A Wheat Penny from a Roll of Pennies

What Makes Coin Collecting a Great Hobby?

For the uninformed, coin collecting may seem like a boring hobby. After all, most people touch dozens of coins a day and have never become interested in coins. If you dig a little deeper, you will find that there is much to love about the hobby.

Since coins have been around, they have been stored for their bullion value which is the value of gold, silver, and other precious metals. It wasn’t until the 14th Century that coins began being stored for their artistic and historical value as well.

During the Renaissance Era, kings, queens, and nobility began collecting coins as a sign of wealth. The Italian scholar Petrarch is the most notable and knowledgeable coin collector of the time.

Possibly because only nobility could afford to purchase and store coins for long amounts of time, coin collecting became known as “The Hobby of Kings”. As always, it was not long before the middle class began emulating this behavior and started collecting coins.

Coin collecting prevails to this day; a great hobby for the young and old. Keep reading to discover what makes coin collecting a fun and enjoyable hobby for millions of people around the world.

What Draws People to Coin Collecting Today?

I have friends ask me all the time what makes me so addicted to coins. There are many reasons I love coin collecting, it’s a hobby that is always evolving while still maintaining a sense of history and traditionalism.

Below is my list of the best parts about coin collecting. All these are aspects which drew me into the hobby and keep me interested in it. I think most numismatists will agree that this hobby has many facets and there are always new coins to enjoy and discover.


Coins are rich with history. Each coin is a product of the year, political climate, and social trends of the time. People who study coins are called numismatists. The study of coins can tell us a lot about a time period.

By the metal composition, we can know the resources in a surrounding area. This could also inform us of trade routes and the wealth of the country producing them.

By the art, we can get a sense of what was important to people of the time and what traits the government wanted its citizens to value. We also see what political figures were honored.

Even the condition of coins can tell us about the economy during a certain time period. The more worn down a coin is, the more it was used in circulation. Using this analysis, a scholar can figure out what denomination was used most at a certain time. This could help track inflation in history.


Coin collectors have their own economy to price coins. Coin prices change every year depending on trends in the hobby. Coins can be bought and sold for thousands of dollars.

A buyer can speculate on the price of coins, buying a coin with the plan to sell it at a later date at a higher value, or a buyer can look for discounted coins with the goal of immediately flipping the coin for a profit. Many people have made businesses on the buying and selling of coins.

That is not to say that becoming a coin dealer is easy. It takes years of learning to develop a good eye for well-priced coins. Most dealers start as collectors, who after enough years amass enough knowledge to begin successfully selling.


Coin collecting is it’s own community; whether online or in-person, coin collecting has brought generations of different people together.

There are hundreds of ways to meet like minded people who are interested in coins. Reddit, coin shops, coin forums, coin events, word of mouth, family members, all places are great for finding others who value coins.

The best part about the coin community is that we are bonded by a common interest. Within that, everyone has their own expertise. There is very little one-upmanship, most coin collectors are eager to share their knowledge for the sake of teaching another human being about coins.

Store of Value

Some collectors are less interested in the art of a coin, but the coin’s metal composition. Before 1964, many US coins were made for circulation with silver. Since then, silver has increased in value to make a silver quarter worth about $3!

If we look back even farther in US History, coins were minted in gold. In the early 1800’s, gold was worth about $18.93 per troy ounce. Today, the same amount of gold is worth about $1,866!

Some collectors keep coins as a hedge against inflation, or to protect themselves against a crash of the US dollar.


Most coin collectors are interested in the hobby as a life-long pursuit, buying a few coins a year and storing them. Eventually, the coins are passed on, usually through family members. Although some families choose to liquidate the collection, many treasure the coins as a memory of their family member.

It’s easy to get kids interested in coins by setting them up with a coin folder and a roll of coins to search though. I remember my grandfather giving me a State Quarter Folder when I was 9 years old that I still have today!

Promise of Treasures

I am always learning about new types of coins, errors, and varieties. The idea that I may have a coin already in my collection that could be worth hundreds is very exciting. Perhaps, if you took the time to look through even the change in your car you could find something valuable.

One of my favorite pursuits in coin collecting is the activity of coin roll hunting. This is where you get rolls of coins from the bank and search them for treasures. It is a cheap and easy way to find new coins for my collection. (Click Here to Learn More About Coin Roll Hunting.)

If you are looking to start coin collecting, I would recommend getting the proper supplies. This article on the Essential Items to Handle and Store Coins should help.

I would also recommend a new collector purchase a Red Coin Collectors Guidebook. You can read more about why I recommend this book by clicking here.

Anything I missed? Add a comment below and share what makes you love coin collecting!

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!