Coin Collecting - Getting Started

If you’re looking to take up coin collecting, Pobjoy Mint’s ‘Getting Started’ series is a great place to begin and will cover a range of topics and tips to help you turn coin collecting into a serious hobby. In the first of our series, we’ll be outlining some useful tips for getting started, along with some tools of the trade to help build your collection.

Why coin collecting?

For as long as coins have been minted they’ve been collected. From early collectors who hoarded coins for their bullion value through to contemporary collectors and hobbyists who collect for personal interest and the artistic or historical significance of coins.

The origins of coin collecting can be traced all the way back to Ancient Rome, with the first coin collection belonging to Emperor Augustus Caesar (this is where the nickname ‘Hobby of kings was coined), and if it’s good enough for a Roman Emperor, it’s certainly good enough for us!

Coin collecting (sometimes referred to as ‘numismatics’) is a hobby that appeals to many people of varying ages and interests and the thrill of completing a collection or the prospect of potential value increase can make it an incredibly rewarding hobby to pursue.

Whatever the motivation, starting is a simple process and doesn’t involve a significant investment. Many beginners start collecting coins with the ones they already have and others take up collecting after an inheritance. It is a hobby that unites generations in a shared fascination with old and modern coins.

Tips for getting started

If you’re thinking of taking up coin collecting as a hobby, we’ve put together a series of tips below to provide advice and guidance to help kick-start your collection:

1. Research –Spend some time educating yourself and read up on the basics of collecting, grading and caring for your coins. Once you’ve done some research you can build up a better idea of what type of coinage you want to collect e.g. do you want to collect by coin type, country of origin or currency?

2. Choose a theme – Casting the net wide and collecting from a range of disparate themes/eras can make it difficult to complete a collection. By zoning in on a specific theme, you are more likely to be able to complete a collection, after which you can move on to a different subject or period.

3. Seek advice – Whatever coinage you choose to collect, you’ll become part of a worldwide community that are generally happy to knowledge share. If you need help when it comes to finding or grading a specific coin, reach out to fellow collectors – there are numerous social groups and forums where these conversations are happening.

Tools of the trade

As you get more serious about your coin collecting it would be worth investing in some of the tools of the trade to help you assemble your collection. Some of the tools you might require to begin include but are not limited to:

Coin magnifiers – A stellar magnifier will help you to check the value of the coin as well as enabling you to identify any flaws/faults or counterfeit coins. Most collectors prefer between 10x – 20x magnification.

Cotton gloves – An essential for when you need to handle and take care of your coins. Soft cotton gloves are recommended and coins should always be held around the edges to avoid any dirt/oil transfer onto the coin face.

Coin storage – A safe place to store your coins to prevent them from being damaged is advisable. Popular storage methods include coin binders, coin tubes, albums and folders.

To learn more about coin collecting, visit our section on Making a Coin or start browsing our coin shop to get an idea of what theme you might want collect. Next up in this series we’ll be covering how to choose a theme, subject or period for your collection.