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how to start a coin collection

How to Start a Coin Collection?

Starting a coin collection can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. The hobby, known as numismatics, allows you to delve into the world of currencies, exploring their rich history, artistic designs, and intrinsic values. It’s a journey that can offer not just potential financial returns, but also a deep sense of personal satisfaction and a window into different cultures and eras. How to start a coin collection? First, read good coin collection books!

Coin collecting is a pursuit that is accessible to everyone, regardless of age or budget. Whether you’re interested in collecting coins from different countries historic periods, or those with unique designs, there’s a niche in numismatics that will cater to your interest. The key to a successful coin collection lies in understanding the basics, being patient, doing your research, and most importantly, enjoying the process.

As a beginner, you might be wondering where to start. It may seem daunting at first, but don’t worry – we’re here to guide you. In the following sections, we will discuss the steps you need to take to start your coin collection, including choosing a focus for your collection, obtaining coins, properly handling and storing them, and continually educating yourself about this fascinating hobby. Let’s embark on this numismatic journey together and discover the world one coin at a time!

How to Choose your First Coins?

Choosing your first coins is an important step in beginning your numismatic journey. It’s essential to approach this with a clear idea of your interests, goals, and budget. Here’s a guide to help you make the right choices:

  1. Identify your interests: The first step is to determine what interests you the most about coins. Are you fascinated by ancient coins? Do you have a particular interest in the coins of a specific country? Or do you want to collect coins that have unique designs or historical significance? Identifying your interests will help guide your choices.
  2. Decide on a focus: Once you know what you’re interested in, you can decide on a specific focus for your collection. Some collectors focus on coins from a certain era, while others might focus on a particular type of coin, like quarters or pennies. You could also choose to focus on coins from a particular country or region, or coins that feature a certain motif, like animals or famous people.
  3. Set a budget: Coin collecting can be as affordable or as expensive as you make it. It’s important to set a budget early on, and stick to it. Your budget will help guide your decisions about which coins to purchase.
  4. Start with circulation coins: A good place to start is with coins that are still in circulation. You can start collecting interesting coins that you come across in your daily transactions. This can include foreign coins, older coins, or coins with interesting designs.
  5. Visit a coin dealer or show: Once you’re ready to start buying coins, consider visiting a coin dealer or a coin show. Dealers and other collectors can provide valuable insights and advice. Be sure to do some research beforehand to know what to look for, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  6. Buy some coin collecting books: Books about coin collecting can provide you with a wealth of information about different coins, their history, and their potential value. They can also provide you with information about how to care for and store your coins.
  7. Join a coin collecting club or online group: Joining a club or online group can provide you with a community of people who share your interest in coins. They can provide advice, support, and even trade or sell coins.
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Remember, the most important part of coin collecting is to enjoy the process. Choose coins that you find interesting and exciting. The value of a coin is not just in its potential financial worth, but also in the personal satisfaction and enjoyment you get from owning it. How to start a coin collection?

An Example of a First Portfolio of Coins

Building a $1000 coin portfolio is an exciting initial step into the world of numismatics. With a broader budget, you can explore a wider variety of coins, including historic, foreign, and precious metal coins.

A Portfolio of International Coins

It’s crucial to diversify your portfolio to ensure a blend of aesthetic, historic, and investment value. Here’s a hypothetical $1000 portfolio that you could build, given the prices at the time of writing:

CoinQuantityNotable FeaturesEstimated Price Per Coin (USD)Total Price (USD)
Morgan Silver Dollar (Pre-1921)5Historic US coin, 90% silver$35$175
American Silver Eagle (1 oz)5.999 fine silver, modern bullion coin$30$150
Indian Head Penny (1900s)20Historic US coin, unique design$5$100
Mercury Dime (Pre-1945)50Historic US coin, 90% silver$2$100
British Sovereign Gold Coin1Historic British coin, .2354 oz of gold$400$400
Chinese Silver Panda (30 g)2.999 fine silver, features varying panda designs$35$70
Portfolio of Coins

This example of a coin portfolio offers a balance of different types of coins – historic US coins like the Morgan Silver Dollar and Mercury Dime, popular bullion like the American Silver Eagle and Chinese Silver Panda, and even a gold coin, the British Sovereign.

This portfolio is designed to provide a diverse numismatic experience. You can learn about the rich history of US coinage, get acquainted with modern bullion coins, and explore coins from other parts of the world.

In total, this hypothetical portfolio comes to $995, leaving a small buffer to account for potential shipping costs, additional charges, or price fluctuations. Please remember that actual coin prices can vary based on their condition, rarity, and the current market situation. As always, tailor this portfolio to suit your personal interests and financial goals. Remember to enjoy the process and the many delights that coin collecting offers! Now, how to start a coin collection following famous investors?

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Famous Coin Investors to Follow

Whether you’re interested in their investment strategies or fascinated by their love for historic and rare coins, following these notable coin investors can provide inspiration and valuable insights.

  1. Steve Contursi: An esteemed name in the world of coin collecting, Steve Contursi is the president of Rare Coin Wholesalers. Known for his deep knowledge of rare coins, Contursi has owned and sold some of the most famous coins, including the 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, one of the world’s most expensive coins.
  2. Brent Pogue: The late Brent Pogue, son of billionaire Mack Pogue, was renowned for his extensive coin collection. Over his lifetime, Pogue assembled an extraordinary collection, particularly of early American coins, many of which set records at auction.
  3. James Halperin: Co-founder of Heritage Auctions, the largest collectibles auctioneer globally, Halperin’s interest in coin collecting began in childhood. His expertise and commitment to the hobby offer valuable insights into coin investing and collecting.
  4. Eric P. Newman: A late numismatist and philanthropist, Newman’s collection was one of the most significant in the United States. His dedication to researching and documenting coinage make his works invaluable resources for coin enthusiasts.
  5. David Hall: A prominent coin dealer, Hall is a co-founder of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), a leading coin grading authority. Hall’s influence on coin grading standards and his insights into coin collecting are of immense value to coin investors.
  6. Louis Eliasberg: Although he passed away in 1976, Eliasberg’s legacy lives on in numismatics. He is the only collector to have assembled a complete set of known coins of the United States, a feat termed the “Eliasberg Collection.”

Following these influential coin investors will offer you a fascinating glimpse into the world of numismatics. By studying their strategies, you can learn more about the art and science of coin collecting and investing. However, remember that while their successes are inspiring, it’s essential to forge your own path in coin collecting based on your personal interests and resources.


So, how to start a coin collection? Beginning your journey into the world of coin collecting can be an enlightening and rewarding experience. It offers a unique intersection of history, art, culture, and investment, which few other hobbies can provide. Whether you’re inspired by the rich designs of coins, intrigued by their historical significance, or interested in their investment potential, there’s a place for you in numismatics.

Embarking on this path involves understanding the basics of coin collecting, from choosing your first coins and building your initial portfolio, to learning how to properly care for and store your collection. It’s also valuable to draw inspiration from notable coin investors, studying their strategies and appreciating their passion for this hobby.

However, it’s essential to remember that your coin collecting journey should be guided by your personal interests, goals, and budget. Each coin collection is a reflection of the collector’s personality and passion, making each one unique.

As you delve deeper into this fascinating hobby, you’ll find that the true value of coin collecting lies not just in the potential financial return but also in the knowledge you acquire, the history you uncover, and the joy you derive from each new addition to your collection. So, take that first step, start your collection, and discover the rich world of numismatics.

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