Getting started with coin collecting: discover a fun and educational hobby for the New Year


By Michael McConnell

Almost from the moment that metal currency first went into circulation in ancient times, curious individuals have collected coins out of interest, enthusiasm and, of course, the desire for profit. Today, the art and science of

coin collecting

provides a fascinating and valuable education in history, economics and culture. Values will fluctuate over time, but by focusing on the history behind rare U.S., foreign and ancient coins, and by valuing their role as enduringly valuable objects over the centuries, coin collectors can enjoy all the benefits of coin collecting without the financial stress or gamble of trying to buy them as an investment.

Casual coin collecting is a fun and accessible hobby for enthusiasts of all ages; and whether the collector is a child or an adult, there are age-appropriate collection types and objectives to keep them interested, occupied and forever curious as their collection begins to grow. Oftentimes, casual collectors begin by saving interesting pieces collected or acquired by chance; and from there, they develop a more educated approach to the assessment and purchase of other rare coins. There are many different themes that collectors can use to refine their research and selection process. Here are a few such themes:

  • Country collections: while some collectors prefer to limit their collections to a single country – be it their own or that from which their first coin originated – others seek out a certain type of coin from every country in which was issued. Either way, country-based collections can give new collectors structure and a narrower scope for researching items they may wish to purchase.
  • Subject collections: a particularly good theme for younger collectors with a favorite subject in mind (such as eagles or maritime imagery), subject collections can be limited to those coins which depict a certain type of image or insignia and again make the initial research and filtering process easier for new buyers.
  • Period collections: for those interested in a particular period in history, such as the Roman, Byzantine or ancient Greek eras, coin collections can be tailored based on pieces from within these time periods. Such collections are among the most popular and easily recognizable among rare coin enthusiasts.
Any of these or countless other collections themes provide a unique lens through which to view and better understand the history, art, economics, politics and cultural impact of other times and places – all while accumulating valuable items for a timeless collection that can be handed down and shared for generations to come.

For more information and to get started, find an experienced rare coins dealer near you

There is so much to learn when getting started with a new coin collection; and from tracking down the right pieces for your collection to determining coin condition and value, a qualified and honest rare coins dealer is your best possible asset. With significant experience and numismatic knowledge at our fingertips, we at

The Coin Shop

in downtown La Jolla are happy to answer questions and help novice collectors of all ages as they begin their adventures in collecting rare coins and metals. To learn more, inquire about

coin collecting prices

or simply peruse our outstanding collection of ancient and foreign coins, come visit us at 7746 Girard Avenue, or check out our blog at