Collect coins you love and think of the value second
First and foremost, if you’re a coin collector, then you should be doing it as a hobby – because you love coins and their history. Chances are that you’ll make a profit on some of them anyway, probably enough to outweigh the coins that ended up being devalued or falling out of favour (but that you still love anyway). Coin values can be volatile, so at the end of the day, you should go into investment in them as an intellectual exercise as much as a financial one.
When you visit this website and you read about the history of some of the coins it has for sale then you feel that you’re buying into history as much as anything else and in many ways that’s invaluable.
Set yourself goals and reach them
When you start collecting coins you’ll probably have a bit of a scattershot approach, picking up a couple of coins from this series, that series, oddities and even more common coins that just catch your eye. Over time, and with reading, you’ll most likely find that you have a particular leaning – be it region, era or metal. Once you spot this trend in yourself, you can set yourself the goal of gathering a complete set. It’s something to aim for and it may keep you busy for many years!
Understand “rarity” properly
Rarity is relative. It’s true that the coins in your collection will be much rarer than the ones you carry in your wallet. However, some “rare” coins aren’t necessarily more valuable, especially if they’re not in demand. Conversely, there are some more commonly-available coins that can pack quite a punch on the market.
Make sure your dealer grades their coins reliably
We’re still a long way from universally-standardised grading practices and labels and even some very trustworthy coin dealers may have very slightly different grading ideas than the big professional bodies. These little differences can mean a big difference when it comes to selling and it’s not always in your favour. Your preferred dealer should have proven reliable grading.
Your dealer should also have a large inventory
It’s great when you find a dealer you can trust, talk to and even have a laugh with; it’s even better if they also have a big inventory so that you can go to them for most of your needs, safe in the knowledge that the coffee’s hot, the chat is warm and your purchase is valid. You should also be able to return – quibble-free – any coins that you are disappointed in or that you decide don’t fit in with your aims after all.
Once you’ve got your coins, you need to look after them
If you’ve spent a lot of time and money on your collection, then why would you store it in acidic paper, or in a damp cupboard, where the coins can tarnish, corrode or even deteriorate to the point of becoming worthless? After the main investment (the coins themselves), you need to buy archival-standard storage receptacles, folders and presentation cases. You know it makes sense.
This is a contributed post