kids, coin roll hunting, or organizing your collection are great ways to passively let children see the enjoyment in coin collecting.

5.) Try Other, Similar Hobbies

Some kids don’t have the patience for coin collecting. A more exciting hobby to try with your children is metal detecting. Metal detecting is great to get kids interested in numismatics because sooner or later they are likely to find a coin they have never seen and will want to learn more.

Exonumia, collecting tokens is another fun hobby for kids. Tokens usually have more fun patterns and styles, and they can find them at their local arcade. (Although arcades seem to be moving away from tokens.)

There is also metal detecting, but that may be tedious for younger kids. I have metal detected on beaches and had many kids come up and ask me what I am doing, and ask me if I found any buried treasure!

Metal detecting is expensive to get into, with most good metal detectors running between $200-$400. I would purchase one for your child if they show an interest, or if it something you think they would enjoy to do with you.

6.) Start Kids Young

I started my interest in coins when I was a kid by being exposed to coins. Coins were how I paid for ice cream and I would exchange coins for dollars with my dad to learn about money. As our economy switches to a more card based digital system, you can achieve the same interest with piggy banks, and even fake coins.

6.) Know Their Interest May Come and Go

Most coin collectors do not spend everyday thinking about their coins and collecting and neither will kids. A kid will likely be engrossed in the hobby for a few weeks before finding a new obsession and that is okay.

One thing to watch is that your child does not sell their collection on a whim.

Should You Buy Foreign Coins in Bulk?

Like any post with a title “Should you-” the answer is always: it depends!

Buying foreign coins in bulk sounds like a great idea, you get lots of coins for a relatively small amount or money. Bulk coin sets can run anywhere from $10-$30 per pound! (I would love to get that value of gold and silver.)

Now some people do great buying and selling foreign coins, since most people collect coins from their own country, they are less likely to recognize valuable or rare coins from other countries. Many people find silver or even gold coins in the foreign bins at their local coin shops because no one else recognizes them.

That being said, it is incredibly unlikely you are going to find such a rarety buying bulk foreign coins online. Most of the time, you will be overpaying dramatically for the conveniece of getting hundreds of coins shipped to you.

Let’s talk cons first.


1.) Shipping prices!!!

I have both bought and sold on eBay and other online sellers. The real profit killer is shipping (although eBay fees are not fun either). Most of your money spent on bulk coins is simply going to the shipping cost.

2.) 99% of coins will be worthless.

Now, you may find some coins that are interesting to you, but that does not mean they have much value outside of your house. The market for foreign coins is simply too small.

I love seeing foreign coins, I have some I collect, but if I tried to collect coins from every country, I simply would not have enough room in my house! Most coin collectors stick to coins from their own country, or at least a country that resonates with them. Those who collect foreign coins are rare, and usually they go for older foreign coins.

Even if you are very knowledgeable on foreign coins, it is still unlikely you will find anything valuable. Most bulk lots of coins online have already been cherry-picked for the most valuable coins.


1.) Lots of coins!


It is really exciting to get a lot of foreign coins! You can keep them in a jar as decoration, or spend time organizing and admiring the different designs.

2.) Great way to learn!

You can look through each one and do lots of research into the coins. It is a great way to learn about other cultures in different time periods.

Since you will get many coins from different countries you can take the time to catalogue them. Find the country of origin, face value, and numismatic value!

Where to buy foreign coins in bulk?

Many different places sell foreign coins in bulk. Ebay is probably the best place to go, as you get the competition from many different sellers.

If you aren’t comfortable buying on eBay, you can also buy bulk foreign coins on Amazon. It will probably be slightly more expensive than eBay, but Amazon is easier to use for many people.

If you are only interested in a different country or time period you can also search buy that specific time and area. While researching for this article I found a few fun niche listings.

Ancient Coins in Bulk

This could be a good way to get your hands on several coins if you are a beginner. Someday you will probably want to buy higher quality coins at better prices, but it is always fun to have a few coins to handle.

(Remember, handling coins is bad for them! Only do so with coins you do mind potentially damaging.)

Final Thoughts

I wouldn’t build a collection around buying bulk foreign coins, but it is a fun way to get your hands on a lot of coins.

Overall, I would saying buying foreign coins is best for beginners, or as gifts for kids. Since kids don’t usually have a great understanding of value, giving them a lot of coins that are interesting to them is a good way to introduce them to coin collecting.

Do you buy foreign coins in bulk? What is your best find yet?

Painted Colorized American Silver Eagle

Are Colorized Coins a Good Investment?

If you are looking for a coin that is a good investment, then you want the coin to grow in value over time. Colorized coins are NOT a good investment.

Colorized, or painted, coins are ones which have had colors added to them after the minting process. Sometimes this involves paint and other times different metals are electronically plated to the coin.

There is a very small and selective market for colorized coins. Most colorized coins with state flags, painted backgrounds, glow-in-the-dark paint, or holographic material have almost no resale value compared to the price they were bought at.

A set of 4 holographic quarters may cost you $20 to buy new, but will be hard to sell for even $5. Most collectors wouldn’t even trade you a regular quarter for a colorized one.

Why do collectors hate colorized coins?

There are three big reasons coin collectors hate colorized coins.

1.) Most coin collectors want their coins in Mint State.

2.) Removing the coloring damages the coin.

3.) They are incredibly overpriced.

Which colorized coins have increased in value?

Any colorized coin that is reproducible is unlikely to gain value. The reason colorized state quarters don’t have a higher value is that any company could make them.

If you are looking for colorized coins that may gain in value. Look for limited edition bullion coins made only by certain mints.

A good example is The Simpson’s Collection of Silver Rounds produced by the Perth Mint. Here is a screenshot from the Perth Mint:

The 1 oz “Donut” Silver Proof Coin by the Perth Mint.

120 AUD is the equivalent of roughly $93 USD. On Ebay, the same coin is now selling for anywhere from $350-$500 dollars.

These colorized coins increased in value because they were made in quantities of 5,000 and since they depict characters licensed by 20th Century Fox, they are not reproducible.

What types of colorized coins are there?

Full disclosure, I will be sharing images from Amazon. Since I am an Amazon Affiliate, I do earn money through purchases made from links on my site. I will still be giving you my 100% honest opinion… as I hate most of these.

1.) Holographic Coins

I actually do have a set of these coins. I bought them off Ebay for very cheap and they make a good conversation piece. So although I think colorized coins are a bad investment, if it’s done to a cheap coin and you enjoy it, that makes it worth it.

2.) Painted Coins

This is without a doubt my least favorite type of altered coinage. I don’t think these coins look at all better with paint on them.

The manufacturers put the coins in a fancy-looking box to distract you from the fact that you are only actually receiving $12.50 cents worth of coins.

If they weren’t so expensive I would say this would make a great gift for kids. Buy your kid a set of Legos and save your money.

3.) Gold Gilding

Gold-gilding is a very cheap way to make buyers believe they are getting more than they actually are. The amount of gold on these coins is layered so thin that it gives the coin no actual gold value.

Plus, this one is painted as well. Bleh.

I like some gold-gilded coins if they only add it to small accents, but the price is usually not worth it to a collector.

4.) Ruthenium Coins with Gold Gilding

Okay, I will admit. I like the look of these coins a lot. These are good gifts and conversation pieces if you buy the versions made from common pennies or half dollars.

The mark-up on the silver dollars is so high that I wouldn’t recommend someone buy these, but… I could see myself getting a similar one of these someday. I would buy a ruthenium coin only if it was done to a very common modern coin.

5.) This Coin in Particular

While doing research for this article I found what may be the ugliest colorized coin to ever exist. I hate Garfield’s smug little face in this coin so much.

All that being said, if you like a coin and it makes you happy, who am I to judge? … Unless you like the Garfield one, I’m judging you for that.

What do you think of colorized coins? Share a comment below and vote in our poll!

Nails Attracted To a Magnet White Background

Can You Find Coins by Magnet Fishing?

From coin collecting I discovered metal detecting, from metal detecting I discovered magnet fishing! It’s amazing how one hobby can build into multiple!

I have read a lot of articles that claim there are no US coins you can find magnet fishing and this IS NOT TRUE. There is ONE coin from the United States you can find magnet fishing. Read more to find out which coin and why!

As an Amazon Affiliate I earn money from sales made through my links. Don’t worry, this does not affect the price of products linked through my site. I still strive to give the best information possible.

What is magnet fishing?

Magnet fishing is a fairly new hobby that has been gaining traction the last few years and it’s exactly what it sounds like! (Well, maybe not exactly what it sounds like, as you are not fishing for metal fish.)

Magnet fishers tie a rope to a very strong magnet and cast the rope into a body of water to see if they can pull up any metal treasures in the water.

Can you find coins magnet fishing?

Unfortunately, it is very unlikely you will find any US coins, silver, or gold while magnet fishing. The most common metals used in US coins are: copper, zinc, silver, nickel, and gold; and of those only nickel is magnetic.

While nickel is magnetic, all US nickels are actually only 25% nickel. The rest is non-magnetic copper. The small amount of nickel in US coins is unlikely potent enough to be attracted to even a magnet-fishers magnet.

There is only one US cent that you will be able to find magnet fishing… the 1943 Steel Penny! This penny was minted during WW2 when copper was scarce. Since copper was being conserved for the war effort, the US Mint decided to use steel with a coating of zinc.

Even a small refrigerator magnet can attract a 1943 Steel Penny, so a magnet fisher should have no problems catching it if they come across one.

Of course… that is a lot of effort for just a single penny, with a low likelihood you would happen to cast into a river or lake that has a steel penny at the bottom.

Magnet fishers outside of the US should have more luck. Several Canadian and UK coins are made from magnetic materials. However, you are unlikely to get rich off of any of those common coins.

Is magnet fishing worth it if you can’t find coins?

You can still find guns, car parts, bike parts, sunglasses, and other things that get lost in rivers. If your motivation is to get rich or find valuable coins this is not the hobby for you.

Magnet fishing is about finding lost treasures and doing your part to keep waterways clean.

That being said, there is one way you could strike it rich magnet fishing. Although incredibly rare, it is possible to find a safe at the bottom of a river with valuables like coins, silver, or gold.

You would need to be incredibly strong and have a really powerful magnet to be able to pull a metal safe out of the water.

I think magnet fishing is still a great hobby. And it’s very inexpensive to try.

Here is a link to a beginners magnet fishing kit on Amazon. I like this kit because it comes with everything you need to get started. Along with a magnet and ropes, it also includes gloves (prevent tetanus!), an informational e-booklet, a plastic scraper (to pry things off the magnet), and a case!

As the magnets are very powerful, make sure to keep it in a case when not in use! The strong magnet can damage electronics and get stuck on metal.

What is a better way to find coins?

A better way to find lost coins is a metal detector! A metal detector does not need a coin to be magnetic to be able to find it. I’ve found all sorts of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters with my metal detector.

A metal detector does require a little more skill than magnet fishing. You can’t just chuck your metal detector into a river! But overall I was surprised how easy it was to learn.

My first time metal detecting I found 86 cents buried in my backyard! And I hadn’t even bothered to use the manual.

For detecting coins, I’d recommend a Garrett metal detector. They are user friendly and even have a “coin” setting which makes your metal detector only ping on metals that are likely to be coins.

I have a Garrett Ace 400 and it’s a great metal detector! I would recommend it wholeheartedly, but if it’s your first time metal detecting the slightly cheaper Garret Ace 300 has almost all the same features.

The best places to find coins metal detecting are parks and beaches. Parks are more likely to have older coins, but you will probably find more coins at the beach. If you are super adventurous you could even trek off into the woods to metal detect!

You never know where someone may have lost a few coins from their pocket or stashed a pile of gold. The mystery is what makes metal detecting fun!

So, magnet fishing or metal detecting: which is better?

I would have to say that metal detecting is the better hobby overall. There are many more places to metal detect as you don’t need a body of water. Even your backyard could be a great place to hunt!

Metal detecting can also find many of the same treasures as magnet fishing. You can still find old guns, bike parts, car parts, and LOTS of nails with a metal detector. Metal detectors can be tuned to only give you a signal for more valuable metals, whereas magnet fishers have only one setting: Magnetic.

Magnet fishing has the upside of being cheaper and more obscure. Most people I’ve mentioned magnet fishing to have never even heard of it! The downside to the relative obscurity is that there is a much smaller online community.

If my background was in fishing instead of coin collecting I may have given a different answer though. Both are great hobbies to try. Plus, for being under $100 to start, I think magnet fishing is worth the money.

Click Here to View Magnet Fishing Kits on Amazon >

Click Here to View Metal Detectors on Amazon >

Which hobby do you prefer? Vote in our poll and leave a comment below!

Nickel with Soap, Lemon, Baking Soda

Cleaning Coins is Actually Bad For Them (with pictures!)

Post on any coin forum asking how to clean your coins and you will be accosted with angry coin collectors tell you to absolutely not try to clean them. There is good reason for this.

Although a cleaned coin may look better to the human eye, it actually damages the coin.

After being exposed to oxygen, water, and other elements in circulation, coins develop a patina. The patina is a thin layer of green or brown film caused by oxidation on the surface of the metal.

Cleaning a coin involves removing the thin layer of patina on the top of the coin to expose the shiny metal below. From afar, the coin would be shinier and look newer.

In reality, the cleaned coin now has very small scratched called micro-abrasions. These small scratches hurt the coins value for most collectors. Plus, by giving the coin a more scratched surface, the coin is now more prone to oxidation.

Here are the coins I will be using to show the different cleaning methods sometimes prescribed.

1.) 196(?)D Nickel – Dish Soap, Sponge, Lemon, and Baking Soda

This coin was the worst of the bunch. I could only barely make out the first part of the year (maybe 1968 or 1969?).

Since this coin was the worst of the bunch, I decided to use the most abrasive cleaning methods on it.

First I used a sponge with Dawn Dish soap aggressively on the surface of the coin. As I ran hot water over the coin I continued to rub in circular motions.

After this, it looked a bit cleaner, but I decided to get some chemistry involved and let the coin sit in lemon and baking soda before I rubbed it with a Q-tip.

The obverse of the coin after cleaning.

The coins look ever so slightly better after being cleaned. However, the amount of long term-damage done is not worth the small increase in eye-appeal. The date was still illegible after cleaning.

2.) 1986D Penny – Lemon and Baking Soda

For the 1986D, I put the penny in a small glass ramequin with fresh lemon juice and added about half a tablespoon of baking soda. I could tell something was happening as the concoction began to fizz!

Penny soaked in lemon juice and baking soda.

After letting the coin sit in the mixture a minute, I flipped it over so it could effect the coin evenly. Once that side was done I took the coin out to rub it with a Q-tip.

The coin certainly came out much shinier! If I had been more aggressive with the Q-tip, I could have gotten it much cleaner.

The obverse before (left) and after (right).
The reverse before (left) and after (right).

Much shinier of course, but you can still see small sections where the q-tip scratched the surface of the coin.

3.) 2000D New Hampshire Quarter – Acetone and a Q-tip

This coin was pretty clean already. Just a few blemishes keeping it from looking like new. For this quarter, I decided to go for a gentler cleaning method.

I took a Q-tip, dipped it in acetone, and used gentle circular motions on the surface of the coin.


This worked effectively and quickly, removing dark spots in the corners of the coin. Here is the before and after comparison:

(Sorry! The before image is not very clear.)
Again, not very clear image. Sorry!

4.) 1995D Penny – Acetone ONLY

If I had to recommend a way to “clean” a coin, this would be it. Acetone, also known as propanone, only dissolves organic materials. It can help dissolve glue, wax, and plastic.

This penny looks to be experiencing copper rot, more formally known as bronze disease. This occurs when copper comes into contact with chloride. You can tell by the green and white spots on the surface of the coin.

(Coins can also be affected by verdigris which is very similar, but I suspect this is bronze disease because of the white spots along with the green.)

To use acetone and minimize damage to the coin, you need to use 100% pure acetone. Don’t use nail polish remover as it includes coloring and fragrances that could affect your coin.

Keep pour the acetone into a glass jar or bowl. Put the coin into the acetone and try to move the coin as little as possible. You do not want the coin to scratch across the glass.

Penny in acetone in a glass bowl.

I would lightly swish the acetone around, but not enough to move the coin. After about 5 minutes I flipped the coin over and let it soak for another 5 minutes.

When taking the coin out of the acetone make sure to let it AIR DRY. Do not pat the coin dry with any material as this can also cause small abrasions. Acetone dries very quickly.

Obverse before (left) and after (right).
Reverse before (left) and after (right).

The obverse of our 1995D penny actually looks slightly worse after the acetone bath. The acetone ate away organic material on the top layer of the coin to help reveal the zinc below.

Even acetone cannot save a damaged coin, but it doesn’t hurt the metal when done properly. (Some people claim that leaving copper in acetone for too long can damage the coin, I don’t recommend leaving a penny in acetone for longer than a half hour.)


I know that by showing coins going from dirty to clean it may look like I am promoting for people to clean their coins. On the contrary, I think it is important for collectors to know that a cleaner coin is not necessarily better.

If a coin looks suspiciously clean for its age, then look carefully! Check for small scratches on the surface that could indicate cleaning. Get a magnifying glass of some kind to check for tiny abrasions that follow similar circular patterns.

Look at all the small scratches on this quarter!

If you have a coin that is both dirty and valuable, you can submit it to a professional coin service like PCGS or NGC to have it professionally cleaned (also referred to as restoration or conservation).

Have you ever cleaned a coin? Vote in our poll or comment below!

(Interested in more polls? Check out our poll page!)

US Series Quarter Collectioni

What is the Best Coin to Start Collecting?

If you are a beginner to coin collecting, the sheer amount of information available can be intimidating. Who knew there was so much to know about coins?

If you are looking to start a coin collecting, it’s best to pick one denomination, and then branch out as you grow more confidence. You could begin with ancient Roman coins, but the learning curve is much steeper.

What makes a denomination better for beginners?

Denomination refers to the face value of the coin. When I ask what denomination is best for beginners I am asking whether a beginner should start with pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, etc.

Ideally, a beginner wants a denomination that is exciting and easy to obtain. Some denominations don’t have much variety, this could lead a beginner to think the entire hobby is boring. Some coins, like ancient coins, are harder to get a hold of, this could lead a beginner to spend a lot of money before they become interested.

I recommend pennies or quarters.


A 2019D Penny

Pennies definitely fit the requirement of being easy to obtain. A dollar at the bank gets you 100 pennies to look through! You could even check your couch cushions and probably find a few pennies.

A Whitman Coin Folder from 1941-1974 has 90 penny slots. Which means if you find all the coins by coin roll hunting the whole album would only have cost you 90 cents to fill! (Click Here to Learn More About Coin Roll Hunting.)

The other great thing about pennies is that there are many varieties and errors. Since the year 1900, there have been 4 different penny design. Every time the mint changes design, there is a greater likelihood for errors.


A 2020 D Quarter

There are many different varieties of quarters because of the State Series and National Park Series. From 1999-2008 the US Mint designed and minted a coin for 5 different states, releasing new coins each year. The State Series program was so successful that they created another program for National Parks called the “America the Beautiful Series” which ran from 2010 till 2021.

Quarters are the first coins I ever collected. My grandfather gave me a map of state quarters to fill when I was 9 years old and I still have it in my room.

My first coin collection! The State Series Quarter Map.

If you are starting with quarters, get a folder for the State Quarters and a folder for National Park Quarters. Whitman is a great, well known brand. H&E Harris and Co. is also a good brand. I would stay away from Littleton Coin Company until you know more about coin prices. (Read why here.)


Dollar Coins

A James Madison Dollar Coin

Like quarters, dollar coins have many different designs. The most recent run of dollar coins features Presidents of the United States.

The US government has printed more dollar coins than they know what to do with. Unfortunately, no is using them. So, although you could go to a bank and get dollar coins, they are rarely seen in circulation.

Part of the fun of other coins is the speculation of what the coins may be worth 100 years from now. At the current rate, modern dollar coins will likely be easy to find in uncirculated condition, making their price unlikely to rise.

Of course, you could collect older dollar coins like the Morgan and Peace dollars. These are great coins, every beginner should get one eventually just to feel the satisfying weight of it in your hand. But, the cheapest of these coins range from $16-$23. I think it’s best to have some more coin knowledge before jumping into such expensive coins.

Nickels and Dimes

Nickels and dimes all suffer the same flaw for me in terms of recommending them to beginners. Both in modern years are pretty boring. There are several key dates and rare errors, but not as many as pennies and quarters.

A 2017D Nickel

The redeeming factor for nickels is the Buffalo Nickel and the Wartime Nickels. These are fun coins to find! If a coin collector wants to begin with nickels, then I would suggest starting with Buffalo Nickels.

Dimes have had the same design since 1946. Don’t get me wrong, the Roosevelt design is great! But I am getting a little tired of it. The only big change in the Roosevelt dime happened in 1965 when the switched from a mainly silver composition to a copper and nickel composition.

A 2020D Dime

A new collector interested in dimes should look into Mercury dimes. Mercury dimes, due to their small size, are the cheapest silver coin to collect. Plus, they are gorgeous.

What coins did you first collect? Vote in the poll below and add a comment!