Most people are born collectors. Whether its stamps, baseball cards, soft toys or even vintage automobiles, you can bet that if its been made, then its been turned into someone’s collection. Of course some items are more valuable than others, making the act of collecting them more attractive to people. These items may start off life as collector’s items, but very often they begin life as inexpensive commodity items that become increasingly more valuable as they get older and rarer. So it is with rare coins. Most rare coins were, in their day, were readily available but as they got older they fell out of circulation, or the materials they were made from became more valuable – like gold.
Today, if you like to collect rare coins, you will find that this particular hobby, can be rewarding both in terms of satisfaction and in a monetary sense as well.
Don’t think, however, that you have to be rich to collect rare coins. New types of coins are made every year and some are re-introduced years after they originally appeared, so focusing on a particular time period and location is important. Like any hobby, researching the background and educating yourself to the history and significance of the items in your collection can greatly add to your satisfaction. You should make use of printer material as well as the internet to research your coin collection, and this can help you decide which coins to collect, and also the best places to obtain them.
You don’t have to limit yourself to on-line resources either. There are many good coin publications such as Coin World or Coinage magazine which are written and produced by like-minded hobbyists and leading experts in the field. You should also seek out the help of local coin sellers, either shops, or if your budget allows, specialist dealers, or even auction houses.
Also, just like photography and many other hobbies, collecting rare coins has brought about the growth of many specialist coin collecting clubs and societies. Its worth checking your local Yellow Pages, or on-line directories to see if there is one near you, or why not start one. You will find that the contacts gained from like-minded collectors can greatly help you seek out those elusive items to that you are seeking. You may also be able to swap coins with fellow members, or even club together to buy particularly rare coins that you couldn’t afford to buy as an individual.
Older coins are generally worth more, but if new coins are made of gold, for example, then they can be just as valuable as the antique ones. This is because gold has recently seen a surge in value and now exceeds $1000 an ounce. Coins such as Krugerrands, while not rare, are certainly very valuable items in today’s marketplace since they are mad of solid gold.
When your collection is complete, if it can ever be complete, then you will want to show it off to its best advantage. You should take time to source attractive display materials such as folders or albums. You might want to consider displaying them in, say, a local museum or Government building if they are of particular interest.
Always keep your coins well cleaned, but do take care, not all materials are suitable for this task. You can usually clean them well by soaking them in vinegar or lemon juice. These remove dirt and grime but are non-abrasive so will not damage the surface. Afterwards, they should be air-dried or patted dry with a soft cloth. Only polish the if you can be absolutely certain that the surface will not be damaged. Some coins scratch very easily and a worn coin will sometimes be worth next to nothing.
So, there you have it, a few points to start you off on your new hobby. Collecting rare coins can be a very rewarding hobby. Not only can you teach yourself a lot about history and materials for example, but you can also end up with a very valuable as prized asset to boot.