Coin collecting for beginners: resources


We’ve written a lot of information about coin collecting over the years, and now it’s all in one handy place.




The Basics of Collecting



The Language of the Coin Collector: Obverse? Reeding? Strike? What’s up with all the technical talk? Get a quick overview here.



How To Know What Your Coin Is Worth: This is one of the most common questions in coin collecting circles online. It’s difficult to give a precise estimate without seeing a coin in person, but here are some ways to improve your chances of getting accurate information.




5 Crucial Things to Do If You Think You’ve Found A Valuable Coin: You’ve found something unusual in your change, or in a box of coins, or while out metal detecting. It might be worth something. Make sure your find keeps as much of its value as possible. Here’s what to do.



Coin Storage for Beginners: As you’re putting your collection together, you will need to think about how to store your coins. Some methods are better than others, and some can actually damage your coins. Read this to learn how to decide which storage system is best for you.


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Everything You Didn’t Know About Coin Design: American coins have gone through many designs over the centuries, and all are of some interest to collectors. Read up about coin design here.



Who Designed the Faces on Your Pocket Change: Have you ever thought about the tiny portraits on your coins? An artist had to design each one, working from older portraits, sculptures, and photographs. Here are the stories of the designers of currently-circulating coins.




What Were the First Coins: Coins have been used for millennia to increase trade and make commerce easier. Read about the history of coins here.



The Top 5 Most Expensive Coins in the World: While many coins are affordable to the majority of collectors, a few go for truly astronomical prices. Here are the top five.



Exonumia: It looks like a coin, but it isn’t a coin–what is it? It’s called “exonumia.” This can include tokens, medal, pressed coins, and more. Read about some of the more popular kinds of exonumia here. 





Specific Coins


The Lincoln Wheat Cent: One of the most collected coins in the world, the Lincoln Wheat Cent was first issued in 1909 to mass appeal. Get the history of the coin here.




The 1943 Steel Cent: due to copper shortages during World War II, the Mint issued a steel cent in 1943. Found out how the new penny was received here. 



All About Buffalo Nickels: Buffalo nickels were the five-cent coin issued from 1913 to 1938, and got their nickname from the buffalo design on the reverse of the coin. Read the history of one of America’s most iconic coins here.




The Design of Morgan Silver Dollars: Morgan dollars are one of the most-collected American coins. Learn how the coin was designed and why it is prized by collectors.



The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle: Considered one of the most beautiful coins in the world, the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is a highly collectible coin. Find out why.




Barber Coinage, or the Coin Contest Fail: The country’s first coin design contest was widely considered a massive failure, though it did result in one of the most collected coins in the country. Read about the contest and the coin here.



Collecting Pressed Coins: Though pressed coins do not carry the prestige of regular coinage, they are an inexpensive way to begin coin collecting for many people (as well as a valid object of collection in their own right), and an excellent way to interest children in collecting, as well. Get the basics of pressed coin collecting here.




Unusual Coins




All About Half Dimes: Before the creation of the nickel, five-cent coins were half dimes. Read up about this obsolete denomination here. 




The 1913 V Nickel: One of the rarest coins in the world, it’s also an oddity since the wording on the coin itself left some doubt as to how much it was worth. Get the full story here. 




The 1787 Brasher Doubloon: Have you ever wanted to strike your own coins? Here’s the story of one man who did



All About the 1804 Silver Dollar: For one thing, it was never minted in 1804; for another, only 15 of them are known to exist. To get the rest, read about it here.




The Sacajawea Mule Error: This coin was struck with the obverse design of a Washington quarter, and the reverse from a Sacajawea dollar. So, is it worth $0.25, or $1? Find out here. 

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