Getting Started with Coin Collecting - How to Find Quality Coins and Avoid Damage

Whether you are just starting to collect coins, or if you’ve been collecting for years, you want to have the very best coins in your collection. Knowing what to look for when starting a collection can be difficult. A lot of coin buying is done online, which makes it harder to know if the coin you want to buy is genuine or not.

What makes a quality coin?

Having a coin that is of high quality not only will make your collection look great, but if you decide to sell your coin collection in the future, the value of your collection will be substantially higher than you probably first thought.

Another way to define a quality coin is by its grade and value. Various countries will have different grading systems. Commonly grading systems include: Good, Very Good, Fine, Very Fine, Extremely Fine and Uncirculated.

Having a quality coin doesn’t necessarily mean they are the shiniest and look the newest. Quality can be defined as a coin that is authentic and in good condition for the age that it is. This would mean that they wouldn’t be damaged and still intact.

Things to consider before buying coins

Before you buy your coins it is important to know where you are going to store them. You can either display them in special coin box or store them away in a standard cardboard box out of the way and safe. Coins can easily get damaged which is why it is a good idea to get your storage solution sorted before you even begin purchasing your coins.

When thinking about buying a coin it is important to do your research on the companies/dealers you are thinking of getting your coins from. Reputable dealers will have all the documentation available for your coin. For some older coins this will not be applicable. This is due to certificates of authenticity not being issued until around the 1960s.

The reason for needing the documentation of authenticity is to make sure that the coins you are buying are legitimate.

With many coin dealers online finding a reputable dealer to buy your coins from is very important, as you need to make sure that your coin arrives safely.

Although you might want to make your coins look presentable, especially if they are on show, cleaning your coins too often can damage and devalue them. If you do want to clean your coins before a show then thoroughly research how to properly clean them and speak to professional to know what the best products are to use.

Handling your coins with care

Certain coins can be very delicate, especially if they are old. Knowing how to handle your coins properly will avoid damaging and decreasing the value of them. The main way you will avoid damaging your coins is to leave them alone. Sometimes this is not always the case, especially if you are thinking of showing them. There are some ways that you can handle your coins and cause the least amount of damage.

The natural oils in your hands can harm coins; wearing gloves can be an effective way to keep these oils from making contact with the coin. The most ideal gloves to wear are thin cotton gloves. Cotton is soft enough that it won’t cause any abrasions on the coin that you are handling.

Even if you are using gloves, you should avoid touching the face of a coin. This is the most fragile part and can easily wear. You should never have a reason to touch the face of a coin in the first place.

Another way that you can stop the natural oils getting onto your coins is to pick them up with special coin tongs. These can take a little getting used to so it is probably best to practise picking up coins that aren’t valuable.

With these tongs you do run the risk of accidently dropping your coin and causing damage. To prevent damaging the coin from dropping it, hold it over a soft surface and not too far above the surface. This won’t necessarily protect your coin fully but it will prevent any serious damage from happening.

Storing your coin in an airtight capsule will allow you to keep the elements away from your coin. Although it is best not to open it, as this would let the oxygen in and over time this could tarnish the coin. Your coin will start to have a yellow colouring. Only professional polishing will get the product back to standard.

Plastic packs are another way to protect your coins, especially bullion products. Just like with airtight capsules, it is best not to take them out of the plastic. At some point you might be tempted to re-pack your coin in a more convenient way. If you did do this then it would result in your coin showing colouring defects over time.

Avoid cleaning

Although having a nice shiny coin might seem very appealing, it can come with a number of problems. If you decide to clean your coins too often then you can strip them of their mint luster. Even if you are very gentle with your cleaning process, you can still cause abrasions in the coin. Damaging the coin in anyway can affect the overall grade and value.

If you store your coins in a safe, airtight place then there should not be any need to clean them. There also shouldn’t be any need to clean your collection if you don’t handle your coins.

Finding the right quality coins and being able to avoid damaging them is the key to having the very best coin collection. Even if you aren’t thinking about selling them in the future, it is still rewarding to have one of the best collections around. There are always plenty of new coins that can be added to your collection.