Tips for the New Coin Collector

Wikis > Tips for the New Coin Collector
Some advice and for the new coin collector. Tips for the beginner collector.

DON’T CLEAN YOUR COINS, this can devalue them greatly.

Pick up a magnifier or loupe to view your coins or potential purchases more closely.

Store your coins away from pvc. Many coin storage accessories contain pvc so ask the question before you purchase albums, coin pocket pages or coin flips “Are these pvc free?”

Collect what you like, not what other people tell you you should be collecting. This is really important; coin collecting is supposed to be a hobby, and therefore enjoyable. If you’re doing something because you’ve been told you have to do it, not because you’d like to and want to, there’s another word for it: “work”. Nothing kills interest and enthusiasm in a hobby like turning that hobby into something resembling work. And if other people ask you, “those things are useless junk, why are you collecting those”, your answer is simple: “I like them and I enjoy collecting them”. There are no rules about what you can and can’t do.

Stay connected with other collectors. Joining this Internet forum is a good start. You might want to consider joining a local coin club. Make friends with your local coin dealers. It has been scientifically proven that coin collecting is not a hereditary disease; this means it can be a lonely pursuit at times, with perhaps nobody else in your family or circle of friends understanding your passion. It helps if you have reminders now and then that you’re not the only crazy coin collector on the planet.

Learn whatever you can about the coins that interest you. Again, Internet forums like this one are a great place to learn. Other websites are good, too (let Google be your friend). Buy or borrow coin books, and actually read them; the old guys at the coin club always say “first the book, then the coin” – meaning, spend money on books before spending money on coins, otherwise you’re more than likely going to be wasting your money. Take every opportunity to examine and study coins, even coins that don’t belong to you (here’s where “making friends” and “joining a coin club” mentioned above can assist you).

Beware of eBay; there are plenty of sharks in that ocean. In particular, beware of things that sound “too good to be true”, because they probably are. Beware of clueless sellers selling valuable “mint errors” that are really just worthless damaged coins. Beware of coin sellers from China; that’s where most of the modern fakes are coming form these days. If there’s something on eBay you might be interested in buying but you have worries or concerns, post a link to it on the Australian Coin forum and ask questions.