This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy thru these links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Many people look to their pocket change with interest.
Why? Because coins, which are at the root of our nation’s — and the world’s — economy, offer so much more than buying power. They represent history, society, geography, and politics in artistic designs meant to capture the eye and, often, the imagination.
Following are some tips for setting goals for your own coin collection, no matter how large or small it might be (…even if you never really thought of yourself as a “coin collector”).
Who Collects Coins Anyway?
Coin collecting is a hobby whose origins can be traced back to kings and the rich of ancient times.
Today, millions of people (of all social and economic levels) around the world enjoy collecting coins.
Those people who devote a particularly good amount of time and interest in studying coins are often called numismatists.
- Numismatists are those who study coins and money.
- Numismatics is the study of coins and money.
While some people are dedicated students of the hobby of coin collecting, many others are simply those who enjoy collecting coins on a more recreational level.
Yet, no matter to what level one takes their numismatic pursuits, most everyone who takes that extra moment (or two) to look at the coins in their hands has one thing in common: they all find coins interesting.
What Are Your Coin Collecting Goals?
People who express an interest in getting into the hobby of collecting coins sometimes do not know where to start. In fact, coin collecting is one of those hobbies that have few, if any, restrictions, and countless options.
The key to this hobby is to collect what you enjoy most. You don’t have to follow strict guidelines as to what types of coins to collect.
However, while some people like to take a casual approach to coin collecting, gathering whatever coins appeal to them without regard to date, denomination, or country of origin, other collectors like to define their collections by certain categorical distinctions. That is, some will focus their attention only on United States coins, coins of other nations, U.S. half dollars of the 19th century, Lincoln pennies, 50 state quarters, coins with pictures of animals, and so on. Some coin collectors even like to have numerous such goals, which are pursued simultaneously.
Like most anything else we take on in life, coin collecting often urges us to define and reach certain goals and objectives. Decide for yourself which type of coin collecting goals you may have. For instance, would you like to collect one example of every coin design the U.S. Mint has produced during the 20th century? If so, you have defined for yourself just one of the countless types of goals that coin collectors try to reach in their hobby.
As you can see, coin collecting allows you to personalize your collection in most any way you like. Yet, when you set specific collecting goals for yourself, you can take the hobby to a whole new level of excitement.
These goals need not be hard to reach. Yet, for those who enjoy a challenge, coin collecting allows people to work toward particularly tough goals which can literally take years to “complete.” Even after these goals have been met, there are always others that can be pursued.
Don’t forget, you don’t need to limit yourself only to the coins you see in pocket change everyday.
There are hundreds of coin dealers who sell coins in stores and online who can offer you everything from ancient coins to gold coins to the coins of foreign lands — and everything in between.
Great Resources Beginner Coin Collectors
What goals might you want to set for your own coin collection? If you don’t know, take some time to surf the Internet or read some books and see if you can figure out which types of coins interest you.
There are many great books that can help you get acquainted with some different types of coins. Two of my favorites are:
- The Guide Book of United States Coins, By R.S. Yeoman and Kenneth Bressett, is a coin-collecting staple that has been annually revised and published since 1947. Often dubbed “The Red Book,” The Guide Book of United States Coins is published Whitman Publishing and can easily be found in most any bookstore.
- The Standard Catalog of World Coins, annually published by Krause Publications, is another resource commonly found in bookstores which will introduce you to coins minted over the past century or so from all over the globe.
As far as helpful sites on the Internet are concerned, the U.S. Mint’s website is a wealth of information for those wanting to find out more about U.S. coins. And www.money.org is the website of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), a renowned organization first chartered in 1891.
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!