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According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Coin Collecting is the collecting or trading of coins or other forms of legally minted currency. Frequently collected coins include those that were in circulation for only a brief time, coins minted with errors, or especially beautiful or historically interesting pieces. Coin collecting can be differentiated from numismatics in that the latter is the study of currency. Though both are closely related, a numismatist may be or not be a coin collector and vice versa.
Coin collecting has been a very popular hobby for generations and goes well beyond hoarding coins due to their value. Once known as the "Hobby of Kings", modern coin collecting is generally believed to have begun in the fourteenth century with Petrarch. Most people start collecting coins that are already in circulation. There is no risk involved since you can always just spend the coins you have collected but, there is also not a lot to gain. Coins that have been in circulation are more likely to get damaged and are only worth money if you hold onto them for a very long period of time.
Once the hobby has gained your interest, you can then move on to obtaining coins from other sources. Buying from family and friends is a good way to start, just be careful to fully document your purchases! Next, you might want to consider your local dealer. Shop around until you find one you feel you can trust. A good local dealer can provide quality coins and instruction on the finer aspects of coin collecting. Just remember, the dealer has their own taste in coin collecting and it may not be the same as yours. As you continue collecting coins, you will see your preference for coin collecting will develop. You can also purchase coins from coin clubs, coin shows, mail order, the internet, auctions, other collectors, estate sales, flea markets, and the U.S. or other mints.
You can buy specially made books for the purpose of collecting coins from every year or interest. You may find coins issued during historically important periods are particularly interesting. These collections normally consist of coins issued from the 18th or 19th century, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Greek, Indian, Celtic, Merovingian, Ostrogothic, Parthian, or Israelite origin, or medieval time periods. Coins are a reflection of the events in time from when they were produced. Collections can vary greatly for this purpose and could contain coins minted during a particular emperor's reign, presidency, war, or other historical event.
Coin collecting can be viewed as an investment. The prices of coins may be steady or the prices of certain coins may drop for coins that are not in great long-term demand. Like some other collectibles, a coin collection does not produce income until it is sold. Although there is a market for almost any rare or obsolete coin, like any other collectable, the condition of the coin is important to its value. Any sort of damage such as, dented edges, holes, gouges, even cleaning can greatly reduce the value of the coin.
The handling of a coin is very important. For the most part, coins should be handled carefully to try to avoid causing wear, spots, or color changes. Collectors do not touch un-circulated or proof coins anywhere but the edges. Fingerprints and even your breath can reduce the coin's grade and value. Even placing a coin down outside of its holder is done carefully usually on velvet-like surface. For this reason, you might want to wear latex or a fine pair of cotton gloves when handling coins.
Today there are millions of people fascinated by coin collecting and several different museums that showcase valuable and rare coin collections. These museums include the Smithsonian in Washington D. C. as well as the American Numismatic Society in New York City which was established in 1891 to encourage education concerning coin collecting. Start your collection today, if you haven't already and join me and these other millions of people in the fun of collecting coins!
Stephen J. Scott is a coin collecting expert and author. For a No Cost Mini Course on collecting coins be sure to visit [http://ScottysCoinCollectingSecrets.com].
Scott, Stephen J. "Amazing Coin Collection Secrets and Tips For Maximum Value and Fun." Amazing Coin Collection Secrets and Tips For Maximum Value and Fun EzineArticles.com. http://ezinearticles.com/?Amazing-Coin-Collection-Secrets-and-Tips-For-Maximum-Value-and-Fun&id=2103023
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