Coin collecting is one of the oldest hobbies around.
Among the first coin collectors were ancient kings and queens who enjoyed assembling collections of coins from their kingdoms and other realms — both for the medallic artistry on the coins and the socio-political themes they represent.
There’s a reason many call collecting coins “the hobby of kings.”
But what makes this pastime so fun? And why is now a great opportunity for you to begin collecting coins, too?
I’m a longtime coin collector who began my journey with coins in 1992. A lot has changed in numismatics since then.
As numismatists go, we’re a pretty wild bunch:
- Some of us might get our kicks collecting pirate treasure coins and pioneer gold from the 19th-century Wild West.
- Others assemble jet-setter collections of world crowns, British Commonwealth coins, and exotic coins from tiny South Sea islands in Polynesia.
- There are also plenty of folks such as me who collect United States coins from all eras spanning back to the 18th century.
Whatever coins you’d be interested in collecting, now’s a great time to become a coin collector:
- There have never been so many different types of coins to collect.
- Many coins are now at historic record low prices and can be bought for the lowest prices in years.
- There are also many cool coins being released by the United States Mint, making it even more exciting to begin your numismatic journey right now.
Here are the top 5 reasons that I think now is the time for you to begin collecting coins if you haven’t already begun…
#1 – Some Coins Are Dirt Cheap!
Many people think of coin collecting as a rich person’s hobby. Yes, some rich people do collect coins, including:
- Penny Marshall
- Nicole Kidman
- Wayne Gretzky
- James Earl Jones
But there are lots of folks who aren’t movie stars, sports legends, or celebrities who collect coins, too. Including me!
I started off collecting coins for as little as a couple dollars per week. It’s not hard to get started as a coin collector.
All you need to get started are the coins in your pocket, purse, or coin jar and the knowledge to know what to look for.
You might want to check out this post I wrote: U.S. Coins Worth More Than Face Value. (Think, finding valuable and rare coins for the price of their face value!)
If you aren’t up to looking through potentially thousands of coins just to find the first one worth more than a buck or two, why not buy them from a coin dealer? Believe it or not, many coin dealers specialize in budget coin collecting, selling cheap coins like the following:
- Lincoln wheat pennies
- Common-date 90% silver coins
- Modern copper-nickel clad coins
- Mint sets and proof sets
As you’ll find, collecting coins really doesn’t have to be expensive, and many coins are priced reasonably enough for just about anybody to buy even old, classic coins without breaking the bank.
#2 – There Are Some Really Cool U.S. Coins To Collect
Yes, there are! In fact, there are tons of neat coins out there.
If you’re totally new to coin collecting, here are a few U.S. coins that I’ll bet you never heard of before:
- Half cents
- Large cents (they’re pennies the size of a half dollar!)
- 2-cent coins
- 3-cent coins
- 20-cent coins
- $50 gold coins
These are odd types of coins to collect — the kinds you’re not likely to find in your pocket change. But they’re real American coins, and you can add them to your coin collection if you’ve got a few bucks on hand.
There are many other types of interesting coins you can find as a coin collector — coins you’ll probably never find if you’re looking through spare change. They include:
Pretty awesome, huh? Many of these interesting modern coins listed just above weren’t even available just a few years ago, and now they’re around for coin collectors anywhere to enjoy.
See? There never was a better time to get involved with coin collecting than now!
#3 – Historic Rare Coins Are For Sale… Now
Whether or not you’re a coin collector, there are a few rare coins you’ve probably heard of, including:
These are all very rare coins that have been offered for sale in recent times, and others like them are available for you to buy if you can shell out the dough!
What’s it cost to buy rare coins?
It depends on the type of coins you want.
Here are some of the most expensive rare coins to cross the auction block:
- 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar — $10,016,875
- 1933 Saint Gaudens $20 Double Eagle — $7,590,020
- 1804 Draped Bust Dollar — $4,140,000
- 1913 Liberty Nickel — $3,737,500
- 1907 Ultra-High Relief Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle — $2,990,000
It may cost a pretty penny to buy some of the rare coins you have your eye on, but imagine the feeling of raising your hand in an auction and getting the winning bid… It’s a feeling like no other!
#4 – Gold & Silver Coins Are More Affordable Than Before
Gold and silver bullion prices fluctuate. Some days, gold and silver prices are up, and on other days they are down.
Some people not familiar with the bullion market may think that gold and silver prices always and only go up, but that just isn’t true.
In fact, since 1980, silver and gold prices have spiked upward to record or near-record highs twice only to collapse twice. And as of this writing in late 2016, bullion is on a relative, longterm downswing.
What does this mean for you?
If you want to collect gold coins and silver coins, now may be the time to buy them.
#5 – The Coin Collecting Hobby Is Becoming More Diverse
All types of people collect coins: men, women, young, old, rich, poor… you name it.
It seems the types of people entering the hobby today is more diverse than it was when I started collecting coins in 1992.
Really, it’s true. There are more women and kids collecting coins these days, and more individuals from all walks of life are calling themselves coin collectors more than ever.
What’s behind this trend of diversity in coin collecting?
It could be that the types of coins available to collectors today is more vast than ever — attracting people with all different kinds of tastes to the hobby.
The United States Mint is drawing in entirely new coin collecting crowds with issues such as these:
- 50 States quarters
- America The Beautiful quarters
- Presidential $1 coins
- Native American dollars
- Jackie Robinson coins
- Bald Eagle Recovery coins
- Boy Scouts of America silver dollar
- Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. silver dollar
- National Baseball Hall of Fame coins
- Civil Rights Act of 1964 silver dollar
- Mark Twain coins
- Breast Cancer Awareness coins
There’s so much out there for coin collectors today, and the list of topics covered on U.S. coins grows virtually every year.
So, if you’re considering coin collecting but just don’t think there’s anything in it for you, then think again. There’s a spot for you in the hobby, and there are plenty of coins that are certain to speak to your soul.
More About Coin Collecting
In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some additional
- A Beginner’s Guide To Coin Collecting
- Coin Collecting Guide For Beginners
- Avoid The Mistakes That Many Coin Collectors Make
- Popular Coin Sets For Beginning Collectors
- Coin Collecting Supplies Every Collector Must Have
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 CDN Publishing (a trusted source for the price of U.S. rare coins), 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 also authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins — and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!