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A brief introduction to the basics of coin collecting

If you are looking for a rewarding, exciting and fun hobby that you can easily enjoy, you need look no further than the coins in your pocket. Millions of people are into collecting coins, a pastime that dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Starting a coin collection can be quite easy. In fact, you can start building a collection with the same coins you find every day.

There are many coin collecting goals that collectors try to achieve. You may want to collect every US Statehood Quarters design. Or maybe you want to look for coins with images of your favorite subjects, such as animals, musical instruments, food, historical events, or public figures. You could venture to collect coins from far away and exotic countries and lands. You may want to collect coins minted during the year of your birth. Another fun idea would be to collect a coin of each date you can find—Lincoln cents or Jefferson nickels, for example. Remember, these are just a few of the endless possibilities in deciding what type of coins to collect.

Whatever your collecting interests, there are a couple of main ways to acquire the coins you want for your collection. You can usually find many pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters dating back to the 1960s with coins in circulation (“circulation” includes coins you can get at the bank, find in your pocket or purse, and give away). or receive how it changes when you buy something). However, if you’re lucky, you might find some coins in circulation dating back more than half a century, the odd foreign coin, or perhaps even erroneous coins. An “error coin” is, for example, one that has a minting error, such as a double image of a design, a coin that shows only part of its design, or a coin that appears to have a large chunk of its metal bitten by one of the machines in the mint.

Although you may be able to find all the coins you need for your collection in circulation, if you expect to find silver, gold, or obsolete coins, or coins from many different countries, you will most likely have to buy what you want from a corner dealer. . You should be able to locate a coin dealer near you by looking at the “coin” or “coin dealer” listings in your yellow pages phone book. In addition, there are hundreds of reputable and respected coin dealers who advertise online or in coin-related publications and mail their coins to customers.

However, before you start collecting coins for your collection, there are some basic things you should know about how to safely handle, store, and protect your coins.

First of all, make sure you find or buy a magnifying glass so you can see all the little details on your coins. A magnifying glass is a very important tool for coin collectors and will help you enjoy your hobby even more.

No matter how tempting it may be to make an old coin look shiny and new, don’t clean your coins. If you clean your coins, you may end up accidentally ruining them. Cleaning can not only alter the natural color and tone of the coin, but can also leave many small scratches on the coin. Unless a coin you find has a lot of loose debris (such as dirt, dust, or mud), which you can gently rinse with plain water and gently pat dry with a clean towel, it’s generally best to leave your coins in the same condition you found them.

Also, do not let your fingers come in contact with the clock face of a coin (the front or “heads” side of the coin) or the reverse (the back side of the coin, often called the “tails”). If your fingers, which naturally contain oils, touch the surface of the coin, they could leave fingerprints on it; over time, these fingerprints can turn into ugly smudges. The correct way to handle a coin is to hold it by the edge (the thin side of a coin), between your thumb and forefinger. Above all, never drop a coin.

It is also important to store your coins safely to help protect them. Keep your coins in a cool, dry place (a bookcase, desk, or drawer is often a good place to keep your coins). Also, don’t store your loose change in a box, jar, or other place where coins jingle or move. Instead, you may want to consider purchasing albums, folders, and other storage devices designed to help keep your coins safe and organized. Many large bookstores sell coin folders and albums (many cost only a few dollars), and coin dealers sell many types of coin storage options.

There are all sorts of things you can learn about numismatics (this word sounds like “new-miss-mat-icks”), which is the study of coins. You can become a more experienced coin collector by reading books about coins, talking to friends about your hobby, and staying interested and curious about the coins you see. As you will discover, collecting coins is a hobby that will allow you to make exciting discoveries, allow you to set and achieve all kinds of challenging goals, and give you the opportunity to explore countless wonders. Welcome to the sensational world of coin collecting.

*Copyright 2006 by Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez

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