Treat it as a pleasure, enjoy the hunt, learn about the history as you enrich your knowledge and value the experience. Forget about the P&L, letting your heirs sort it out.
Try to select an area of numismatics that really interests you. It can be as simple as Lincoln cents, or as intriguing as Byzantine solidi, but it should carry your interest to learn more and give you a passion to assemble a collection. I recently helped a collector who only collects coins with horses on them. I sold him a British 1793 halfpenny Condor Token in VF for $20. He was so delighted!
Alvin L. Stern
Rarities Room Auction/Appraisal
Make a plan, and stick to the plan.
San Antonio, Texas
1. Buy the book, then the coin. (Wished someone had told me this when I started collecting.)
2. Look for coin clubs in your area. Lots of free advice and maybe a free coin or two.
3. Find a local coin shop. You will know when you have found the right shop. Coinzip.com is a great place to start for items 2 and 3.
4. Finally, make friends with older, more experienced collectors. A good mentor is priceless. No such thing as a dumb question.
Start with an inexpensive series and learn how to grade, purchase and evaluate coins. A nice set of silver Roosevelt dimes or Franklin half dollars is perfect. These can be had for modest prices, with no real rarities, while you learn and make mistakes.
Collecting for 53 years!
Fort Collins, Colo.
Don’t worry about buying the best grade if you are just starting unless you have unlimited resources. If you do, then buy only slabbed coins
What advice to give to someone new to coin collecting depends on several things. First is to determine why someone wants to get into it. The next thing is to ask what coins they really like and why they like them. Are they getting into it to make money as in an investment? How much do they expect to spend? Do they have a budget in mind to allot for collecting?
The best advice for a newbie in coin collecting is to read. Get the current “Red Book” to begin with to get the basics on our coinage. Then, build a library of all sorts of books and reference materials. Get on the internet and research any coins you may be interested in. An educated collector just makes “cents.”
Join an American Numismatic Association-affiliated coin club.
Collect for enjoyment.
Educate yourself before you purchase.
Member GJJC & ACCC
Start collecting coins for the enjoyment that it can give you. If you are collecting in the hopes of making money at it, stop now because you will most likely be disappointed in the end and you will never enjoy it as a hobby. Remember, most hobbies cost money to enjoy.
If you can afford them, purchase the rare, costly coins first of the set(s) and then fill in the rest.
Join one or two local coin clubs; meet and mingle there with fellow hobbyists. Subscribe to one of the two national publications, Numismatic News or Coin World. Buy and read the basic bible of American numismatics, the “Red Book.” Buy/borrow numismatic books and references, assembling a ready numismatic library.
Also, before spending much, decide what is or could be your intention or choice, with something that would bring pleasure as well as a supposed return. Avoid what everyone else seems to pursue: Lincoln cents, Morgan dollars and gold.
Work at preserving and securing your growing collection: place in archival quality albums and boxes. Start a record or listing, doing what all great numismatists do: Detail records of their purchases. Note the date, amount, purchase grade, dealer or source, plus where is it stored or secured.
Lastly, have fun! Participate in a local coin club’s festive happenings. Remember: Coins don’t collect people; people collect coins. Emphasize our hobby – the hobby of kings and king of hobbies – is a people hobby.
Michael S. Turrini
There’s more than one way to collect. Look for what interests you, regardless of whether it is popular or of interest to others around you.
Always remember that it’s not how old it is; rather, it’s how rare it is.
Scott B. Lepage
St. Albert, Alberta
Buy only what you want to buy.
Do not buy anything from any coin show on TV!
Do a little research and save a whole lot of money.
My advice to new collectors is to collect what coins you like. Try to collect coins for a type set rather than a whole collection of the same coins. You can have more than one type set
Never clean your coins, even if they’re dirty.
There is a lot of advice that I would give to a new collector. First of all, I would try to seek out an elderly coin collector who would agree to “mentor” me along the way and provide advice on expenditures on coins. I also would try to attend/join a local coin club as well as attend coin conventions seeking advice from the many dealers as well as any bargains/deals that may exist. Finally, I would then make sure they get values at many different sources as well as advice for coins that may be worth buying or trading.
It’s too late ... find another hobby.
Buy the best grade and rarity you can afford.
Don’t clean them!
Decide on a coin or period or category that you like, buy the best that you can afford and enjoy the hunt!
Don’t buy like crazy, study and join numismatic groups.
Study history and coinage before you start collecting.
Attend a coin show and see what it’s all about. Find a local coin club and meet people who are willing to show you how to collect. If you’re in the USA, join the American Numismatic Association.
“Scott J. Moneypenny”
Buy the book before the coin – and actually read it.