Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What you didn’t know about coin collecting

You know, there’s more to coins than their use as currency at the grocery store, the laundry and vending machines and the bus. You can make important decisions (well maybe not life-altering decisions) by tossing a coin in the air and you may even win the lottery scratching a ticket! But you can also make a whole hobby out of coin collecting, and there are millions and millions of people that already do it and have been doing it for years! You might even make some money on the way (pun intended).
Here are some fun facts about coin collecting:

1.    It’s a hobby that has been around for years. Kings and queens started doing it because they were the only ones that could afford to obtain rare coins. It was referred as “the hobby of the kings” though now is not only reserved to the rich. You can actually get a lot of coins for just a little bit more than their current currency value, others for under ten dollars, but yes, you can also find very rare and expensive ones. It will depend on what you’re into and how far you want to get.
2.    There are miles and miles of books about coin collecting facts. You can easily get them online.
3.    Want to hang out or connect with people that share your same interest? Well seems like you’re in luck! The ANA (American Numismatic Association) is a highly respected organization around the world. Founded in the late 1800s in Colorado Springs, hosts plenty of members for a fee that gets you in their library, catalogs and the opportunity to get your coins examined by experts. However, if you’re interest in a much smaller and intimate environment, there are plenty of local clubs. There’s a big sense of community among coin collectors, so small clubs form networks to be connect with all of them!
4.    You learn from coins because you choose to. But did you know that schools around the country have developed whole study plans around them too? The 50 States Quarter Program was very popular among educators and kids.
5.    The Mint is not just a place where coins are made to ultimately be currency. The US and Canada’s Mints also have tons of catalogs with plenty of coins to collect: commemoratives, sets, custom made coins, all for the joy of collectors like yourself. Some of them might get a bit expensive, but it’s definitely worth it!
6.    You can actually make money with coins (no pun intended this time!). Although, you shouldn’t buy coins relying on its future value because many of them will increase in worth, but then again, many of them won’t. There are things to consider when trying to figure out if your coin is valuable.
a.    Its scarcity:  are there a lot of coins like that in the market or almost none?
b.    Preservation: is it dented?
c.    Its metal content. What is it made of?

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