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Thinking about dabbling in coin collecting? Your next question would probably be – What are the best coins to collect?
Or maybe getting a child interested in collecting U.S. coins?
Have you managed to hold onto a few interesting coins that you’ve found through the years? (That’s how I first started collecting coins. And now I only save certain denominations from certain years.)
Perhaps now you’re wondering if the coins you’ve held onto are still worth keeping — and if they’re really worth anything today.
What Are The Best Coins To Collect?
If you were going to keep a small collection of coins, which ones would they be? Which ones should they be?
While there is no single answer that defines the “best” coins to collect (because everyone collects coins for different reasons and everyone has a different opinion as to the best coins worth holding onto), I got to thinking about what other coin experts recommend when they’re asked this question.
I know that we (especially Joshua, our Coin Editor) have done a good job summarizing our own favorite coins and our own unique ways that we like to collect coins here on this website. And all of the articles we’re written are based on our own firsthand experiences collecting U.S. coins.
For example, here is Joshua’s list of the 10 U.S. Coins Every Collector Needs (the most historically significant United States coins, in his opinion):
- Large Cent
- Indian Head Cent
- 1909 V.D.B. Lincoln Cent
- 1943 Steel Lincoln Cent
- 2 Cent Coin
- Buffalo Nickel
- Liberty Seated Dime
- 1932 Washington Quarter
- Walking Liberty Half Dollar
- Morgan Silver Dollar
But I thought it might also be interesting to highlight some clever coin collecting ideas from others for a change!
So I did a little research and found some unique ideas and opinions from others who save coins. I always enjoy seeing which coins other collectors and coin experts have chosen to save… and why.
Following are some of the coins that others think are among the best coins worth collecting these days. (Believe it or not, they’re NOT all rare U.S. coins.)
Perhaps these will give you some ideas when it comes to building your own coin collection.
Hopefully, you will see that there is value in just about any coin. It all comes down to how long you’re willing to hold onto it, and your ability to find someone who is interested in your coin — if and when the time comes that you’re eventually ready to sell it.
Unique Ideas For Coin Collections
Each of the following links includes some interesting coins that are worth collecting.
My aim is that these clever coin collecting ideas will inspire you to put together your own unique collection of U.S. coins…
My 10 Best Coins – View the coin collections of others — with photos of their 10 favorite coins.
Originally, their list only included these generalized “types” of coins:
- U.S. Mint Uncirculated Coins Set
- Bulk Pennies
- Uncirculated Silver Eagles
- Common Date “Saints” Graded by NGC or PCGS
- Proof Shield Nickels
- Early Proof Jefferson Nickels
- Proof Barber Half Dollars
- A High-Grade Coin Worth $100 or More
Those are still smart choices for a U.S. coin collection. However, recently the above list was re-evaluated and updated. See why these U.S. coins were selected:
- 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cent
- 1921 Peace Dollar
- 1878-CC Morgan Silver Dollar
- 1914-D Lincoln Cent
- 1955/55 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent
- 1937-D 3 Legged Buffalo Nickel
- 1916-D Mercury Dime
- 1917 Standing Liberty Quarter – Type 1
- 1932-D Washington Quarter
- 1908 St. Gaudens Arabic Numerals No Motto
“You will not find a $4 gold piece, 1795 Eagle, or 1895 Morgan dollar on my list. These are certainly important, rare and desirable coins, but not items that are within the reach of most collectors.” Some examples on this list include:
- Fugio Cent – The first coin issued by authority of the United States. Certainly a significant issue and yet still plentiful enough to be reasonably priced.
- 1794 Half Cent – In my opinion, more attractive than the 1793. Nearly as scarce as the first half cent but often much less expensive.
- 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent – Perhaps the most popular and well known of all United States coins. It just seems that if you’re a serious coin collector you should have one.
- 1877 Three Cent Nickel – Just 510 pieces minted and yet surprisingly affordable. A great way to join an exclusive owners club.
- Three Dollar Gold type coin – I would select any date except the 1878.
View the explanations for why these rare coins are the best ones to collect:
- 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
- 1804 Draped Bust Dollar
- The Brasher Doubloon
- 1861 Confederate States Half-Dollar
- 1974 Aluminum Penny
- 1913 Liberty Head Nickel
- Almost anything from 1870
- 1866 Silver Coin
- 1776 Silver Continental Dollar
- 1943 Copper Penny
The Best & Worst Coin Investments – Interesting… first check out the 5 worst coin investments, then see why this collector recommends collecting these specific coins:
- Key date coins
- Pre-1965 90% silver U.S. coins in very high grades
- Most types of U.S. nickels
- Walking Liberty half dollars
- Franklin half dollars
- Silver Kennedy half dollars
The Bottom Line
What it all comes down to is this…
You should only collect those coins which are interesting to you. Otherwise, it is less of a hobby and more of a job — and it could become a serious investment.
So, unless you are determined to become a coin dealer or a coin investor, you should just stick with those coins that you come upon the easiest — and the ones that mean something to you personally. That’s the best way to start a new coin collection!
How To Start A Coin Collection
Ready to get started gathering coins for your own collection? Here are some great tips to get you started:
- Basic Coin Collecting Information For Newbies – See how Joshua (our Coin Editor) started his very first coin collection, plus his tried & true tips for beginners
- Where To Find Valuable Coins In Circulation For FREE – All the best places to look without spending a penny!
- Best Coins For Kids To Collect – Reasons to start your collection with pennies, nickels, quarters, and any old coins that you find
- Which Valuable Coins You Can Still Find In Circulation – Which coins you should be looking for in your spare change each and every day
- See Why Modern U.S. Coins Are Worth Collecting – Tips for collecting modern (1950 to present) U.S. coins
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).