Thursday, March 11, 2010

Taking Care Of Collectible Coins

How to Take Care of Collectible Coins

There are collectors that specifically find classic editions of coins that existed during the period from 1892 to 1954. These coins have marked events or may signify the work of royalty during that period. There are those collectors that prefer the modern series that are very distinct as well. One modern collection is that of the quarter dollars that represent the 50 states of the US. Minting and circulation started in 1999 and will continue until 2008. These are specially made editions available for collectors.

Many collectible coins are made of copper and a collector may encounter problems in maintaining their features and appearance. A person collecting this type of coin should learn how to maintain and take proper care of these expensive collections. Copper coins should be cleaned correctly and must be preserved the same way professional collectors treat their coins.

Professional collectors clean their coins by the process of placing the coins in a container that is airtight. This is a safe way to preserve the features of the coins. Because of the coins’ years of circulation, there is the possibility of a coin accumulating encrustations, coatings, dirt, and other problems on a coin’s face. These accumulations may cause pitting and corrosion to the surface of the copper coin. The corroded portions should be removed properly without making any scratches.

There are products available that are made especially for coin cleaning. Coin suppliers have these products that are specifically made for coin maintenance and cleaning in stock. One product made for this purpose is MS70 which removes corrosion and other surface dirt. It is advisable to use rubber gloves for the protection of your hands, as MS70 can dry the skin but this should be of little concern because it is not that harsh on the skin. A soft toothbrush may help with cleaning and removing any dirt that is in the surface of the coin. Improvement in the appearance of the coin will be seen after it has been soaked and cleaned. If satisfaction is not met on the cleanliness and appearance of the coin, he may add baking soda to neutralize the MS70 and soak it in warm water.

After he is through with the soaking, he may dry the coin using a Blue Ribbon coin cleaner and preservative; he may apply a coat and dry it for a couple of days then wipe the damp parts with soft cotton balls and place it on a small cardboard with a space on the center.

If he finds discoloring on the coin, he may use Dellars Darkener after he has soaked it in MS70. He may use this product before he applies the Blue Ribbon cleaner and preservative until he is satisfied with the cleanliness of his coin. Once satisfied with the new appearance of the coin, he may again return it to its set or collection
The next step would be maintenance and preservation the collection. Here are some tips on how to take care of coin collections:

1. The coin should be protected from exposure to any kind of elements. It is also important not to scratch the coins; they should be handled with care to avoid scratches on the surface of the coins.

2. It is safe to store the coins in plastic cases or pockets that are made specifically for coin collections and sets. These cases and pockets can protect the coins from dirt and scratches.

3. Coins should be cleaned properly using vinegar, lemon juice, ammonia or rubbing alcohol.

4. If there is unwanted dirt that is hard to remove on the surface, chemical products for cleaning like Tarnex may be used. This option may be used if vinegar and lemon juice were not able to remove the dirt.

5. It is very important to remember that the value of the coin may depreciate if the coin has been cleaned. It is recommended to seek the advice of an expert on other ways of preserving a coin

Many coin collectors believe that a person should never ever clean their collection because they believe that any product that is applied to the coin will affect the surface. A person should know how to preserve their collection and avoid dirt from touching the coins.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Starting A Coin Collecting Hobby

Wanna Start On Collecting Coins? A Worthwhile and Educational Hobby

There are many reasons why one collects coins. There are collectors who collect on the basis
of the coin’s future perceived value, some collect coins coming from just one particular
period, some on metal type and some for a coins historical value.

There are also those who enjoy collecting everyday common coins, gaining pleasure from
inspecting mint marks and dates on their everyday change. Others have a collection of
coins coming from different countries. Some coin collectors spend thousands on rare gold
and silver coins from the period of the 1800's until the early 1900's.

The hobby of coin collecting can give pleasure and fun to an individual of any age. Many
coin collectors began their collection when they were young children, collecting dimes or
pennies and many of them have made coin collection a lifetime hobby.

The hobby of collecting coins involves spending money from the very start so it is good to
join a coin collectors group to get ideas and help from knowledgeable and experienced

You need somebody to buy your coins from, and it may be hard to find a coin dealer of good
repute when your are new to the hobby, so having someone that has been in this hobby for
years can be of great help to guide you on choosing an honest and knowledgeable coin dealer.

Begin by acquiring a big magnifying glass and examine coins in a bright area so you can spot mintmarks, errors and to clearly read dates on worn or damaged coins.

Decide on what coins to collect and buy a “bookshelf folder” for that series.

You must also have storage, such as clear tubes made of plastic or coin tubes having top
screws to keep your coins in until you are ready to put them in a coin album; storage can
also be good for keeping duplicate coins.

You must learn about different coin values. Follow what types of coins are sold, and how
they are priced, based on dealer pricing. You also will need someone or some references
that will show you how to evaluate the accurate value of a certain coin based on mint mark, age, color, surface and condition.

"A Guide Book of United States Coins" or universally known as “the red book”, which is
published yearly, provides a good outline of the U.S. coins history, information on basic
coin grading, coin descriptions from past to present including a list of errors to watch
for, average U.S. coins retail cost, and an explanation of errors which occurred in the
“minting process”.

Monthly publications from “Coinage” (coin collecting magazine) contain many useful facts
and information as well articles about your new found hobby plus a lot of great photos.

The newspaper, particularly in the numismatic world section, will be of great interest to
you especially when you become more and more involved and interested in your hobby and want
to remain up to date with the present happenings in the world of numismatics.

As you grow more experienced in coin collecting, your "eye for coins" will improve and
develop maturely so that you now will be scrutinizing more carefully the features and
details such as coin lettering, making certain that the letters are not blemished or
blurred, but are still distinguishable.

You will be spending so much interest and concentration on the coin’s general state that
eventually you can walk away from certain coins that show evidence of abrasion, and will
then be experiencing the fun side of coin collecting.

Spend ample time reading, looking at photos, learning from experienced collectors and
asking as many questions as needed from not only other collectors, but dealers as well.
The hobby of coin collecting is a continuing process that will last for as long as you are
continuing the hobby.

Your knowledge and training will save you a lot of money as well as make you money when the
time comes, but more importantly, have fun while learning. Take pleasure in what they call
the "Hobby of kings" that has turned to be the "King”of hobbies.

Keep on studying and learning, because the better you understand, the more that you will
enjoy your new found hobby.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Coinage History Of U.K. Coin Collecting

The Coinage History of U.K. Coin Collecting

Money was never been quite so valuable until coin collecting entered the world of the

Since its inception, coin collecting has continuously represented the ancient way of
preserving the history of the human race. Coin collecting allows people to protect and
conserve their nation’s history. Through this kind of activity, coin collectors allow other people to touch and examine the kinds of coins that ancient people used.

In the United Kingdom, coins are considered one of the most precious relics that the
nation has ever produced because most of their coins are considered to be a true
representation of the royalty. For instance, U.K. coin collectors would be happy to own
the 50-cent coins that were manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint for the “Golden
Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.”

Facts about UK Coin Collecting

Unlike in the U.S., coin collecting in U.K. uses different terms in categorizing the
kinds of coins that are collected. For instance, in the UK coins that were circulated
from 1971 to 1981, the term “new pence” was used to differentiate them from the so
called “ancient pre-decimal pennies”.

By the year 1982, experts felt the need to change the word “new” into a more concrete
characteristic that would denote the value of the coin as well. Therefore, the terms
“two” or “thirty” were used as well as other terminologies that would indicate the coins

After a year, the “two pence” or the “2p” coins were so common that the coin collectors
had very little demand for them so the Royal Mint continued to issue the “2p” coins but
only in sets that were exclusively distributed to coin collectors. There are only 20
“2p” coins that still bear the “new pence” wording on the reverse side in circulation and
new coin collectors who wish to collect these coins will have difficulty in finding them.

In line with UK history, the UK coin collecting has undergone many changes. The very
first change was the “decimalisation” of the coins. With the inception of the “decimal
coinage,” the English coinage system was established on relationships that indicate the
new value of the ancient coins. For example, the coin that used to be known as 2 halfpence

is now converted into 1 penny, while 20 shillings is equal to 1 pound or £1.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Type Of Coins Do Collectors Love?

What Types of Coins Do Collectors Love?

Simplicity is not the best policy when it comes to coin collecting. Oftentimes it is the rareness, the history, or the mother country of the coins that collectors value most.

Here is a wide array of the variety of coins that "coinophiles" are obsessed with:

National Coins: Patriotism in Coins

Usually, national coin collectors are interested in collecting their own country's coins. It is common practice for collectors of national coins to get a representative coin from each date and mint marks for each coin series. Various national coin collectors combine a unique variation of series, date and mint marks.

Error Coins: It's OK to be Not-So-OK

One of the modern types of coin collecting is known as error coin collecting. Errors became possible when the production of coins was automated during the nineteenth century. Collectors of historic coins are fine with error coins because they like the uniqueness or error coins. Even modern day coin collector falls in love with error coins because they are assured that the modern processes promise that they are unique. The characteristics or coin errors include the following:

- dies that are doubled
- mint marks that are repunched
- over-dated
- double strikes
- coins that are “off” metal
- coins that are displaced or off center
- coins that are clipped
- one coin with different nominations on two sides a.k.a. mules

World Coins: Hobby of Kings…. of the World

Collecting world coins is about gathering those modern coins from all the countries of the world. Geographically-challenged individuals will have a hard time participating in this kind of coin collecting. If you would like to be a collector of world coins, you must be prepared to spend a considerable amount of money if you would want to have an extensive collection - being a “jetsetter” might be required. World coin collectors often acquire representative coins from each country or from authorities that issue coins. There are also world coin collectors that collect by subject such as those coins that feature animals.

Historical Coins: The Value of the Past

Collectors of historic coins find value in mints that are from medieval or ancient times. The most popular of these historic coins include the following:

- Byzantine
- Celtic
- Greek
- Indian
- Israelite
- Merovingian
- Ostrogothic

There are other ancient coin specialties but it really depends on the preferences of the collectors. The popular way is to collect the coins that were minted during the reign of a certain emperor or king.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How To Earn Your Coin Collecting Merit Badge

How to Earn Your Coin Collecting Merit Badge

There is more to coin collecting than just keeping coins. There is something at stake for those who make an effort to know what they are collecting: the Coin Collector’s Merit Badge.

A person who wants to acquire a merit badge must prove himself to be someone who knows a lot about coins.

Here are some of the things that a coin collector must know in order to earn the Merit Badge.

1. The Grading Scalec

Merit badge aspirers must be very knowledgeable about the different grades of coins. They must master how to assess coins and categorize each coin as:

- Poor
- Fair
- Good
- Very good
- Fine
- Very fine
- Extremely fine
- Uncirculated.

They must also present five examples for each of the categories given above.

2. Coin Terminologies

Coin collectors must familiarize themselves to coin terms such as “encapsulated” coins, “proof” coins or legal tender to get the merit badge. They must be able to determine if coins are “buzzed” or “whizzed”.

They must also show competency in explaining the following:

- Clad
- Date set
- Observe
- Reading
- Reverse
- Type set

3. Coin Storage

For a coin collector to achieve a merit badge, it is important that he knows how to take care, store and preserve coins.
Coin collectors must be able to demonstrate thorough knowledge in coin collecting by showing the councilors different methods of coin storage. It is expected that the advantages and disadvantages of the methods will be provided as well.

4. Coin Anatomy

Knowledge of the parts of the coins will give important information. That is why coin collectors who want a merit badge must know where the mint marks are located in various coins and they must also know where to look for the initials of the coin designer.

5. Miscellaneous things about coins

The councilors will be very pleased to hear stories about what you have learned about coins. These recollections may come from reading coin journals, attending workshops or seminars, joining a coin collectors’ club, or visiting mint facilities.

It is also expected that coin collectors know a lot about coins from other countries as well.

6. Counterfeit coins

A coin collector must have a perception of whether a coin is authentic or counterfeit.

Reading coin guides or interviewing personnel from mint facilities will be a help in this situation.

After knowing these things, you are now equipped with the knowledge needed to be worthy of the coin collectors’ merit badge.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finding Rare And Collectible Coins

Finding Rare and Collectible Coins

Coin collecting was started only as a hobby for most people, however you can hear what other people say (or you probably have heard yourself) about news of people cashing in on their old coin; and that encouraged more people to go on a coin-collecting streak. If you are one of those people who want to invest in coins, here are several places to start your collection.

Coin Shops:

Many shop owners are dealers that know a lot of information about coins and are selling coins too. These coin shops are a valuable place to find and gain more information about coins and coin collecting. These coin shops can be costly, though, as they are anticipating selling their coins for a profit. With enough knowledge and/or having someone who know a great deal about coin collecting at your side, you can get great prices for your coins.

Coin Shows:

There are times when your local mall will have an exhibit from several coin dealers and that will let you see all of the collections and allow you to buy some coins for a lower price due to the competition. You will probably also see several new coins that are available and suitable for your collection.

These coins shows are great not only for sellers and buyers but also for coin enthusiasts who want to see rare and hard to find coins.

Mail Orders/Web Sites:

There are thousands of dealers worldwide and most of them have websites that allow buy coins and pay for them through mail order or through any online payment system such as Paypal. You should do your research on these companies and read their terms carefully to make sure that you can get your money back when you have a problem with the coin you purchased and/or received.

For every legitimate web site, there are may be hundreds of fake web sites that are just attempting to get your money. You should always ask for feedback from previous customers before paying anybody online and remember not to give out any password or pin numbers.

Flea Markets:

It would be surprising place to find rare coins at a flea market, but stranger things have happened. These places have different ideas about pricing which is due to their lack of understanding of how a coin should be priced. You will find overpriced coins but if you are lucky you might find a rare coin somewhere in those stacks of coins that will make it worth your while.

Flea markets sellers are usually looking for a quick sell and would probably give you discounts when you buy their items in bulk. Try to buy other items and get your coins added as a bonus.


If you are looking to invest in really, really rare coins, the best place to go would be an auction. Auctions are the only place where you can find people selling their rarest and most expensive coins. Several of these auctions are happening online at the same time and most of the sellers are looking for the highest bidders. You must be aware and warned that some of these sellers are frauds and will not make the price you pay worthwhile. You should try to learn more about these coins and their worth before trying to buy one from an online auction.

Other Coin Collectors:

Coin collectors usually have duplicate coins that they are willing to sell for a price lower than its market value. The only problem is it is hard to find another coin collector that collects the same coins as you. The best places to look are online groups, forums and (if you have one) local groups.

Other coin collectors are the best people to turn into when you want to start your own collection. They can offer you tips, discounts and some might even be tempted to give you some of their coins to kick-start your collection.

Coin collecting is like any other investment the value will fluctuate: they may depreciate in value and/or gain value at any time. The best way to profit in coin collecting is keep updated with the news and the prices of the coins. This will not only help you in not being fooled by merchants but by learning how to price a coin even without a price list.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Antique Coins As Cool Collections

Antique Coins as Cool Collections

Coin collecting is a fun activity and it has been very popular because it does not only serve as a hobby but as an option to generate income.

Probably the most popular types of coins that are sought by collectors are the antique coins. Antique coins may be bought from auction sales, coin shows, malls and even in tourist areas that have historical themes. Antique coins are found to vary greatly in price depending on the age of the coin, its history and country or origin.

Here are some tips that may be considered when buying antique coins:

1. The buyer should make sure that the antique coin they are buying is a genuine one. There are many counterfeit coins sold in the market today and a buyer should thoroughly inspect any coin before buying it.
2. Coin collectors should collect the less expensive antique coins when beginning. The more expensive ones can be purchased once their collection becomes larger.
3. Collectors need to consider a purchase carefully before buying antique coins. Always be aware of the scams and fraud that may occur when buying coins. Take extra care in choosing – always determine the authenticity of the coin they are considering
4. A professional coin appraiser should assess the value of the coin before you buy so that the real value of the coin will be correctly assessed. This will prevent buying a coin at an inflated price.
5. When choosing antique coins narrow down the collection of antique coins to those from a specific country or a specific era. This will make the search for collectable coins an easier task.
6. Care is always needed to preserve the value of coins. Antique coins should be given extra care in order to preserve their appearance as well as their value. A collector should be aware that antique coins do not require much cleaning as excessive cleaning will only depreciate their value. The older the antique coin looks the more expensive it becomes.

Antique coins can provide so much entertainment for collectors that anyone might consider making it a hobby. Remember to be patient in searching for these coins since they may be available in limited numbers. You must have the passion for collecting to make antique coin collection a satisfying experience.