Whether you are new to the world of coin collecting or a seasoned numismatist, these five tips will help you successfully purchase coins for you collection.
1. Know the value of the coins you buy
Invest in the Guidebook of United States Coins, also known as the Red Book. This rich resource provides approximate retail coin values, full color photographs, information on coin grading and how to detect a counterfeit coin. You want to be able to recognize the scarcity, authenticity, and if the coin has been cleaned or is in its original condition. The more prepared you are before you make a purchase, the more confident you will feel when making your investment.
2. Buy from a trusted dealer
Be sure to check the reputation of the dealer that you purchase from. Take advantage of tools such as the American Numismatic Association’s dealer directory search, and The Professional Numismatists Guild “find a PNG dealer” tool. Of the two organizations, PNG is the more prestigious as members must be voted in and agree to binding arbitration in any disputes. Finding a dealer through these outlets helps to ensure your dealer’s expertise and experience. Other ways to ensure that you choose a trustworthy choice are to skim customer reviews on sources such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook, as well as checking that your dealer has a clean record with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
3. Have a place to store your collection
Whenever you invest in an asset of value, be sure to have a safe place to store it. Coins in particular should be stored away from each other to avoid rubbing against each other causing wearing of the coin’s details, and from the damaging effects of open air and moisture that may cause discoloration. Humidity is the enemy of coins. There are several options for storing your coins safely. These include: Coin cases, coin chests, albums, holders, and non-PVC flips. Be careful to avoid certain chemicals and materials such as: PVC, acids and sulfur, which over time can cause damage to your coins. As with any other purchase, it’s always best to spend a little more money to ensure the quality of your coin storage.
4. Expand your choices by purchasing online
It’s never been easier to get any product you desire delivered straight to your front door with a couple of clicks, and coins are no exception. Many coin dealers have turned to e-commerce websites such as eBay to provide quick, hassle-free service to their customers. Having the ability to search for a particular coin, see products by category, and filter results makes buying coins online a convenient option for many consumers.
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5. Have fun
Collecting coins can be a fun and rewarding hobby. There’s no wonder why people have been collecting coins since about 700 B.C.! From learning the fascinating history of currency to collecting fun “error coins”, numismatics has a lot to offer. Although there can be a lot of benefit to collecting coins of high value, collecting what you LIKE can make your hobby a lot more personal and enjoyable. Every once in a while, buy that pretty coin that you like, even if it isn’t worth a fortune.