Coin Collecting Guide

Coin collecting appeals to many people of varying ages and interests. The hobby of coin collecting dates back to ancient times, although only a small minority could afford it then. Coin collecting can be an enjoyable hobby to pursue, so if you are thinking of taking up coin collecting as a serious hobby we recommend reading on as we hope we will provide advice and inspiration.

Getting Started

Starting is a simple process and does not involve a significant investment. Many beginners start collecting coins with the ones they already have in their possession and others take up collecting after an inheritance. It certainly is a hobby that unites the generations in a shared fascination with old and modern coins.

Getting started with this hobby will involve learning about coins and exploring various tools to help along the way. Detailed information about different coins, metal value, mint marks, grading and values could be found online and on specialised books. Along the tools you might require to begin with, but not limited to are: Magnifying glass, padded surface, a lamp, cotton gloves and a way of storage for your coins.

As a collector you will become part of a large community worldwide that are generally happy to share information and expertise, and with many social media channels there has never been an easier way to reach other collectors.


Choosing a Theme, Subject or Period

In order to have a successful collection over time, it is best to decide on a particular theme or subject first. By choosing a theme initially, you will be far more likely to be able to complete your collection quickly and move on to another collection. Some of our most popular coins follow a “subject” like Christmas Coins, 50 Pence Coins, Two Pound Coins or Bi-Metallic Coins.

Some people choose to focus on circulating currency looking for odd or old coins and others decide to build a collection based on ancient or foreign coins. Whichever you decide, make sure there is a range big enough to make it worth the chase. We usually recommend focusing on a coin for a specific country, specific event or topic to begin with. Some subjects have a new issue every year and the idea of the unknown is quite precious.

Some of our most popular themes involve The Isle of Man Cat Coins and the TT Races Coins, which have a new issue every year and have been going on for over 20 years. Other subjects like “Royalty” and “Sports” are expected to be issued whenever a new event or milestone is reached.


Collecting Quality Products

It is important to learn at an early stage about what makes a coin valuable or collectible. Damaged coins will have little to no value in the market when referring to brand new coin, however, old coins can be extremely valuable when showing natural aging, especially if they are considered rare in the market.

Damages to a coin can involve scratches, corrosion, black spots and packaging marks. The extent of the damage will determine how it diminishes the value of the coin.

Wear occurs over time to coins in circulation, determining its grade. The grade ranges between “proof” for a perfect coin to “good” or “about good” for coins with heavy wear. However, this can all be subjective, depending on the collector.

A quality product can usually be identified by the shine of the luster on new coins.


Maintaining and Storing Coins

To preserve the value of your coins handle them as little as possible. Following this golden rule will maintain your collection in the most pristine of conditions and will add value over time. This certainly applies to many hobbies but in coin collecting is a must!

Wearing cotton gloves and holding the coins by the edge are some of the most recommended ways of handling coin. Also, keeping them in a cool and dry environment is adamant to prevent tarnishing while stored.

We recommend that all our coins are kept in their original packaging and when possible stored in the albums provided (when a set of a collection has been issued!).


Facts about Numismatics

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects.

Currency Coins are legal tender for bartering purposes and they are couped which shows the Queen’s effigy with a cut bust.

Commemorative Coins are for collectors and are uncouped which shows the Queen’s effigy with a full bust.

The term Coin is used to refer to a legal tender coin with a face value and are used as money in the country of origin.

The term Medal is used to refer to items that look like coins but have no legal tender status and no value, cannot be exchanged in a bank for currency.


Pobjoy Coin Terms

Circulating Currency – actual currency you can spend in a shop.

Legal Tender – official coin accepted in a bank of the country on the coin.

1 Crown – old English currency value (1 crown is 25p).

Proof – struck four times to produce a brilliant mirror-finished quality with frosted relief.

BU – is a matt coin, has no issue limit and is struck once. Bullion coins have a “U” mark on them.

Reverse Proof BU - is struck in the same manner as a normal proof coin, except that the fields are frosty and the raised devices are mirror-like. Reverse Proof coins have a “P” mark on them.

Obverse – is the side that never changes, it carries the Queen’s effigy or coat of arms of a country.

Reverse – design on a coin celebrating an event or commemorating an anniversary.

Obtuse – writing on the coin is raised.

Incuse – writing on the coin is sunk into the rim.


All Pobjoy coins are legal tender.

Commemorative coins are not used as money as the value of the precious metal content is higher than the face value.