In our last blog we discussed a commonly held myth that people have about coin collecting: Old coins are the most valuable. In this blog we will explore another myth, that only rich people collect coins. While it is true that many rich people do collect coins and the most famous coin collections belong, obviously, to people with money, coin collecting doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s a fun hobby everyone can try with only a small investment of time and money.
Coins used to be much scarcer than they are now, especially before modern minting (and mining) techniques made it simpler to create coins. Commerce was more local and less anonymous and often involved bartering or the extension of credit. As a result the average 19th century person had few coins. Today it’s completely different. Coins are minted on a large scale, redesigned and minted again. Coins are so ubiquitous that we tell people to dig through their couch cushions to find enough money to pay for something. Most people have coins they don’t even know they have.
While newer coins that are very scarce may be out of reach for young or new coin collectors, it’s easy to start a coin collecting hobby by choosing a coin or a type of coin and trying to collect all varieties of it. This is what the Great American Coin Hunt is about: encouraging people to track down specific coins – the 2019-W America the Beautiful quarter dollars – in circulation. For a small window of time these coins can only be found if people go looking for them in everyday places. Everyone rich or less rich has to search if they want to find them in 2019.
Many passionate coin collectors started out when they were young collecting Lincoln cents in pocket change. They got a rush when they were able to find one they didn’t have and add it to their collection. Today it’s just as fun and easy for kids to collect State Parks or National Parks quarter dollars.
Coin collecting is a great hobby for people who like studying various coins, learning their histories and all their variations, and searching patiently for rare or unusual coins. While some people prefer to buy coins from dealers or at auctions, many others search them out in their spare change, buy rolls of coins from a bank, or even take up metal detecting. These methods don’t take a fortune to pursue.
The great thing about coin collecting is that some of the coins collectors will come across are valuable and serve as investments. Those investments are simple to care for. Coins do not take up a lot of space and can be safely stored in a safety deposit box. They don’t require the infrastructure or maintenance that collecting something like antique cars does, for example.
At Grand Rapids Coins, we recommend that new collectors focus on how fun it is to learn about and collect coins, rather than focusing on how much each coin is worth. Coin values can change over time, but looking for a rare coin will always be enjoyable. The thrill of the hunt never really fades for a passionate collector. If you would like advice on starting coin collecting or introducing it to a family member, we are always happy to talk about coins and coin values. Call us today!