BEGINNING YOUR COLLECTION
There are few people who do not have at least the beginning of a coin collection. Many of us own at least one or more "good luck coins", a large penny, an old Indian nickel or silver dollar, a medal or a souvenir token. Any one of these items has often led to the start of a large coin collection and a new hobby.
Acquiring a coin collection of scope, interest and value takes some time and effort. This is due to the fact that there are many branches of the numismatics hobby to explore and study. Some of these take years to master but this is part of the secret of this hobby's interest and charm.
Coins are fascinating because they often reflect stories of royalty, great leaders, history, power and patriotism relating to their respective countries of issuance. Famous figures become real and alive when depicted on an old coin. For example, Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great, in ancient times; Henry VIII, Napoleon, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are all portrayed on coins just as they appeared at the time.
It’s best to start your collection by choosing WHAT you want to collect. It’s difficult to say “I just want to collect coins” because there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds to choose from. If you want to just amass a few stray coins for your own pleasure, by all means, do so, but this is not really coin collecting.
"True collectors strive to complete sets of coins. That’s part of the allure – hunting out the coins that will fit into their set. Do not try to specialize in too many categories as it can become time consuming and expensive. You may want to attend a coin show to see some of the specialized collections often on display and find one that interests you.
It’s important to study the hobby – a lot. This site is a great start, but there are many other publications out there to familiarize yourself with coins and what you will be collecting. If you don’t study the hobby, you risk investing a lot of money on over-priced and counterfeit coins.
Collecting coins from circulation is a great place to start. The risk is negligible (you can always spend the coins), and you can learn a lot examining your coins carefully and seeing what a reference book says about them.
This is the easiest and least expensive way to begin collecting coins. You must do so systematically, however. Otherwise, you will let too many good coins get away. Every day, put aside any coins you receive in change. Keep them either in a separate pocket or in a separate spot inside your purse. Do this with every coin you receive.
Then, in the evening, go through the change, keeping the coins you don't have. Also compare your day's catch with the coins in your collection, and exchange the poorer coins in your collection for better ones from the change. By consistently checking your change every day, you not only add to your collection, but also upgrade its condition. Upgrading a coin is almost as much fun as finding it.