Hope everyone has had a great week! If you have been following me from the beginning, thank you for starting on this journey with me! Please help me out by liking this post, following me AND sharing this post! It will really help!
There is some reason that all of us have that has turned us on to collecting coins. It differs for all of us and the story can be fascinating. You have gotten to the point where you want to start collecting coins and if you have nobody to guide you on that journey then you have come to the right place. Contrary to what you hear, there is NO wrong way to collect! There are incorrect practices that you need to be aware of and I will cover that in future blog posts however there is no wrong way to collect. You collect what you like and what drives your interest in the community. Do you want to stick with a certain denomination? A certain series of bills? Lincoln cents only instead of diving into Indians too? It’s all up to you. If you want to be a coin hoarder, feel free!
First and foremost when starting any collection you will need to find your direction. I do not have the option to buy expensive examples of Silver dollars or high graded coins. I started with Lincoln cents and you can really apply anything you read to where you want to start. Lincoln cents are easily available and provide you with many, many opportunities to learn at a very inexpensive price point. My first point that I would like to make that will save you an immeasurable amount of frustration is that you need to buy the book before you buy the coin. Knowledge will take you farther than you can ever expect to go so take your time to read and learn as you go and you won’t be disappointed. I KNOW you want to go to the bank and grab a box cents and tear in to them. Many new people have been hooked by youtube videos of coin roll hunting and I find it awesome that this community is bringing people in to our hobby. What you should understand is that many of the claims that you can find these amazing, amazing coins worth a ton of money in common pocket change are fake! Sorry to tell you this. There are some great varieties and errors that are out there to find and you need to educate yourself with some very informative numismatic literature before you get heavy in to collecting and hunting.
Please remember, everything you will read from me is only a suggestion to guide you in the right direction. You choose what is right for you. One of the first things you should purchase is a copy of The Official Red Book. It is a guide book of United States Coins. You can purchase a brand new copy or you can find one a few years old and use that as well until you get to a place where you need a new one. You can find used copies for $5 or less and if you know a coin collector, they will probably give you an old copy for nothing. There is a wealth of knowledge in here and I intend to do a review of the contents later however lets keep moving!
Before you really start hunting through change for items to add to your collection you should polish up your knowledge on the minting process. Understanding this will help you better be able to understand what to look for! I have obtained most of my knowledge about this online and not through books. The easiest and best way for me to guide you in the right direction for this knowledge is to simply to use a google search. Search for “The Minting Process”. By understanding how coins are minted you will be able to understand how mint errors are made and when you understand this you will be able to know what you have while you are hunting.
Learning numismatic terms in the very beginning will help guide you in the correct direction as well. When you use proper terminology while asking for help it shows that you are really interested in learning and worth the effort to garner some advice! Here is a link to Wikipedia with a fairly comprehensive list of numismatic terminology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_numismatics . Two necessary first terms to learn is how to speak about the front and back of a coin. Yes, they have their very own terminology. The Obverse of a coin is the front. The reverse is the back.
My last suggestion to you today is to get yourself some sort of magnification to look at your findings. I started out with a simple magnifying glass that I purchased at CVS in the reading glass section. It did it’s job at the time but I would recommend so that you don’t waste your time and money to start out with something that is a 7X or 10X loupe or magnifier. After my drug store purchase I learned that you really pay for what you get in this hobby. I went online and purchased a Carson, 10X loupe. It works extremely well for looking at Lincoln cents. Later, at a Baltimore Whitman coin show, I purchased a lighted UltraOptix 7X aspheric magnifier. This one I like to take with me to auctions or shows where the light may not be the best and the 7X’s magnification works great!
Now you have some exploring to do before you check back in to The 7 House for my next blog entry! Remember to walk before you run in this hobby and you can go far! Please help me out by sharing this with your friends and letting them know about my site! I appreciate your time and hope that you continue your numismatic journey with me!
Your friend in Numismatics,