Coin collecting can be a fun and rewarding hobby, where you can meet like-minded people and even make money.
However, as with any hobby or interest, it takes a while to gain knowledge and experience, so when you’re starting out it’s all too easy to fall into common pitfalls. So we’ve compiled a list of 5 facts about coin collecting to help you avoid making those easy mistakes.
1. Rarity and condition determine a coin's value
It is a myth that the older the coin is, the higher its worth. Age is actually only a small factor when it comes to a coin’s value. The most important factors when determining a coin’s worth are its rarity and condition.
The degree of supply and demand in the market determines how much a coin can sell for. There are many old coins that have been widely circulated, so although they may hold historical value and be a great addition to your collection, if you were looking to sell them on, their financial value isn’t that high.
2. Cleaning your coins can be harmful
Some people are tempted to give their coins a good clean before trying to sell them to add extra shine. However, this is actually more likely to be harmful to your coins. Cleaning your coins can damage its surface, and cause scratches and smudges, which will reduce its value. Skilled experts are able to clean coins and conserve them, however, most people should not attempt to clean a coin.
When buying new coins, it is also often better to buy a coin that looks a little worn than one that is shiny and new, as the worn one may be in better condition.
3. Coin collecting can be affordable
Coin collecting can be expensive. One buyer paid over $7,000,000 for a rare 1933 Double Eagle coin. However, you can also spend a small sum of money on a fun hobby that you find interesting and meet a tonne of new people in the process.
Even if you are interested in making money from your collection in the long-term, there are ways to do this that don’t cost the earth. There are modern collectibles available from coin shops that can grow in value over time, and you can find ancient coins abroad at surprisingly affordable prices. You could also build up a collection over time, which will slowly grow in value.
4. Rare coins don't always go up in value
Rare coins can indeed go up in value over time, however, this is not always the case. The rare coin market is normally cyclical, so the value of an individual coin can fluctuate over time and doesn’t always accumulate in price.
If you are looking to make money from coin collecting, the best way to do this is to build up a collection over the long-term. Advice from someone with a lot of knowledge and experience can also help.
5. Online marketplaces can be deceitful
There are some great deals that can be found online. However, there are also pitfalls to watch out for. There are plenty of sellers out there selling fake coins, and there are also a lot of coins sold online that are over-graded or over-priced.
When shopping online, the best thing to do is be careful and do your research. Buying from an established source such as Pobjoy Mint or one of our trusted partners is the best option, as you can certify the authenticity of the coin. Be wary of who you are buying from, and make sure you are able to return purchases. Also, avoid anything that seems “too good to be true”- it usually is!