Monica asks: How do you start a good coin collection?
You might start with current coins as a way to becoming familiar with grading and also learn how to care for and store your collection. Try to find the best quality new issues. Go to banks and ask for new rolls. Go through them and take out the best new coins and return the rest. You will discover that even current coins are difficult to find without a great deal of “bag marks” or other damage.
Once you get an idea about how it works you’ll want to buy some books about coins to broaden your horizons. You may also want to get your feet wet and buy some obsolete coins to examine and learn about. Try to attend some smaller coin shows that are held virtually every weekend and usually are within driving distance from most cities in the U.S.
By this time, you’ll probably have a good idea what type of coins appeal to you – whether a series, design, country or any other criteria you come up with. That’s the beauty of collecting coins. You aren’t limited to one of each date and mint mark of a particular series. Maybe you want to collect type coins – one example of each design, either of all coins from a country or just one denomination. An example could be a type set of U.S. one cent coins which would include the 12 major different types of cents issued since 1793 to the present.
There is no “right” way to collect. It’s all about your personal enjoyment. I’ve had customers over the years that put together collections featuring birds, ships, mountains and to quote, “Get me all the U.S. gold coins that have Indians on them.” Needless to say, it was a pleasure helping him assemble his collections of U.S. Indian Head quarter eagles, half eagles and eagles – particularly the acquisition of the rare 1933 $10 Indian eagle. A dealer friend of mine spent a number of years assembling a set of 1873 U.S. coins – all in the lowest grade he could find! He had a lot of fun doing it, the expense was kept to a minimum and the resulting set (displayed in a custom Capital holder) was quite a hit at the coin shows at which it was exhibited.
So welcome to this fascinating hobby. Enjoy!