Collecting Coins And Money

A brief article about collecting coins and money. Questions to ask yourself and dealers, cleaning and places to purchase them.

Numismatics is the collecting and studying of coins, paper money, tokens and any other object used as money. It is important to do some thinking and planning before starting a coin or money collection. Are you interested in the artistic style of certain coins or in the monetary value? Some people collect coins that have a personal value to them or because the coins have a historical value. Book or Internet research is a good idea to get some idea of value, price and availability. Ask a person in the trade what kinds of questions you should ask before purchasing a coin from a dealer or individual. Coin collecting can be fun for the whole family and as cheap or expensive as you want.

A coin collection by a child or those on a low budget can be fun to build. Keep an eye on what coins come into your pocket. Many coin shops and shows have bins of very cheap coins. Children are more interested in what catches their eye, such as a particular design or metal. Older children and those who are able to spend a little more may want to keep their coins in individual sleeves for protection. There are also cardboard album books designed for coins. As the collection starts to grow, it is a good idea to keep an index of what coins you have and any information that was researched. A good book for identify and identification is a great idea. A good tool to carry for coin purchasing is a magnifying glass. This will let you see fine detail.

Serious collectors of coins and paper money start using several factors before purchasing. Identification such as the issuing country, date, mintmark and number of designs that year for the coin is very important. It is also useful for the collector to know how to determine if the coin is counterfeit or authentic. What is the grade of the coin or money? In the United States, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a common standard for coins, but most of the rest of the world uses more general terms such as Fair, Fine and Uncirculated.



After acquiring some coins, you may want to clean them. In most cases, coins should not be cleaned unless performed by a professional. Many collectors want coins with their original appearance. Even polishing to remove tarnishing on a coin, which is called toning, should not be done. Cleaning can destroy the value of a coin by at least half if not more. Scratches and abrasions on coins that have been cleaned are easily seen by a magnifying glass.

There are many sources of coins and other money. Coin shops and shows are great places to learn about coins that interest you. Dealers are a good resource for you in answering questions and performing evaluations on purchases. Mail order can be used, but be careful and check into return policies. The coins may be overgraded or damaged, so be sure to perform a thorough check of the item. This care also applies to coins bought online. Have the coins mailed with insurance and tracking in case they may be lost or stolen. Watch out for scam artists. Trades and purchases from other collectors is a good source. Most of the rarest and expensive coins are going to pass through an auction house such as Stack's or Heritage.

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